In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the March for Our Lives took place in cities all around the country — including here in Wisconsin — over the course of March and will continue into April.
Even in a liberal city like Madison, however, there are still many people that do not support any type of gun restrictions.
Gun rights advocates held protests all over the country on Saturday, including here in Madison. Around 100 people gathered on the steps of the Capitol, fighting for the right to bear arms. Protesters carried American flags, signs and many even brought their own guns to gain attention.
The protest took place the same day as the return of the Dane County Farmers Market, but the market mostly shut down by the time the protest took place. The event was organized by the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans.
Gun rights supporter Mike Waddell said, “There’s been enough protesting going on to remove the Second Amendment” and that as a constitutionalist, he was there to defend it.
As it says right on the website of The March for Our Lives, the goal of The March for our Lives is to advocate for gun restrictions, not confiscation altogether. The mission statement specifically aims for “1) Universal, comprehensive background checks, 2) Bringing the ATF into the 21st century with a digitized, searchable database, 3) Funds for the Center for Disease Control to research the gun violence epidemic in America, 4) High-capacity magazine ban, 5) Assault weapons ban.” Nowhere is it mentioned that the Second Amendment should be removed.
Perhaps there are a small number of people that aim to remove the Second Amendment, but a majority of Americans are not even suggesting that. The focus is on extensive background checks, banning assault weapons and building a searchable database of all gun-owners.
Many people, like those that were at the march this Saturday, are used to owning guns without any restrictions, and they are trying to fight for their right to do so. However, saving lives is more important than owning guns.
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According to the BBC, 64 percent of homicides in the U.S. are gun-related, whereas only 30.5 percent of homicides in Canada are gun-related and an astounding 4.5 percent of homicides in England and Wales are gun-related. On an average day, 96 Americans are killed by guns, and there are approximately 13,000 gun-related deaths in America in one year.
The main argument against gun restriction is often that it’s “hurting the good guys” and taking away from those who legally and safely own guns. The reality is that there have been too many mass shootings, and there continues to be too much gun violence in this country to just sit back and hope people don’t shoot each other anymore.
If it was discovered that sneakers were being used as a weapon and leading to nearly 100 American deaths a day, wouldn’t it makes sense for the government to instill some kind of restrictions on attaining sneakers? No one is trying to “take your guns away.” Gun restrictions are merely a way of keeping guns out of the wrong hands, and if limiting access to guns can prevent future mass shootings and future gun-related deaths — it should not even be open for debate as to whether more gun restriction is right or not.
Courtney Degen ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in political science and intending to major in journalism.