(Above, l): Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr speaks about gun control and students being the “agents of change.” (Above, r): (Above): Congressman Ro Khanna (California 17th District) speaks about gun control and students bringing the change. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

With the United States witnessing shooting-related massacres, and the nation divided left and right, it is time to face, and address the issue of gun control. Where one side says, ‘to get a bad guy with a gun, you need a good guy with a gun’ and the other side argues ‘banning guns completely will solve the issue once and for all,’ the question arises – who is right, writes Siliconeer youth editor Vansh A. Gupta.

It is like living in the Civil War era. America is in a very desolate time and instead of progressing forward, we are regressing back to the barbaric ages. Look at all the recent tragic events taking place: the Las Vegas shooting, killing almost 60 people and the more recent Stoneman Douglas High School shooting leaving at least 17 dead. These events are caused by two simple factors: an imbecile who has the intent to kill like a sociopath, and guns. 

(Above): Students asking questions to the guest speakers (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

These events lead to a divide in the nation where there is a political battle between three sides: the reds, the whites, and the blues. And to top it all, our ‘extraordinary’ government needs to do a lot more about it. 

Citizens are concerned and are speaking up, divided into three sides in this battle on future security. The blues are looking for a reconsideration of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution and more control on who is allowed to own a gun. They are the people protesting the government and they are mostly the people witnessing such tragic events. The reds are trying their hardest to protect the right to own guns and keep the outdated 2nd Amendment relevant today. These are the people who are either filthy rich and own guns or too cold, ignorant, or blind-sighted to realize that people are dying with these weapons. Lastly, the whites are looking for the middle ground between the other two sides; this means stronger background checks, ban on semi-automatics/automatics/bump stocks, and allowing only responsible adults to own guns. 

(Above): Matt Deitsch speaks about gun control and students bringing the change. He was also the most knowledgeable on the topic of guns and gun control. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Although these sides are all correct from their perspective, this is not a battle between who’s right. It’s time to consider what is right, for this country and its future. The golden question: What is the best solution for reducing gun violence? Would it be best to ban guns outright or do we protect the second amendment?

Dissecting the most recent mass shooting cases that have left many distraught, there are some very strong arguments for gun control.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 14 high-school students and three staff members. There were 17 more injured. But the point is that students, the future generation of the country is getting shot and killed in these mass shootings. The shooter was an expelled 19-year-old with many red flags on his background. He was able to legally buy a gun at the age of 18 even though he had multiple mental disorders, was an expelled student for disciplinary issues, exhibited erratic social behavior and views, and also showed signs of being a potential shooter online. What I don’t understand is that the legal drinking age is 21, and many people have to go through a permit and a provisional license even when they are 18, to drive. But when it comes to guns, an 18-year-old can simply go and purchase a gun from a shop around the corner without any obligations or formalities. Sounds preposterous to me. Had there been one background check on the shooter, he wouldn’t be even considered to be fit in a venue with guns, let alone buy one. 

This tragic event has had a scarring effect on America. It has become divided and the society is becoming more detrimental day by day. For example, there is a national movement for gun control. Then, there is this laughing stock NRA trying to shun millions of responsible citizens. Lastly, a new emerging trend of schools locking down, especially in the most liberal state in America – California. 

(Above): Students asking questions to the guest speakers. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

It is unbelievable to see how the nation is breaking apart and how the Florida shooting has left an injury so deep, it is hard to heal immediately. 

It is surprising to see schools in some of the safest neighborhoods, such as the Bay Area are locking down because of mass shooting threats. As a senior in Mission San Jose High, it is a genuine concern whether I am safe and protected in my school or not. If schools in a city like Cupertino are canceled because of threats, then tomorrow it could be my school. This not an issue, it is a matter of national concern that demands a serious look at the situation from all parties.

In schools, we are now talking about how to save ourselves from an active shooter on the ground and we participated in the national walkout to support the movement for gun control. This is the first time in my whole life, I have witnessed something like this. I have never had to hear California schools shutting down, receiving shooting threats, and safety protocol if a shooter enters the premises.

Influential figures have also dawned some light upon this argument. At a press conference held at the Newark Memorial High School, Warriors Coach Steve Kerr and Congressman Ro Khanna (California 17th District), had critical advice to share. Both agree that there needs to be more gun control, but what really caught my attention is what Coach Kerr said. He says that this issue is not just some battle between the left-wing and the right-wing, this is a battle on what’s right. Congressman Ro Khanna was being very motivational by encouraging us students to represent the change the nation desperately needs. According to Coach Kerr and Congressman Khanna, the best way to limit gun violence is stronger gun control. They also agree that arming teachers for the protection of students is not a good idea.

(Above): Students and locals attend the talk on guns with Coach Steve Kerr and Rep. Ro Khanna. (Vansh A. Gupta/Siliconeer)

Along with Coach Kerr and Congressman Khanna, there was also a survivor, 20-year-old Matt Deitsch. His point of view: guns shouldn’t be in the hands of a random person in the first place. He gave hard statistics on how many people die each day with guns. Matt also claims that this is not an issue about race and politics, it is an issue of the nation’s future. He believes getting rid of guns will not get rid of the problem completely, but will significantly reduce it.

This everlasting argument on the 2nd Amendment will hopefully have a conclusion we have been longing for. It is time to progress, not regress to a time when slaves existed.

And I hope the White House is listening.