Guns: control or free? Our opinion on potential gun control laws recently surfacing

Firearms have been a part of America since it was created. Our founding fathers used them to earn the freedoms we have today. With the passing of the second amendment, the right to bear arms became an official symbol of freedom. Since the late 1700’s, citizen’s owning and carrying firearms has been allowed and accepted commonly throughout the U.S. But as time has progressed so has gun violence–especially in the form of school shootings.

Many states have been questioning public safety, trying to find a solution that will help alleviate the unnecessary victims that result from mass shootings. The key debate is whether or not stricter gun laws will actually result in less gun deaths. Oregon itself has been working on passing some stricter gun laws, including Ballot Measure 114, which was on the Nov. ballot. Measure 114, nicknamed the red flag law, is currently projected to pass by a slim margin. This law requires those wanting a gun to wait slightly longer for background checks, and gun owners will need to pass a safety training. Certain magazines will also be restricted under Measure 114. When reviewing the criminal background check and firearm permit, Oregon State Police would have the opportunity to deny applicants based on evidence that they may be used to harm themselves or others. 

This measure will reduce the amount of unqualified people having ownership of a firearm, providing more safety to the citizens of Oregon. It accomplishes this without disregarding the second amendment. We as Americans still have the right to own and purchase weapons, but with a few precautions. The most significant part of this new rule is that gun owners will be required to take a class to ensure you know how to use the weapon you are buying properly. It is necessary that this law is enforced so that every person is educated in the use of firearms. 

Guns are an important part of this country and likely always will be. Oregon as a state voted that we need to make sure that guns are used for all the right reasons to ensure safety across the board. They need to be symbols of protection, not a symbol of unnecessary school deaths.