With recent tragedies like the shootings at the Aurora, Colo., theater and Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun control is on the minds of many Americans and Weber State University students.
In an effort to stop the gun violence, President Barack Obama unveiled several gun control proposals on Jan. 16. WSU students took notice of these proposals, and had no problem voicing both their positive and negative views on gun control, Obama’s proposals, and what they believe will be the final outcome.
WSU student Nick Nava said he thinks background checks for all gun sales is a good idea. He said he believes it’s a great avenue for “weeding out” those who should not have guns.
“I think there should be strict background checks,” student D.J. Bickers said. “We should not just let anyone have a gun.”
Sean DeLion agreed with Nava and Bickers.
“There’s nothing wrong with a stronger background check if you’ve got nothing to hide,” he said.
When it comes to the idea of limiting the guns U.S. citizens can own, students do not all agree.
Brandy Mahoskey’s family has many guns for hunting. She said she opposes the limiting of guns to law-abiding citizens.
“Criminals already have (guns),” Mahoskey said, “and they will continue to get them on the black market. Good people should have the right to have guns to protect their families.”
In Mahoskey’s eyes, law-abiding citizens need their guns for their own protection, and they are safe when using them.
“They are registered,” she said. “They are safe. It’s ludicrous. History has shown a pattern: You take guns away in a society . . . and crime goes substantially up. It’ll make honest people dishonest.”
Bickers agreed with Mahoskey’s opposition to the gun-limiting piece of Obama’s proposals.
“They can’t go too heavy on it, or else everyone’s going to say ‘screw it’ and find back doors to get them anyway,” he said.
DeLion concurred that crime will increase if people feel threatened by invasive gun laws.
“The people who are getting these guns and causing these problems are the people who the laws are pointed toward,” he said.
DeLion said he believes this is the government’s way of protecting citizens from the people who do not follow laws when obtaining their weapons.
“Obviously, all these shooters didn’t go and get their concealed weapons permits and buy their guns lawfully.”
Other students said it’s a change in the right direction.
“Something needs to be done,” said Ethan Pack. “It can’t go on like it is, or else we’ll just have more shootings.”