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Gun control: Take out the politics and put the community first

After the recent shooting near the Mills College campus and the rash of shootings around the country, we at The Campanil began to ponder whether or not gun control can work in reducing homicides.

Gun control is a controversial and divisive issue. It challenges how we define the word “safe.” It forces us to come to terms with the dark paradox that we, as humans, both give life and take it away.

Many of us think more gun control laws are necessary to decrease the number of shootings happening around the country.

But beyond that, free and accurate information could keep many of us safe.

The fact that a shooting occurred just outside our campus and news of it only got around to students by word of mouth is both frustrating and scary.

We should be alerted any time a shooting occurs near our campus, regardless of the potential “risk level” it poses for students. We deserve to be aware, for our own safety, of any instances of gun violence that happen near the campus in order to protect ourselves.

Though more regulations restricting gun ownership and purchasing may be beneficial in reducing violent crimes, many of us do not believe that guns should be completely illegal for purposes of protecting our Second Amendment rights.

However, we do not think guns need to be in everyone’s hands for protection; in fact, most us are of the mind that if people did not have such easy access to guns and gun licenses, we would not have such a severe gun violence problem, particularly in cities like Oakland.

No guns, less gun-related homicides — seems like simple math.

But is it that simple?

Others do not necessarily think gun control will reduce homicides. They are not particularly for or against an ordinance to further regulate gun control, but think that the issue of shootings should not be dependent upon whether or not such an ordinance exists.

At the heart of the problem with mass shootings is the fragmentation of community spirit.

In order to be able to reduce the annual rate of homicides, there needs to be a strong attention to the details of building stronger and more supportive communities throughout our nation. We have to start small before we try to tackle the big.

As residents of Oakland and members of the Mills community, many of us have seen or heard the gunshots so prevalent near campus.

A question we should ask is: when are shootings not rash?

No one should have the power to shoot someone and affect a community so greatly or someone’s life so greatly.

The types of gun control laws that people are trying to pass seem to be kind of missing the point. Gun makers can always get around the restrictions and change their products slightly to dodge responsibility.