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Exploring the issues: Gun control

Hillary Clinton plans to reduce gun violence by nullifying the gun industry’s Second Amendment protection and rescinding the licenses of disqualified dealers. As president, she claims she will keep military grade weapons off the streets and make straw purchasing a federal crime.

“More than 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year,” said Clinton on Jan. 6. “It’s time to act. As President, I’ll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers and other violent criminals—including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.”

Bernie Sanders believes gun control should be left up to the individual states, but certain laws should be put in place across the nation.

“I will take the following concrete steps to reduce gun violence: strengthen and better enforce the instant background check system; close the gun-show loophole; make ‘straw man’ purchases a federal crime; ban semi-automatic assault weapons which are designed strictly for killing human beings; and work to fix our broken mental health system,” said Sanders on Dec. 30, 2015.

Donald Trump believes the Second Amendment protects all the other amendments. He wishes to enforce the letter of the law including stricter consequences for those convicted of a crime with the use of a firearm. Trump also believes fixing the mental health system in America will reduce gun violence.

“I don’t like anything having to do with changing our Second Amendment. We have plenty of rules and regulations. It’s plenty of things they can do right now that are already there. They don’t do them,” said Trump on Jan. 2. “All they want to do is blame the guns. And it is not the gun that pulls the trigger.”

Ted Cruz is a big advocate for gun rights. He believes the Second Amendment helps protect the lives of American citizens.

“The right to self-defense is an essential component of the liberty we enjoy as Americans and is embodied in the Second Amendment,” Cruz said on Jan. 8. “From successfully protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights at the Supreme Court, to defeating legislation that sought to take away this right, I have always championed the right to keep and bear arms.”

Story by Alyssa LaCourse, Courtesy Photo

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