The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Cross Currents: Should the Second Amendment be repealed?

Alloy Zarate
Illustration by Alloy Zarate, 2020

Emma Welch, Opinion Editor

The Second Amendment, to bear the right to a firearm, has been ratified as one of the nation’s first laws for over two centuries.

Guns have always been a form of violence, whether it’s a self defense mechanism, hunting, or murdering. 

Growing up in Encinitas, a small town neighboring San Diego, there was little to no crime. I was never exposed to gun violence until I was a freshman in highschool. I participated in a walkout on our school’s football field for 17 minutes for the 17 people who died in the Parkland, Florida High School shooting in 2018. 

Story continues below advertisement

During those 17 minutes, everyone who participated was silent. Those minutes made me reflect and realize that those kids will never graduate high school, go to college, fall in love or even hug their parents again. 

Seeing the lives lost from this shooting put my view on guns into perspective. Anyone and everyone in this country should not have a basic right to own a gun, after all of these deadly shootings. 

According to USA Today and Gun Violence Archive, as of Feb. 15, 2023 there have been 71 mass shootings in the United States since the beginning of this year. This means that there have been more mass shootings than the days we have lived in 2023 thus far. 

The most recent mass shooting happened at Michigan State University. The shooter brutally killed three students and injured many others. Young adults woke up thinking they were going to have a normal day and go to class, sleep in their dorms, and grab a bite to eat. They had no idea later that day they would experience one of the most traumatic experiences they could ever have. 

The Second Amendment right will most likely never be repealed, however, citizens can fight for gun control to keep our nation, children, elders, and families safe from these horrific events. 

Gun control will give the right for people to possess a firearm but only after an extensive background check, a psychological test, and age limit.

Being a college student in an arguably safe town, I still walk around campus feeling unsafe. Everywhere I go I remember all of the mass shootings where innocent people lose their lives, due to no control over guns. 

Almost everyday there is a new tragedy with gun involvement, it is time to stand up and fight for our lives and fight against the violence that guns bring to American’s on a daily basis. 

The sooner American’s see that there is a problem, the sooner these innocent lives will be saved. 

If you want to be a part of the change follow this link and see how you can help.

Delaney Newhouse, Associate Editor 

The need to take action in the face of the seemingly endless onslaught of gun deaths in the US is undeniable. Firearms have become one our nation’s greatest threats to public health, and mass shootings have become exponentially deadlier in the past decade. The majority of US voters are in support of an increase in gun control, rather than what is currently in place. The question, then, is not whether we should deal with gun violence at a legislative level, but how we should do so.

The Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment, have been around since 1789. The high firearm death rates the US has become known for are an issue that began to manifest in the 1980s. Not with the implementation of the Second Amendment, not with the development of machine guns or semiautomatic weapons, but with an oversaturation of guns in the market for low prices and enforcement agencies like the ATF, The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, facing massive budget cuts under Reagan. If we are to address the root cause of gun violence, we must look less at firearm ownership and far more closely at the industry promoting firearm sales.

While interpretations of “the right to bear arms” have shifted over the years, the idea has seeped into our culture. It is both logistically impossible and a massive overreach to repeal an essential piece of our constitution when other, more measured actions have yet to be taken. 

Much of our current federal gun legislation cannot be enforced properly due to the ATF’s less-than-a-shoestring budget. Furthermore, legal loopholes regarding private sales at gun shows allow those who fail or would fail background checks to acquire guns legally. Fixing these two problems alone would both massively reduce the illicit gun trade and stop unstable individuals from buying firearms.

Guns will not simply disappear from the hands of Americans. Second Amendment or not, people already own guns. If legislators tried to take them away or ban them, especially in this political climate, violent mass hysteria would erupt. Gun violence is not an issue with a simple solution; it is one we must consistently manage and respond to as it evolves.

On the other hand, cities and states can implement further policy in order to prevent violence in their communities. It is counterintuitive to attempt to repeal the second amendment when we should be looking instead at the laws we already have in place, and improving upon them. 


More to Discover