Opinion: Tragedies lead to disproportionate fear of guns

Student submission: David Detrick

Is there a serious problem surrounding gun violence in the United States? Yes. Ranked tenth on the list of things causing death in the United States, gun violence is a serious social problem. An average of 16,000 deaths annually and dropping ––wait a second, did I hear that right? Yes, gun violence is decreasing every year by at least ten percent since 2007 according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Along with that drop in gun violence, we are experiencing the highest rate of gun sales this country has ever seen. The largest cause of deaths in our great country is heart disease, taking over 600,000 lives every year according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It seems like a much larger problem, don’t you think? Even car accidents take more lives every year, yet guns are on everyone’s minds.

Tragic events such as the Sandy Hook and the Aurora theater shootings involved firearms. Guns did not perpetrate these horrible events; people did. We can look to educate ourselves from these tragedies and find ways to prevent them.

People are the problem here, not guns. People’s disregard for respect, laws and human life are at the core of this terrible issue. Guns will continuously find ways into the hands of criminals all over the world.

Australia banned all firearms, and the law-abiding citizens are now defenseless against the criminals who disregard the law and still perpetrate atrocities against the public.

Have deaths gone down? Yes, but there is still the chance that a law-abiding citizen could become the victim and not have the capacity to defend themselves or their families. Who is anyone to take that right of self defense away from anyone else? Nobody should have that authority.

Bans on magazine capacity and types of firearms are being introduced across the nation. Guns haven not uniquely been the target for restrictive legislation. The war on drugs has been fighting against the illegal use of controlled substances for forty years, and criminals still seem to find a way to shoot up or get high. Billions of dollars, strict laws and overpopulated prisons are the result of America’s drug war. People are still doing drugs and obtaining them illegally, so it is not working.

You can not ban guns and expect the police to protect every citizen. Response time and manpower are not a trigger pull away. In many cases, deaths occur way before police arrive.

There are solutions to gun violence other than banning guns or gun accessories. Instead of enacting legislation that bans certain weapons that law-abiding citizens will forfeit, pass laws that make it more of a risk for criminals to posses them.

Mentally unstable people will find a way to cause harm. We the people must educate ourselves to become aware of the people around us. Become interested in the outcast and let them into our lives. People are fragile and can break easily if mistreated. We have to make a difference. Treat others with the same respect you would ask for. Befriend those who look lonely, and console those who seem troubled. Educate yourselves on how to communicate with each other.

Maybe one day our civilization will no longer need any guns, but as long as criminals walk the streets with a AR-15 variant, I want one. As long as the police have them, I want one. As long as the military has them, I want one. As long as anyone has any type of weapon, I want one.

It is my right to have the means to protect myself and others against tyranny, crime, rape or even death. The second amendment clearly states that we as Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, and that right shall not be infringed.

South Puget Sound Community College is proposing a campus weapons ban. Currently, students or faculty are legally able to carry a firearm on campus and in classrooms.

I understand that if students can see the firearms, they can feel intimidated. I am willing to compromise with the new ban. No one should be able to see any weapons at any time unless there is a threat to life.

Since there have been no life-threatening problems here at the college concerning the use of firearms, I see no reason why any responsible concealed pistol license holders should be made to give up their right to self defense.

Gun owners may be willing to risk their own life to save yours in a dangerous situation. I implore each and everyone of you to think about that. Most of these terrible tragedies have occurred in gun-free zones.

Who are you or anyone else to take the right of self defense away from anyone? Are you ready to turn this school into a gun-free zone? I am not. Let’s keep our school the way it is, safe!