Letter: We need to rethink our gun laws

By on December 30, 2010

The fact that people are eligible to apply for guns and legally buy and own them is something I do not agree with. It’s outrageous.

Just because someone meets the requirements to own a gun doesn’t mean they don’t have some underlying desire to commit a crime. Let’s just say that a person with a clean record, who has never been in trouble, and who has always been viewed as respectable in the eyes of the law, obtains a gun license and buys a gun, and then goes out and kills someone with it. Then what? It was legal for that person to have that gun, and who knows if they won’t just cry “innocent” and say it was an accident that it went off.

I think only people with authority should have guns, but the way they use them should be limited. I don’t agree with police officers having the right to shoot someone who is running from them, but that is beside the point.

Another reason you shouldn’t be able to own a gun is due to children being at risk of finding it. Kids often find this “thing” they think is a toy, bring it to their friend’s house and then tragedy occurs. It’s a scary thought that the situation could have been prevented in the first place.

Owning guns is not a life-or-death situation. Or maybe from another standpoint, it is. If people want to go hunting, then the designated hunting grounds should have the guns available there to rent while hunting. Keeping guns off the street is the best idea ever for so many reasons.

Another possible issue that could come up is someone knowing you have a gun and where you keep it. Then they tell someone about your gun and they tell someone and before you know it, you can’t find your gun. You wouldn’t even know the weapon you have was stolen. In all reality, if a crime is committed using the gun stolen from your home, then the investigation will lead right back to the gun owner: you. That sounds like too much to lose for something so unnecessary to own.

Cheryl Gaston
Senior
Kaneland High School

5 Comments

  1. Doublewide

    January 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Dear Editor,

    I can’t begin to say how disappointed I am in your paper for printing something so ludicrous for everyone to read. I understand and appreciate the freedom of the press but with great freedoms come responsibility and ignoring responsibility for freedom is just being blatantly irresponsible. I’m referring to your posting of a letter to the editor titled “We need to rethink our gun laws” Thursday, December 30th.

    I respect the young writers attempt to try and express her passions toward something and encourage her to continue to do so. I would also encourage her to research her position some before publicly voicing it as well as sighting some realistic examples to support her side. Her example of a legal purchase of a firearm by an individual that can and will be used for a crime at a later date isn’t what the background check is attempting to prevent. The check is there to prevent people with specific criteria or who fall in specific categories from legally purchasing a firearm.

    Allow me to give her an example that is relevant to her age group: Just because someone passes drivers education and successfully applies for and is awarded a drivers license by the state doesn’t make them “qualified” to drive. Let’s say a long time honor roll student who’s a freshman in college has their license for a few years now, that doesn’t mean that they will not get drunk at some college party and take the wheel of an automobile causing an accident with fatalities. As a matter of fact this a more likely scenario then the one she proposed in her letter of a gun purchase. Should we then ban automobiles to only “people with authority”?

    She goes on to give the example of the youth of gun owners having tragedies occur. Again this example is more due to ignorance then anything. The NRA provides programs such as Eddie Eagle which is a very successful program for very young children. Gun safety is all about education and discipline, apparently something they are not getting in our school system today. Firearm safety is a simple solution to lowering the risk involved with firearms. Most firearm owners know that there is no age too young to educate. At what age to we start teaching that the stove is hot, not to wander into the street, don’t play with electrical items, put on a coat in the winter etc. Eddie Eagle provides age appropriate materials for parents to disseminate and help educate children around firearms.

    How many parents ask their friends if they are firearm owners BEFORE sending their child over for a play date?

    Let’s be realistic, accidents happen and they are tragic but the push needs to be for more education and responsible parenting and gun ownership then the banning of firearms.

    Comments in the letter also sight the potential of a home invasion to retrieve a firearm. Logic tells us this is true for DVD players, computers, flat screen TV’s etc. Statics show that more electronics are stolen from homes annually than firearms. What she doesn’t look at is how many individuals are saved from bodily harm by a homeowner with a firearm. Again discretion and some logic out weight the potential for disaster to strike.

