Gun Control, the Filibuster & Deliberation

by Matthew Dugan
Widener University Political Science Major
So the filibuster on the discussion on gun control has been avoided. Now debate can actually begin. Whether you agree with gun control or are adamantly against it, a must at least be a conversation. To continue to ignore the issue is foolish. To completely block a discussion at all is an injustice to the citizens who deserve to have their voice heard.
16 Senate Republicans voted to allow the debate on gun control to begin and one of them gave this reason behind his bipartisan vote, “I might not vote the way they wanted me to vote, but giving them the chance to be heard, giving them a chance to tell their story meant a lot to them and it meant a lot to me,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Tuesday after he met with the families. “I’m not going to vote for a filibuster. I think they deserve an up or down vote.” (MSN.com). I 100% agree with Senator Isakson. Even if he voted against gun control at least he gave the loved ones of victims of gun violence a chance to be heard. This is an important issue that cannot be continually pushed to the side.
This is a country that is supposedly set up by the people for the people, and if people want to have a conversation about guns then we should have one. To deny the people this by using congressional tricks is an affront to one of the basic tenets of the American system of government.   

Limiting Semiautomatic Weapons

by Melanie Asdourian

Widener University Political Science Major

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California wants to enact a bill to limit the use of semiautomatic weapons. If enacted it would be illegal to purchase and manufacture over one hundred and fifty types of semiautomatic weapons. Of course, there would be exemptions for hunting purposes, but the main goal is to cut the supply of the weapons. It is important to reduce the amount of semiautomatic weapons that are accessible to the public, but is this the right approach in ultimately keeping the people of this country safer?

Innocent lives have been taken in recent tragedies and this bill can hopefully reduce the amount of mass shootings, but what about the deaths from simple handguns? Instead of trying to ban semiautomatic weapons we should try to enforce the laws that we already have by stricter background checks and having to re-register all types of guns every year. State governments need to be more aware of the people who own more than one gun and each one should be registered. A modest goal would be to concentrate on gun trafficking and looking at mental health records of people applying for a gun permit. A person with a history of mental illness cannot receive a driver’s license therefore they should not be permitted to own a gun.