It’s no surprise that a large percentage of students on campus are conservative young Republicans who happen to like hunting- what was a surprise, however, was the lack of commotion on Twitter, at the lunch table and in the classrooms after Jan 16. when the president revealed his 23 new executive actions on gun control.
The main concern of the Republican party regarding the new restrictions is that it is a violation of the second amendment.
“I believe that banning weapons in any form is a violation of The Second Amendment,” Jake Johnson (11) said. “But I do, however, support strict background checks on those attempting to purchase guns and the anti-bullying scheme. I also support raised health care as long as it does not require the debt ceiling to be raised or that budget cuts be made from Medicare.”
What sparked the sudden interest and immediate action was, but not limited to, the Sandy Hook tragedy last December. The president believes that these new restrictions will not solve what has already happened but hopes to prevent further incidences from happening in the future. Campus police officer C. Longoria doesn’t see the benefits for just the schools but doesn’t oppose the new regulations either.
“I think it will help somewhat, but not all that much,” Longoria said. “I believe if an individual has something set in his mind he will do it. Our gun issues are gonna exceed now. It’s legal now, but once they make [gun laws] stricter, this will be the hype. This is going to create more problems for us. In the type of profession I am in, we are familiar with weaponry- rifles, handguns and so forth. It’s a hard topic but we have to abide by the laws and do what we have to do. “
Being both a police officer and father, Longoria has both a personal and professional about what should be done regarding children and guns.
“Children are very curious about things,” he said. “I think if we try to shy away from it, kids will have more curiosity towards it. I’d rather teach my son or my daughter and teach them about gun safety. Show them the weapons but kind of just, gun safety tips. Keeping it away from them all together will just fuel their curiosity. We need to make them aware. It’s not guns that harm people, it’s people that harm people.”
While most teenagers at school are either uneducated and uninterested about the issue, junior Grace Hopkins supports Obama’s new restrictions and even disagrees with the popular belief that the new restrictions were solely a response to the the Connecticut tragedy.
“I think that Sandy Hook was not the only reason we should be worried about gun control,” Hopkins said. “This has been a problem that we have needed to address for a long time. I believe these new executive orders are responsible and appropriate, and they are in no way saying ‘we’re going to take away your guns’. Everyone who wants to buy a gun should go through and pass a universal background check. Nobody should own military style weapons or huge magazine clips. This action by Obama, which I’m sure will create major negative views of him by the far right, was completely necessary and very courageous. He is putting the safety of our American citizens on a high pedestal and I congratulate him.”
One of the main oppositions to the gun control laws is that it will bring down the economy and deter people from going to ranches, shooting ranges, and gun shops.
“I’m a big hunter,” Longoria said. “I own my ranch. My ranch is probably 30 miles from the border and everyone knows how bad the borders are right now. I think it can hurt the economy because hunting is a billion dollar industry in Texas alone. I think it will hurt some people. It shouldn’t hurt people who have collected weapons over the years, you know, they just like shooting. Shooting is a hobby and sport, but it could hurt those who make a living off it, the gun shops. It will hurt somewhat, but not all that much.”
Despite the lack of chatter about it on campus, the law is still causing a commotion in Congress and NRA.
“I’m hoping it turns out for the best,” Longoria said. “I really do. I think it’ll make our job easier.”