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Newton vs. Congress: preventing the
next massacre throngh gun control
One gunman. 28 dead. Two injured. Countless loved ones of
One failed piece of gun legislation.
Now, an indefinite number of spree killings will not be
Most Americans know exactly where they
were on Dec. 14, 2012, when they first heard
news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School
shooting. I specifically recall standing stiff in
my living room gawking at the TV when the
numbers began to scroll across the screen.
We lived through the D.C. sniper.
Columbine and a very recent Aurora, Col.
theater shooting. Yet, the idea that such a
young adult not only gunned down his own
mother, but 26 other innocent people, mostly
young children, before killing himself shook
our sense of security as a society.
Rather than watch the body count of U.S. mass shootings
rise, the citizens of Newtown, Conn, decided that no one would
die in vain that day.
Speaking as a parent, I think these parents have a unique
moral position that could create a movement in the protracted
gun control debate," said Professor of Peace and Conflict
Studies Jeremy Rinker.
Since the tragedy, parents of the slain children have acted
in attempt to enforce stricter gun control laws in the U.S. This
included mandatory background checks, limiting the amount
of rounds in a magazine and banning assault weapons.
"I don't see the point of assault weapon use in the general
population," said Virginia gun owner Penny Smith. "You don't
need them for home protection, hunting and target shooting.
There's no point. What we do need is background checks."
However, last Thursday, the bill to enforce these new
protections failed to pass the Senate.
The devastation and disappointment reached the White
House, as President Barack Obama called its failure to pass "a
dark day in Congress."
The failure of a bill that would protect our basic safety is a
disgrace to our processes in government and an abuse of the
votes we have given to our representatives.
As a person training in gun use, I fully support regulating
what type of guns are being sold and to whom they are being
sold. The fact is, certain people in this country who should
never have access to firearms, and certain guns should not be in
the hands of the general public.
I can relate this reasoning to personal experience. In early
2008, my father shot my stepmother dead and wounded my
eldest stepbrother before committing suicide.
My father should have never had access to firearms. He was
a convicted drug dealer and user and had untreated mental
The reason he was able to bypass his past convictions was
the gun show loophole. No background checks, just easy access.
The fact is everyday citizens would be unaffected by gun
control. Background checks wouldn't restrict nonviolent
citizens in terms of access to firearms.
With this being said, is Congress in a state to pass gun
legislation that will protect innocent citizens from violent
Congressional leaders are far too busy fighting amongst
themselves for personal and partisan needs. The last thing on
tJieir minds is implementing policies that will prevent the next
It is also important to consider that Sandy Hook was the
second deadliest shooting in U.S. history. Its body count does
not fully measure up to the 33 dead and 23 injured in the
Virginia Tech massacre of 2007. From that tragedy, no new gun
control was enforced. And, as usual, no one was inspired to act
based on something in second place.
I fear that it will have to take a greater amount of death in
order to get Congress to take action.
However, the collective conscience of the country is better
geared to be proactive in these tragic situations.
"Newtown has changed us," said Senator Richard Blumenthal
(D-Conn.) to the Huffington Post. "There is no going back now."
This grade, that grade,
what*s the difference?
People prohibited from firearm possession
Sales and transfers
Gun dealers and other sellers
Gun owner responsibilities
Firearms in public places
Consumer and child safety
- Classes of weapons/ammunition/ma^zines
- Investi^ting gun crimes
- Local audiority to regulate
— Nullifies federal law/inhibits safety
In California, all gun sales
must be through a state-
licensed dealer, and there
is a 10-day waiting period
prior to the sale. In addition,
they maintain a permanent
record of firearm sales, ban
most .50 caliber rifles and
assault weapons and regulate
gun shows. Large-capacity
magazines are prohibited, and
handgun buyers must take a
written test to obtain a license.
In addition, a person may only
purchase one handgun a month.
North Carolina does not
regulate or license firearms
dealers, nor does it impose a
limit on the number of guns
one can purchase in a given
time period. Gun-buyers
do not have to report lost
or stolen firearms, and they
do not have to undergo
background checks in order to
purchase a weapon. In addition.
North Carolina does not
prohibit assault weapons, .50
caliber rifles or large-capacity
Birds of a feather flock together.
A recent survey suggests that a non-athlete/
athlete divide holds true at Guilford College, a
liberal institution that prides itself on testimonies
of diversity and equality. Apparently many
^members of the community still feel a divide
among groups on campus.
Theater studies plays with theater studies,
science department mixes with science
■ department, business majors interact with
business majors. We are drawn to commonalities
because that is who we spend the most time
with in class and who we study with after class.
However, Guilford has athletes that came to
Guilford for biology, philosophy, art — more
than just the turf. Therefore, they are connected
through more than just sports. So, just how
sharp is this divide? Does it even exist?
Students usually meet new friends through
their major and minor department. Meanwhile,
our athletes spend a large chunk of time
together outside of the classroom at practice
and in games, building team chemistry. Most of
them stay in residence halls together, securing
A potentially larger reason for a divide is that
there are different recruitment strategies that
may inadvertently create a separation.
Student-athlete tours differ from the tours
that non-athletes receive. While recruiting
athletes, coaches facilitate tours of campus that
are tailored to the potential recruit, and some
touring student-atWetes spend a night with
their prospective teammates to conclude their
visit. These visitations are based on signing an
athlete to play rather than helping that student
to accomplish academic goals or see other
aspects of Guilford.
When asked, one athlete mentioned that he
wished he had been given the same tour that
non-athletes were offered. On his tour with a
coach, he wasn't shown critical areas of campus,
like the Learning Commons tutoring facilities or
the Multicultural Education Resource Center.
Neglecting to share these Guilford highlights
could inhibit the successes of student-athletes,
although the athletic program insists that
it focuses on victories off the field first and
victories on the field second.
It is time we recognize that the recruitment
tour system may be helping to foster a divided
student body. Students applying to a diverse
school like Guilford deserve a tour that
accurately represents the campus experience.
While there are other potential reasons for the
student/student-athlete divide, we suggest a
step in the right direction is having a single tour
that shines a light equally on both academics
and athletics and introduces all students to the
many comers of campus.
Refleqing Guilford College's core Qu/^er values,
THE TOPICS AND CONTENT OF StAFF EDITORIALS ARE CHOSEN
THROUGH CONSENSUS OF ALL 14 EDITORS AND ONE FACULTY
ADVISER OF The Guilfordian’s Editorial Board.