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Tuesday, April 23
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion politics

OPINION: The great American flood: guns


As of July 1, 2022, citizens who are 18 years or older in Indiana are not legally required to have a permit for open or concealed carry of guns.  

I don’t understand how these laws are going to decrease the amount of lives lost due to gun violence.  

The need for changes in government policy over gun rights is raised every day. However, anyone voicing their opinion on the matter could cause a debate with friends or relatives with different political beliefs. Debates on how to obtain safety for the general population quickly turns from a discussion on saving lives to who’s right and who’s wrong.  

Some believe that training teachers and even students how to use a gun is safer. Others believe that making it more difficult to buy guns is safer.  

[Related: Indiana introduces firearm safety bills for 2023 legislative session]

As of 2017, there are 12.5 guns per person in the U.S., which is approximately equal to 393 million guns — the highest total per capita number in the world. 

Guns are easy to obtain and have been the cause of lives being taken in a matter of seconds. Instead of taking action to strengthen gun control, laws like the one mentioned before reflect the continued increase in access to these weapons.  

Recently, it seems that there has been a lack of bipartisan cooperation in fixing this problem. I believe that both sides of the political realm have a goal of maintaining the integrity of what it is to have freedom and their work needs to focus less on which side will win and more on the safety of fellow humans.  

New York Times journalists Michael Corkery and Zackary Canepari covered the way that shootings in schools have become a major business sales pitch for companies. A self-defense with guns trainee charges $1,000 per lesson. The schools mentioned within the article pay large sums of money to train teachers how to shoot a gun and to install defense mechanisms like bullet-resistant tables.  

While I read this article, all I could think was that this money should be going toward textbooks, notebooks, student scholarships and maybe even pay raises for teachers. Putting a device that causes death into the hands of what should be everyday educators or everyday people allows Americans to have even more access to these weapons.  

By providing more opportunities for people to obtain guns, we are normalizing the usage of violence for children, exposing them to these tactics of defense at a young age. By making guns more acceptable, we forget that the violent people who carry out actions resulting in devastation were able obtain the weapon easily and quickly.  

As reflected in the current gun laws of Indiana, I myself have the ability to obtain a gun without having to first get a permit or a gun license. That scares me, because if I can do it that easily, so can someone else.  

[Related: Student arrested after bringing gun to Edgewood Junior High School]

Change needs to happen, and it needs to happen in a way where people still feel freedom to protect themselves, while others feel safe. Installing requirements of licenses and permits would prevent someone who has dangerous intentions from obtaining a gun and carrying through with their intended action.  

Opposing sides on this matter need to understand that we all are reaching for a common goal: to feel safe. Within my own conversations with others, this topic often devolves into a full on debate of what solution is better than the other. We need to listen to each other to create a solution to better protect the lives of students and teachers and all others who have been affected by gun violence.  

Carolyn Marshall is a sophomore majoring in media studies focusing in TV, digital and film production and minoring in English.  

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