    In closing I’d like to encourage your paper to support the programs and education that will help prevent the loss of life related to firearm accidents. Firearms are tools just like a power saw or a bread machine, when used with the wrong intention the individual turns that tool into a weapon. It takes 3 things to have a firearm accident, 1) ammunition 2) firearm 3) a person. We can’t ban criminals from getting guns only law abiding citizens.

  2. outdoor1

    January 5, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Let me take this issue one step further. This country was created thanks to the help of firearms. Without them we would still likely be under British rule. Does Ms. Gaston cherish freedom? I think she needs to look around and research her topic A LOT more before sending it into a newspaper. Also, the Bill of Rights includes the 2nd Amendment which states clearly, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Our Founding Fathers did not create this amendment for protection from your neighbor. It was for protection from government tyranny. Maybe Ms. Gaston should look at some countries that don’t give ANY rights to their people. This should have all been learned in her Civics/Constitution class she hopefully took and paid attention in at Kaneland high School. Ms gaston, I implore you to read our Constitution and try to understand what it means. It is our document of laws and gives us our freedoms. I am glad the Elburn Herald printed her writings to shed light on how people so easily demonize our 2nd Amendment. These people should be exposed. There should not nor ever be a ban on firearms or any other amendment in our Bill of Rights.

  3. Rte38

    January 6, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    Doublewide,

    Wonderful response to the piece, I found it both Constructive and thought provoking. Although I agree more with Gaston’s point of view, your opinion was well organized and educational.

    Outdoor1,

    I think you missed a step. Ms. Gaston is a high school senior, about to attend college most likely. She would benefit under British rule with a fair priced university tuition. You quoted the Constitution regarding a free militia. Which Militia do you belong to? Would you not find men with weapons playing war games in our corn fields more worrisome then better fire-arm regulation?

  4. outdoor1

    January 6, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Rte38,

    First, I belong to no militia. I am an American citizen and I love my country. Second, your accusations of men playing wargames in cornfields is way out of line. If you are referring to our U.S. military then I would have to question your love of freedom also because it’s because of them we have those freedoms. Last, Illinois has the strictest gun laws in the nation. Maybe you should read some of them. While you are at it, read some of our neighboring states’ gun laws like Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and pretty much the rest of the country. We have one of the highest crimes rates in the nation and the most gun laws. Are you finally getting the hint?

  5. Doublewide

    January 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Rt38

    “Wonderful response to the piece, I found it both Constructive and thought provoking.” That is the purpose of an open debate, to provide your point of view with a compelling argument and provoke positive thinking. This shouldn’t be a forum for name calling but to provide insight to subjects that create a positive impact on our community.

    “Although I agree more with Gaston’s point of view, your opinion was well organized and educational.” My apologies to you for agreeing with Ms. Gaston. I’m sure that if you take the time to set your feelings aside and do some actual research you will find that the thinking illustrated in Ms. Gaston’s letter is both nonproductive and does the community an injustice. Hence the reason I was upset with the editor to begin with.

    It’s that type of backward thinking that despite the FACTS keep us as a community on the slippery slope. Illinois is the last of the states to have some type of conceal/carry law in place. The Federal Bureau of Investigation did a study of crime vs. conceal/carry laws that supports the need for states to impart some type of law in FAVOR of conceal/carry. Education of young children prevents tragic accidents, that’s a fact, yet in most cases ignorance is chosen over education by parents when it comes to firearms, WHY? As a community we should be imparting wisdom on our children, teaching them to make positive responsible decisions, yet we CHOOSE to ignore the overwhelming number of facts and follow the wagging tail of the media.

    I’d like to challenge you to visit a web site for a better point of view http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/ to see what a positive impact firearms can make in young children.

    As a firearms instructor I can proudly say that I have personally taught this program to over 350 Cub Scouts with very promising results. I’ve received only positive and thankful feedback from parents at our scouting programs for the work we are doing to teach a new generation that firearms are safe if handled and cared for correctly. I’ve educated MY children from birth of not only the dangers and destructive powers of a firearm but in spreading a positive image of firearm ownership. I challenge you to do the same!