Bigger Picture: Gun Control

Image taken from fineartamerica.com

With episodes of gun violence consuming recent news headlines, the never-ending gun control debate is once again under the spotlight. Events such as the Colorado Movie Theater shooting, Empire State building shooting, and Sikh Temple shooting have caused people on both sides of the gun control issue to criticize existing policies.

In Wisconsin the gun control policies are being questioned due to the recent homicide that occurred this past October in Brookfield resulting in three women’s deaths. Mass shootings such as these inevitably call for attempts to tighten gun control laws, but according to ABC the public generally tends to agree  people have the right to bear firearms.

The process of buying a firearm varies from state to state, but inWisconsin there is a nine-step process that includes smaller steps within each step. It is comparable to when a professor says there are only three questions on the exam, but you find out each question has four parts. The process is fairly strenuous and time consuming, but when done correctly it is effective.

The debate on gun control lies between people wanting to add stricter restrictions to the already existing laws, and people who want to make it easier to attain firearms. It’s hard not to side with the grieving families of the victims calling for stricter policies regarding gun control, but according to ABC news, gun violence in the U.S. has decreased by 65 percent since 1993. Comparisons like this explain why the debate over gun control is a never-ending argument.

Where our Candidates Stand

The issue of gun control was not very prominent in the 2012 election, because there was no need to debate an issue both candidates agreed on. Both Obama and Romney feel the need to enforce the already existing laws on gun control rather than add or make new ones.

In the presidential debate Romney stated, “I’m not in favor of new pieces of legislation on guns or taking guns away. We need to rather make enormous efforts to enforce the laws we already have.”

Obama also feels the need to enforce existing gun control laws. During an interview with MTV News the President said we need to prevent gun violence by strengthening the background checks done on gun buyers.

Gun Control Laws in Wisconsin and for Marquette University

In the state of Wisconsin any person convicted of a felony, or what would be considered a felony in Wisconsin, cannot possess firearms. The mentally handicapped and insane are also barred from carrying any weapons.

According to the Marquette student handbook, “students are not permitted to possess, use, or store firearms, ammunition, or weapons of any type in residence halls or university apartments.” This includes paintball guns, pellet guns, and knives. Public Safety Officers are able to store weapons that are used for recreational purposes in an off-campus location for students. Students are allowed to get their recreational weapons at their leisure.

In addition, students are not allowed to possess a sword on campus even if it is for decorative purposes. So for all of you who carry your swords, ride your horses and wear your cloaks to class, here’s your warning.

 

What’s it all mean?

The debate on gun control will never be solved. It’s not realistic in a free society. With stories of shootings and homicides highlighted through the media it seems the U.S. has a long way to go. But believe it or not we are making progress. Statistically speaking, gun violence in America has declined since the 1960’s. All we can do is hope this statistic continues to decline and this string of mass shootings has come to an end.