Has the Time for “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Passed?

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Hands up, Don’t shoot! But what if we’re tired of pleading for our own lives? Is it time to start shooting back? I mean that is our right according to the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Now hear me clearly because I am not saying we should begin getting guns and just using them recklessly. That is far from the direction we should be headed in. However, there needs to be more education on the subject and the laws surrounding them.

Many people do not like the thought of guns and the destruction which they can, have been and are currently being used to cause. This was my stance for the majority of my adult life, however, after educating myself more, I believe people should utilize this right more. They can be helpful if put in the right people’s hands along with the knowledge of how they work and when they should be used.

In the United States, at age 18 you can purchase firearms such as shotguns, a majority of rifles and ammunition. You can purchase handguns and other firearms at the age of 21. This age seems low considering the face at 18 your brain is still not fully developed, which is the reasoning why we, as Americans, cannot legally drink before age 21. Then to compound this, there are no educational requirements for the people going out and purchasing these firearms.

According to RAND.org, only six states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring individuals to take some kind of safety training including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. The RAND site also states that 26 states and the District of Columbia require applicants for concealed-carry permits to demonstrate that they have completed some sort of firearm training through a formal outlet or another setting such as military service.

These requirements should be implemented at the federal level so that it becomes consistent throughout the country. If this was the constant state to state, I believe there would be a drop in the amount of gun violence in the country due to the fact that people would have a better knowledge of what it is they are truly dealing with. I also feel as though the requirements need to be stricter on who can have access to firearms.

Everyone is entitled to being able to protect themselves, though some people are not capable of handling firearms properly. The fact I can go and just grab a rifle off of the shelf today without any type of push back does not sit well with me, especially as we see more and more gun violence appearing in our streets. This needs to change and we need to advocate for the change if we truly wish to see less destruction brought about by misused self-defense instruments.

There are going to be people who oppose citizens owning and having any access at all, but I do not believe that is possible at this point in time. There are too many guns circling within the United States and it is too profitable of a business to get the government to take steps in the direction of abolishment.

According to a survey on the Washington Post’s website, there are 393 million guns within the United States as of 2017. We only have 326 million people in the United States currently. It is unnecessary to have this many guns circulating at one time, but I understand why people have them and support these people. We should all take precautions to protect ourselves and our families by owning them, especially if the government officials and police are freely walking the streets armed.

Take note of the Breonna Taylor case where she was murdered by off duty police officers in her own home. This is why we as Americans should exercise our Second Amendment right to bear arms. We need to stand up for ourselves and our communities and protect each other, however we have to do it.

Arne (AJ) Morris Jr. is a Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Raleigh, North Carolina. He will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2020-2021 school year.

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