Setting our sights on gun reform

By Emily Steinhardt

Gun control.

These two words are causing a huge debate in America right now.

The mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 high school students woke up a sleeping giant. The debate on guns has been brewing for a long time and finally boiled over the edge of the pot.

I don’t own a gun, and I’ve never owned a gun, so it’s never been something I’ve thought about, but suddenly I was wondering, “Where do I stand on the issue?”

Here’s what I came up with.

We’re never going to get anywhere with this issue if we don’t have respect first.

People who own guns think that those who don’t own guns look down on them and want to destroy their culture.

If people who don’t own guns tell such people that they and their guns are despicable, the divide only grows.

Marches and angry tweets about guns are not going to make the problem go away. We need to trust and respect each other first before we can make any sort of compromise on guns and gun control.

That being said, action does need to be taken.

If people would like to have guns, that’s not a problem with me.

Maybe someone owns a gun because it makes them feel safer. A lot of people use them for hunting and as a means to get food on the table. I get that.

We can’t ban guns because no matter how hard we try, the wrong people will still be able to get their hands on them.

We do, however, need to figure out a better system to control guns in our country.

Why is it that an 18-year-old, who can’t legally buy alcohol, can walk into a gun stores and legally make a purchase?

Why is it that people can buy guns online? How do we know the people buying the gun are who they say they are?

Why is it ok for civilians to own active military grade weapons?

It’s not.

Many people I’ve talked to keep comparing guns to cars.

“Cars can kill people too, but we still drive them don’t we?”

Yes, cars can kill people. But you don’t get a license to drive a car unless you pass several tests.

In Pennsylvania, you need to get this license renewed every four years, and if you show bad behavior behind the wheel, you can have your license revoked for a period of time or permanently.

After saying all of this, the question remains: Is gun control the answer to this problem?

I don’t have the answer to that question. But I do know that no one will get an answer if we keep demonizing people on both sides of the debate.

Some of the greatest moments in this country’s history have come from people banding together to come up with a solution.

This issue isn’t going to be solved overnight, but it would go a hell of a lot quicker if we could respect each other and work together.

Contact Emily Steinhardt at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu