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April 26, 2013
Suicide at NASCAR race raises gun control concerns
GUN CONTROL FROM ANOTHER ANGLE:
ON APRIL 14, A NASCAR FAN SHOOTS
AND KILLS HIMSELF AT THE NRA 500,
RAISING CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS
BY SYDNEY HAWKINS
Gun control. Everyone has an opinion. Who should have
guns? What models should be available? Are they allowed at
Forty-two-year-old Kirk Franklin of Saginaw, Texas, shot
and killed himself on April 14 during the NRA 500 at Texas
Motor Speedway. Sources say alcohol may have played a role.
The rules at Texas Motor Speedway state that bags and
coolers are subject to inspection, and fireworks, illegal
substances, and weapons are not allowed in the venue.
How thoroughly are fans' campers checked for weapons
before going into the infield? How did Franklin get past
Security must properly search everyone entering the
At least it will guarantee that police officers are the only
official weapon carriers.
Mistakes like Franklin s cannot happen again. Security
cannot slip and let someone go under the radar to bring
weapons into a public event.
Having a weapon at his disposal put himself and everyone
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else at the event at risk during the event. This tragic
incident could have resulted in even more injuries. Who is
Security should be able to search campers because it
is a public event, and they need to ensure the safety of the
public," said junior Michael MacVane.
"They should be able to search any camper just like they
would search a bag or cooler."
Sophomore Isabel Ramirez agreed there needs to be
thorough searches for weapons at NASCAR events.
"Slip-ups lower the standards to which guns should be
lawful," said Ramirez.
is upjp security to make surenach camper, cooler and
bag gets seardfeWTfl!mWiftt|jt]^j^^ carry ‘
Some may argue that campers are private, temporary
residences and owners can refuse the search. Texas Motor
Speedway does not state a policy of searching carnpers, only
coolers and bags.
"I think that the right to privacy of a portable residence
would be mitigated by being in a public sporting event,"
said Alan Mueller, assistant dean of career and community
learning. NASCAR should totally search the campers if they
state a policy."
"If you have nothing to hide, then you should have no
reason to be worried about a search," said sophomore Josh
Weil. "As an EMT, my primary concern is the safety of others.
There shouldn't have to be a policy stated about searching.
Only the people who have something to hide are the ones
who have an issue with an unannounced search."
There are a lot of issues this country is dealing with, and one
is gun control. How many lives will be lost before the Second
Amendment to the United States Constitution is reassessed?
I'm not saying take them away. I'm saying control them.
I m all about Second Amendment rights, as many people on campus know, but if the
speedway bans guns and weapons then it is a matter of public safety and security....
Security has the right to search peoples' campers to ensure that they are not brinaiiia
any contraband into the speedway.
Josh Weil, sophomore
Center for Principled
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