YOUNG VOICES: Protect 2nd Amendment, but regulate gun sales

2013-01-14T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Protect 2nd Amendment, but regulate gun salesBy Katie Goodrich nwitimes.com
January 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

As if gun control hasn't always been a hot button issue, recent events have caused this issue to become the center of conversations. The Aurora theater incident, the Sikh temple massacre, the Sandy Hook School shooting and the case of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher all have made it clear that gun control needs to be discussed.

Both gun supporters and gun opponents can agree there are too many meaningless deaths in this country as a result of gun violence.

The Second Amendment gives American citizens the right to bear arms. This right should be protected, but guns need to be regulated carefully. Guns are dangerous, and if they fall into the wrong hands, bad things happen.

The background checks done in order to acquire a firearm need to be thorough and precise. Gun ownership should be taken seriously.

Some people say the problem isn't legal guns; it’s the illegal guns that should take the blame. However, of the 62 mass shooting occurrences in the United States since 1982, 49 involved legally acquired guns. This clarifies that any gun, legal or illegal, can become a problem.

Acquiring a gun at a gun shop is very different from acquiring a gun at a show. At a gun show, the seller does not have to ask the buyer whether they are eligible to legally have a firearm or check their eligibility through a background check. There are nearly 5,000 gun shows in the United States every year. This practice needs to be put to an end.

A background check and a gun safety course always should be required before owning a firearm. If the gun is being bought for a household, each adult in the house needs to meet the requirements.

There are collectors who have a multitude of guns in their homes, all on display. They take pride in the history, the worth and the working condition of their guns. Unless their guns have a trigger lock, this can be a hazard.

All guns in a household need to be properly stored. Guns and ammunition need to be stored separately to ensure safety if the gun is stolen.

This country needs to regulate the firearms that are legal and who can possess these guns. There are too many illegal guns in the hands of people who should not have guns at all.

No citizen should be allowed to have a fully automatic weapon in their home. Yes, safety is important, but you do not need an automatic weapon to be safe. A semi-automatic will protect you and your family.

Every citizen is guaranteed their personal rights in our Constitution. Our constitutional rights should be limited only to protect fellow citizens, and regulating guns and gun ownership will keep us safe.

Katie Goodrich, of Hammond, is a senior at Gavit High School. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's.

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