North Carolina Newspapers

2 The Compass Wednesday. October26, 1994
Walter Martin^ Junh>r
Fayettevllld, N.C.
Yes, because it has the fadtities we want-
video games, bowling alley, drinks, snacks
and TV.
Tarlk Scott, senior
Brooklyn, N.Y.
No, really because it is separated
from the University Center and
therefore causes a sense of division
from on-campus students.
Is the Commuter Center fulfilling its purpose?
Chelsea Raynor, sophomore
Hamilton, N.C.
Yes, because wherever I go commut
ers are making good use of it.
Jody Riddick, senior
Yes, because it's a good place for
commuters to go between classes to
study or relax^
Guest Column
How many more people have to die
before the government bans guns?
By Lavenia Dameron
On weekoxlsin the sinall farming com
munity ofWirKlsor,N.C. shots ring out in
A 25-year-old man is shot in the head
by his girifriend. She is not arrested be
cause she says she shot him self-defense.
Two weeks before that, a crowd scat
ters from the parking lot of a local night
club when shots are fired. Two teenagers
lie dead—both mtirdered by a 16-year
old with a semi-automatic handgun.
A few months later, a man shoots and
kills three people in the town's Be-Low
grocery store. Aik! a teenager kidnaps a
young man and his pregnant sister from
Viigjnia, and shoots the man dead when
he tries to escape.
Windsor is a small town in Bertie
County, in Northeastern, N.C. In this
small town everyone knows their neigh
bor, and nany people are related to each
other. Hie town has a courthouse, several
banks, gas stations, drug stores and a
Hardees. It sounds peaceful but it's
notTheheadlineson the front pageof the
Bertie Ledger-Star tdl the horrifying sto
ries of deaths by firearm
Many residentsof Windsorwould have
never dkought gun control would be nec
essary in their small town.
"That New Yawk City is a terrible
place," the townsfolk would always say.
"We're luclq^ to be living in our small
Many residents who have left Windsor
for othCT places have sirKe returned, hop
ing to escape the ills and violence of more
urban areas. What they have found out,
however, is that ik) one is safe anywhere
And people wUl continue living in fear
for their lives as long as the government
allows the sale of handguns to its citizens.
The nationalcontrover^over gun con
trol is becoming an increasingjy hot issue
in the media. Cun ownership advocates
say, "Guns don't kill, people do."
That, however, isa ridiculousstatment.
Have any of these people realize that if
guns weren't so ea^ to get, then maybe
people wouldn't be so quick to shoot?
Today, it's just as easy to buy a gtm off
the stre^ as it is to buy groceries from a
store. Almost every teenage boy at Bertie
High School carriesagun or knows some
one who does. Teenagers cany guns to
gain respect from their peers, to prove
they are tough, and to protect themselves
fromothers who maybe threateningthem
with guns.
This problem is rwt limited to Bertie
High; it is national in scope. In some
schools,students are screened before they
enter with metal detecters. And some
school systems have set up special pro
grams to encourage students to tell a
teacher, counselor or principal if they
know of someone with a gun on school
Under the new Brady Bill, dtizens will
have to wait five days before receiving a
permit to purchase a gun. Many people
agree witft this new law; others say it
intrudes on their rights. The bottom line
issue, however, is that the Brady bill is
going to have veiy little eff^ on the easy
availability of handguns to young people.
A haiKlgun can still be purchased at any
street comer by town thugs.
Why? Because of the millions of hand
guns already in circulation, and the hun
dreds of ttiousands more sold annually
in theU.S. Many of these guns wiU end up
being stolen from law-abiding citizens
who purchased ti\em to protect them
selves from crime. A Norfolk homidde
detective recently testified that many of
the guns confiscated on the street were
legally purchased firearms that had been
stolen from their owners' cars.
There is only one solution to this prob
lem. The government should enact—and
of guns on the streets. Haixlguns should
notbe permited to average dtizens. Any
one convicted of using guns, sellingthem
or buying them illegally, should be given
a long prison sentence.
If guns weren't so accessible to people
who misuse them, ordinary Anrierican
dtizens wouldn't be able to justify own
ing a gun for "self-protection."
Someone is murdered with a handgun
every hour. Thousands of men, women
and children have cilready died because
of the easy availability of handguns in
our sodety. How many more have to die
before we dedde to grt rid of them?
The dioice is ours to make. All that it
requires is the will and couR^ to act

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