Change is needed for gun control

Something that has been widely discussed in recent news is gun regulations. Government officials and others have been fighting about more or less gun regulations for the last year with little progress being made. There are multiple sides to this argument and all have their opinions. I will do my best to share my thoughts on the matter and try not to offend anyone.

I grew up in small town named Cresco, IA. When I was growing up, firearms were a norm around my family. I do come from a family of hunters. We go to the target range on weekends for a day of shooting and it’s a tradition to go hunt during the first shotgun season for deer hunting. Therefore, I am comfortable with guns and having them around. However, they are very dangerous. In recent history, there have been shootings all over the nation. Both adults and children have been shaken by these attacks. As a nation, we need to group together to make adjustments to the Second Amendment.

Coming from a hunting family, I don’t believe guns should be taken away from the law-abiding citizens of this nation. However, there isn’t a need for semi-automatic ARs. Also, bump stocks are not necessary for hunting. Bump stocks are an accessory to the butt of a gun that makes the recoil of the weapon shoot at a faster rate, making it almost automatic. There isn’t an animal alive that you need that kind of fire rate for. I understand that ARs are fun to shoot at the range and use to hunt bigger game. I enjoy going to the range with my brother, who is an owner of an AR. They are enjoyable, but they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

The sale of AR guns should be ceased due to the fact that they’re a gun of interest for mass shootings. They aren’t necessary weapons for hunting. I understand using these weapons can help assure that you are able to hit the animal that you are hunting, but a good hunter should be able to accomplish this without it. The classic bolt-action rifle can easily be substituted for an AR. Therefore, they shouldn’t be sold to the public. However, there can be a happy medium.

Gun ranges should hold a certain license allowing them to be able to provide a safe, controlled environment for the public to rent firearms. This allows those who enjoy them to use them, and it prevents them from falling into the wrong hands. But, there’s also the problem of those who currently own ARs. The government shouldn’t have the right to take them away from those law-abiding citizens who own them. Instead, they should have to go through a training process. I also think these gun owners should have to pass a background check to keep their weapon. If they don’t pass, then they should not have one. Afterwards, these people are on a list of registered owners, similar to a concealed weapons permit. An additional restriction that should be in place is the amount of ammunition that they can have; 60 rounds is a decent amount to go to the range for an afternoon.

Another hot topic about guns is teachers carrying them. I am an elementary education major and a hunter. I am perfectly comfortable with owning a gun and carrying a firearm.However, there isn’t a need for them in schools. Why bring more guns into the schools? I know that I and others of a similar background may be comfortable being armed. What about those teachers who aren’t from that same background? What about the teachers who can’t handle problems in the classroom well? Adding a weapon into this will make it worse. What if a student takes the gun away from the teacher? This will just create another problem for the schools.

Overall, this is a touchy subject for people of all backgrounds. The future of our country is now in the hands of the government and the First Amendment right that citizens may use to open peaceful dialogue.

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James Kappes is a sports columnist for The Lorian.

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