Opinion: Gun Control in America

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signs new gun control laws in Topeka. Photo credit: John Hanna/AP
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signs new gun control laws in Topeka. Photo credit: John Hanna/AP

Kansans aged 21 or older will be permitted to carry concealed guns starting July 1 when the law takes effect, even if they’re not trained or don’t have a permit. April 2, 2015, TIME.COM (Senate Bill 45)

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In the midst of turmoil and violence dividing the United States over issues of police brutality and race relations, the issue of gun control has taken a backseat in the American news cycle.

That does not mean gun rights activists have given up their fight to create new relaxed gun control legislation in both typically strict states (Pennsylvania, California) and typically easygoing states (Texas, Kansas).

On April 2, 2015, Kansas’ Republican Governor, Sam Brownback, signed a multitude of new laws that make it easier for Kansans to get their hands on guns, be it for personal use or possibly criminal use. Now any citizen within the Kansas state borders may legally carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Nor is any kind of training course required to receive a firearms license. According to the governor, the ability to own a gun “is a constitutional right, and (Kansas is) removing a barrier to that right.”

Congressional Republicans are praising this new law and are crossing their fingers that it works so that they too can introduce similar legislationon a federal level. Kansas is the trial run for this bill — known as “the constitutional carry.” 

Liberals do not seem too bothered with these changes in Kansas. There is a general sentiment that I have witnessed of “eh, it’s their issue, not ours.”  GFS is an incredibly liberal school, yet I have not heard a single person talk about this important issue. 

What we all need to come to terms with is that all of America will be affected by the success of this measure in Kansas. If this bill is successful in Kansas, federal lawmakers could attempt to pass this sort of law all throughout the United States.

Philadelphia faces an average of 11 violent crimes per 1000 residents, whereas Wichita, Kansas, the home of the most violent crimes in all of Kansas, has only 7.42 violent crimes per 1000 residents. In Kansas, this new law might actually work. Violent crime is significantly lower in Kansas than our hometown of Philly. 

The problem lies in the ideology itself. It is not a fact that deregulating guns would lead to a higher violent crime rate in Philadelphia or even Germantown, but can our city, state, or federal government take that risk? While I, personally, hope that this law leads to a decrease in violent crimes in Kansas, a law permitting citizens to carry a weapon without a permit (and without required training) could affect us in a much more negative way here. There is already so much violence in Philly and even surrounding GFS proper. Any means to decrease that violence must be taken, but I am skeptical of the ability of this law to do so.