From the Editors: Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, our nation found itself again wrapped up in the debate surrounding the Second Amendment, and whether or to what extent the nation should enforce gun restrictions. So, we asked you, and received a variety of well-thought answers across the spectrum. Responses were only edited for minor spelling/grammar and appear below in the order in which they were received.

Hello! I personally consider guns a threat as you never know who owns them! In my opinion there should be more restriction on guns! Thank you!

–Adriana Stefan-Simandle

I feel that there is not a “one size fits all” solution to the argument over the Second Amendment. However, I believe strongly that guns should definitely be allowed. The increase in sporadic violent activity across the globe is a reason to have personal protection in the form of firearms, not a reason to give them up. Maybe restrictions are warranted in certain locations, such as urban or suburban areas, but I am from an extremely rural area and could not imagine living without guns to support our family with meat and to protect ourselves from human and wildlife conflict.

–Audrey Emerson

The Second Amendment was written into our constitution by our forefathers who had just fought a war against their own unlawful government. The reason for the Second Amendment was to allow everyday citizens to have the ability to defend themselves from many different things. The ability to own firearms is a right that everyone needs to be able to have, with no restrictions as well. Why should we be restricted to how we can defend ourselves? Anyone who is going to commit a crime is obviously not going to follow the laws, so why would they listen to restrictions on guns? If criminals are going to be using a weapon that the government deems “unlawful”, then everyone should be able to use it, so that the playing field is level. I know I would want to be able to use any means necessary to defend my home and family from someone. New York passed the Safe Act a little while back, which I find an absolutely ridiculous law. I come from Vermont, where luckily we don’t have any restrictions. In New York, you can not own an AR-type rifle, with a collapsible stock, pistol grip, or a muzzle device. Now I would like anyone to tell me how those accessories make the weapon anymore deadly. The New York government took a rifle that some may find “scary”, and made a law saying you can not own a rifle with those features. How ridiculous. I’m ashamed at our national government and leaders for even thinking about restricting how we may own firearm. The last words in our Second Amendment are, “shall not be infringed”. But I guess no one knows what those words mean anymore. If you care about the safety of yourself and your family, then you should want to be able to use any thing to do so. Stop taking away a God-given right just because of the way the media portrays how a rifle works. As shown in the last, people will kill with home-made bombs, trucks and cars, knives and all sorts of other objects, but I don’t see the outcry for trucks to be restricted and regulated, so why should guns? Give us back our Second Amendment, because one day we’ll need it for what it was initially intended, and at that point, we’ll have nothing left to defend ourselves with.

–River Payne

Hopefully, I am probably one of the few people on campus who has been shot at with a handgun, rifle and unknown firearms … several times … within the USA … not in a military or law enforcement capacity. Luckily all three times they missed.

Because of this, I am in favor of strong restrictions in obtaining a gun in any form and in carrying concealed weapons. I am totally in favor of banning semi-automatic rifles. Had any of those situations involved this type of firearm, I wouldn’t have survived.

–Deborah Naybor

The thing about rights is that they extend only so far as they don’t affect other people. My ownership of a gun, no matter how scary looking or what its reputation is, does not infringe anyones’ rights. No one else gets to tell me what I can and can’t own, because my right to own property does not infringe on their own.

This is a bit hard for some people to grasp, but the Second Amendment is not in place so we can hunt deer or stop robbers. It’s specifically in place so we can fight back and kill tyrants. If the government has semi-automatic rifles, the citizens should have at least that level of firepower to keep the government in check. Before anyone comments on tanks and fighter jets, just remember what they do: they destroy infrastructure and level cities. A government can’t survive without people to lead and infrastructure to provide services to people. A government doesn’t have anything to lead if there’s no people or cities to run. Small arms are the only way to effectively suppress uprisings and keep civilian populations intact.

“Banning guns” isn’t ever a possibility. Even if every civilian did, miraculously, turn over their arms to the government, the police and military still have guns. So you’re not banning them, you’re centralizing them. Giving all the power to the ones in power. Not only that, but there’s more than a few gun owners who would rather die and start a civil war than give up their guns. It will never happen.

As they say, “peel the grip from my cold, dead hands.”

–Jared Barnhart

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