The College Republicans and College Democrats came together last night to talk about a hot topic both in Washington, and across the whole nation. In the wake of some of the most tragic and deadly shootings in America, gun control debates are raging across the country, and for about an hour or so, Penn State had our very own in 073 Willard.
Each group had two members arguing their side’s case, while a moderator kept things civil. What initially started as a lot of banter from either side eventually became a semi-productive discussion. The Democrats opened the debate by outlining four main areas they’re looking for change: Universal Background Checks, Mental Health Initiativs, Magazine Capacity, and the so called “Assault Weapons” ban.
Both sides eventually came together on the first two points. The Republican side acknowledged that Universal Background Checks — a system that would span the whole country, and include all pertinent information for all person — and better Mental Health Programs to identify, treat, and share the knowledge with the Universal Background Checks would be productive initiatives they would support.
However, when it came to magazine capacity and so called Assault Weapons, the sides differed. While there was a consensus that there should be a limit to the number of bullets a magazine can hold (ie, you can’t have a 100 round drum magazines), both sides acknowledged that the proposed 10 round capacity was arbitrary, and the point was noted that a study should be conducted to find the best number, not just arbitrarily limit the potential live-savers a person using a weapon in self-defense would have.
When it came to guns falling under the label of an “Assault Weapon“, it was mentioned that cosmetic features determine what is labeled as an “assault rifle”, which makes the gun no more or less lethal than any other weapon. The two sides’ opinions varied on this issue as well.
All together, the night was nothing more than both sides stating their views a with some moderate debate among them. Hopefully, our legislators in Washington can also come together for a similar discussion, and we can enforce the current laws we have, or introduce new ones to help combat gun violence in this country.