There has been a constant back and forth regarding stricter gun laws and the Second Amendment in the United States.
With the anniversary of Columbine, the Parkland shooting and the Waffle House shooting all still recently fresh wounds, many are split between the safety of people and upholding the Constitution.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have 83 mass shootings in the U.S. since the start of 2018.
Many are seeking stricter gun regulations without knowing the actual process of purchasing a gun in California.
A person must be at least 18 years old in order to purchase a rifle or shotgun.
A person must be at least 21 years old and have a Handgun Safety Certificate in order to purchase a handgun as well as complete a safety demonstration.
California is a “may issue” state meaning that it requires a license or permit to carry a concealed handgun. Being issued a permit “to carry” is left up to the local sheriff.
“There are definitely a lot of people in this world who should not have access to any guns,” fifth-year business and marketing student Johnathan Noriega said.
“For example, the Vegas shooter had easy access to guns and was able to carry out a massacre.”
Urban counties within California hold stricter criteria in order to issue a permit which practically lists the county as a “no issue” state, while other areas are considered “shall issue” because of how lenient it is to receive a permit.
Guns can be used for hunting, protection and collecting amongst others.
“I use it to exercise my rights,” Travis Linkey, a third-year transfer computer science student said.
“I also use it for target practice and it was suppose to be used for hunting.”
Linkey has owned a rifle for five years now.
Linkey originally purchased the rifle to go hunting in Colorado, but did not end up using it.
“I don’t like the idea of people carrying guns because it creates an unsafe environment,” Noriega said.
“But I do think that people should have the option of keeping a gun in their homes as a way of protection.”
Applying for a concealed weapons permit in California can be time consuming. According to Linkey, he had to file what felt like a “ton of paperwork.”
Along with filing paperwork, one must go through a 10-day waiting period and must register the firearm.
Some political elites, believe that stricter background checks, an assault-weapons ban and not allowing people who suffer from mental illness to obtain guns will help prevent further tragedies.
“Both mental health evaluations and stricter background checks would be great,” Noriega said.
“It could stop people from even having the chance.”
Linkey believes that enforcing strict gun laws to prevent those with mental illness will not be beneficial.
“Criminalizing things doesn’t make it go away, it creates a culture for it,” Linkey said. “There’s a law against murder, but that doesn’t stop people.”
The Second Amendment might just be 27 words long, but it holds a magnitude of meaning certain citizens.
“The Second Amendment protects the First,” Linkey said.
“Freedom of speech just becomes a token if someone else comes up to you with a gun and tells you not to speak. Guns defend that right.”
Although there are people who believe the Second Amendment has left room for interpretation, others believe it to be literal and should not be infringed.
“It prevents the government from having a monopoly of force,” Linkey said.
The heated dispute regarding gun regulations in the United States comes from both Republicans and Democrats.
However, Linkey, who considers himself a political atheist, or someone who doesn’t believe in politics, believes that aligning one’s self with a political party that is making the topic so controversial.
“Most of these people align themselves with a party, so they have pre-built reactions on it,” Linkey said.
Although Linkey hardly uses his rifle, he still plans on purchasing a shotgun for home defense.
Guns are a primary form of protection to some.
Enforcing strict gun laws could limit the safety of some people, however, by not instituting new gun laws, more lives could be at risk.
A welcome compromise on the issue is yet to be seen or presented.
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