Recent events lead students to examine America’s gun laws
In the past decade shootings have become more common: Stephen Paddock gunned people down from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay on October 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He shot and killed 59 people and injured hundreds and the weaponry he had granted him the opportunity to do what he did. On November 9th at Sutherland Springs, Texas, Devin Patrick Kelley gunned down at least 26 people until someone chased off the shooter. Kelley later committed suicide.
Given that there’s been a lot of shootings recently, gun control vs gun rights has become a topic of discussion.
Students at Sedro-Woolley High School shared their perspectives on gun laws in light of the recent shootings.
“You never need that many firearms in any scenario,” said senior Christian Morley when asked his opinion on fully automatic weapons.
Steven Paddock had over a dozen guns in his possession when he opened fire last October.
“It depends on their purpose. If they’re for hunting or shooting I’m okay with it, but if you’re having other intentions, it’s not a good idea,” said Morley.
The weapons he was using had bump stocks, which make it easier to fire at more rapid speeds, nearly the same as an automatic weapon.
Most people agreed that this was too much firepower.
“I think it’s very bad because with automatic guns there’s more terrorist attacks, more people that can be injured. So I think there should be less automatic guns,” said Samantha Frank a freshman at Sedro-Woolley High School.
Brandi Self, a senior and a supporter of gun rights, believes that there should be limits to what one should can own.
“If they have it registered it’s completely fine, but something like that, like what he had – 20-plus of them – just kind of seems a little ridiculous,”said Self, a senior.
After the attacks, a lot of people are wondering about the future of gun control, and the future of assault weapons in American’s hands.
“I honestly think background checks should be a little more strict and stern and have a little more of an idea what’s going on instead of just, ‘you seem clean, here you go,’” said Morley.
Self says she sees both sides as to what the limitations of what people can own should be.
“I feel kind of like neutral but like people with like mental disorder should not be able to have like any guns…regular homeowners that are trying to protect our family should be able to… I don’t think they should stop.” said Self.
Frank is more sure in her position on gun laws.“I think it should be stricter and limit how much you can own to just a handgun.”
Security at public events is likely to change in light of the recent events. He was able to commit this atrocity by bringing a lot of baggage with him and putting the guns together in his hotel room.
“They are most likely going to be in areas or high open windows to be spotting and looked out incase or another scenario or like some more security, most definitely,” said Morley
Whether or not Gun shops should sell assault weapons is a matter of debate.
“The guns shops need to pay more attention. I read that one of the gun shops was weirded out by[the shooter] buying so many weapons in such great detail than what he needed, so thinking that could have been a huge red flag about what was going on, and then just saying, sorry, can’t sell this to you due to circumstances it,” said Morley.
On the topic of security, and the hotel allowing him to bring so many bags,
“I think the hotel has a lot to do with it like like somebody with so much baggage I know it would have taken a lot of baggage to bring in that many guns and they should have checked it like every hotel I’ve ever been to they’ve ran it through and checked it, if it looks suspicious they check it,you know I just feel like it was kind of like their downfall.” said Brandi.
Nonetheless, the authorities in Las Vegas handled the situation appropriately, according to the people interviewed.“They saved as many lives as they could,” said Frank.
The police did all they had trained for like keeping people out of the line of fire, identifying the shooter as soon a possible then capturing him. “I think they did, they kept people in cover away from the fire as much as I could and keeping him behind something so that the shooter couldn’t possibly pick another Target. It’s just a shame that he got as many as he did,” said Morley.