Western Colorado Demands Sensible Gun Control

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When seventeen lives were lost on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, our nation, and particularly our youth and students, were once again exposed to the horrific manslaughter a gun allows some individuals to commit. With the human lives lost in shootings such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando, and Las Vegas still in our minds, one thing is clear: change is needed. The urgency for reform has only grown after several threats against schools in our community have surfaced. We refuse to remain complacent with thoughts and prayers, which is why we stand with our peers across the nation and demand action from our elected officials.

It is true that gun control is a difficult issue to confront. Few other issues are as controversial or difficult to target. However, there is no excuse to remain silent when guns are pointed at our communities, friends, and family. 

We believe that gun control is an inevitable solution towards curbing gun violence and mass shootings. At the same time, we recognize that the Second Amendment must be upheld. However, the Second Amendment is not a guarantee to extremely lethal assault weapons and must not take precedence over the safety of our community, friends and family.

We also believe that a factor within these tragedies is the culture surrounding guns. However, we cannot expect this culture to change rapidly, if at all. Therefore, we cannot simply blame mass shootings on video games, teenaged ignorance, and mental health concerns and expect change.

We, like most people, do not blame guns for any of these tragedies. We blame the people with the gun in their hand. However, if that gun was not in their hand in the first place, we would not be mourning any of these mass shootings.

With these beliefs in mind, we see no reason but to expect moderate, common sense gun-legislation that will prevent shootings in a timely and effective manner by helping keep guns out of the wrong hands. We have carefully reviewed different gun control options (with the understanding that in the state of Colorado, bump-stocks have been banned, as well as magazines that contain more than 15 rounds), and have decided to ask our politicians at the state and national level to implement the following policies:

  • Require a background check every time a gun is exchanged.
  • Begin research on firearm purchases, use, and deaths.
  • Promote safe storage of guns.
  • Enforce harsher punishments for violent gun crimes. 
  • Raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons to twenty-one.

Because it is important that effective gun control policies be put into place, we take a firm stance against allowing teachers to carry guns on campus. First, this fails to curb gun violence outside of schools. Secondly, putting more guns into our schools only distracts from our education and creates more threats to our safety. In addition, guns on school campuses will not actually prevent shootings; an individual who wants to commit these horrific crimes will not care if they are injured or captured. Therefore, gun policies that stop shooters from having access to guns are far more sensible.

It is time for our lawmakers to turn the gunpoint away from schools and communities across the nation with sensible gun legislation.

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