On Jan. 16 President Barack Obama issued several memorandums to control the sale and tracing of firearms.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden held a press conference to announce new restrictions. This included limits on the sale of firearms, methods for cataloging firearms involved in criminal activities, mandatory background checks and the release of information during criminal investigations.
In the past year, several violent shootings have taken place across the nation. The recent measures were put in place largely due to the shooting of elementary students at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
Florida Southern students have mixed opinions on the subject.
“If it wasn’t that age demographic, the younger students, then I don’t think it would have been such a bit deal,” Richard Angle said. “There would have been scrutiny, of course, but not as scrutinized as it is now.”
Angle was surprised to find out that background checks were not already mandatory nationwide.
“You should do a background check,” Angle said. “I mean, you’re not going to give a guy who has a criminal record a gun so he could go and do it again. That’s just stupid.”
The new measures have not been met with universal acclaim though. The National Rifle Association released a statement saying that the measures were an attack on the second amendment and that “Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy” on their website, http://home.nra.org/#.
As more information has come out, some students have tried to keep informed.
“I’ve seen a lot of information, like what they’re talking about doing,” Sarah Cheyney said. “I’ve been trying to keep up to date with it a little bit, but I know that it’s a lot of jargon.”
Despite the “jargon,” Cheyney believes that the new restrictions on larger guns are well-warranted.
“I feel like the military-level guns, the ones that are the big deals, I don’t think those should be as easy [to get],” Cheyney said.
Obama’s memorandums and public announcements, such as the new website http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence, pledged to enforce a ban on assault weapons from 1994 that expired in 2004, limit magazine sizes to 10 rounds and remove armor-piercing bullets from the streets.
“I don’t think that we should have assault weapons,” Matthew Buck said.
Some students believe that guns should be banned entirely.
“I don’t think people should have guns to do whatever they want with,” Jessica Mchile said.
However, the idea of a gun ban is not something that Cheyney agrees with.
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Buck believes that guns are only part of the problem.
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It appears that Obama agreed with Buck, since part of a new plan is to try and make access to mental health services easier. Obama has also called on Congress to take action as well.
“I think they should,” Mchile said.
However, only time will tell what Congress decides to do as the issue goes up for consideration.
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