Guns: are they good or bad?

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Guns: are they good or bad?

Mikaela Ponce

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On Sunday, January 13, 2019, there was a shooting at Fashion Place mall in Murray. There were no casualties, but two were injured, and one is in critical condition.  

On January 13, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., four shots were fired outside of the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah. Only two people were injured, a man and a woman, both taken to Intermountain Medical Center for treatment after the shooting. The woman was shot in the leg and has been discharged. The man’s wounds were more severe, he was shot in the back and is in critical condition (https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/01/13/police-gunman-large-after/).  

This shooting was not aimed to harm the public, but rather a confrontation of two rival gangs, one of them being the Florencia 13 gang. While police have arrested members of the Florencia 13 gang that were supposedly present during the shooting, they are still looking for the shooters (https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900051349/police-make-3rd-arrest-in-weekend-utah-shooting-at-fashion-place-mall.html).  

This kind of violence is not new. In fact, there have already been 19 mass shootings in the US in 2019 (https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting). The Parkland shooting and the Borderline bar shooting in 2018 sparked the gun law debate, and these recent shootings have just added fuel to the fire. 

Right now, in Utah, current gun laws require a person to go through a detailed background check in order to purchase a firearm. Utah is required to contact the BCI, or Bureau of Criminal Identification, who will look for a criminal history and warrants. A person cannot buy a gun without going through this process. 

People in Utah are allowed to open carry so long as they have a concealed carry permit. Thy have to be 21, go through a background check, complete a firearms familiarity course approved by the BCI, and pay $57 in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.  

A person has to be 18 in order to purchase a rifle, and 21 to purchase a handgun. 

Given the current laws, there are still pushes from both sides: those pushing for gun reform and those who want to keep it the way it is. While both sides are notorious for coming off as extreme, both sides want the same thing: a safer community with less mass shootings.  

“The difference about us is the way we go about it,” stated an undisclosed source. His ideas center around a “balance between self-protection and self-rights.” Teaching everyone proper firearm safety and storage, and to not be afraid of guns is his approach. “It’s not the guns that are the problem it’s the people that are using them.” 

The other side is for more gun reform. While they recognize that guns are not the only factor that go into these mass shootings, gun reform will possible help decrease the level of destruction left from them. Their ideas are enforcing universal background checks, ban military grade weapons, and ban large capacity clips.  

While both sides have their own opinions and ideas, its only when they come together will they be able to solve this problem. “It’s not a binary solution. This solution isn’t the perfect solution, and I think it’s important that we incorporate both sides ideas for this solution. Otherwise it’s not going to work,” commented Julia Last, an activist to end gun violence. 

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