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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

California legislation does not do enough to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands

I will never forget the day that such a small object had so much control over my life.

My friends and I were heading back to campus from Broad Street and Capitol Avenue in Ingleside around midnight. As a 17-year-old student, it was my first year living in the Bay Area.

A young man approached us, reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun. He asked each one of us for our phones and belongings. I couldn’t believe what was going on. Every single laugh, smile and memory from the past flashed before my eyes. He got what he needed and ran off into the shadows of the Ingleside district.

Gun accessibility should be more strict to prevent events like this from happening, especially within the SF State community, where four student have died from gun violence from 2013 to 2014.

It began with the shooting of Justin Valdez in Fall 2013. Within the next year SF State students Stephen Guillermo, Mark Madden and Cecilia Lam were all shot and killed in succession. Though the events are unrelated, the trend has me convinced that guns are falling into the wrong hands — and this needs to be stopped.

One person is killed by a firearm every 17 minutes in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2012 alone, there were seven mass shootings in the United States, including the Sandy Hook massacre and Aurora theater shootings, some of the most infamous of our generation, according to Mother Jones.

In mass shootings that occurred between the years of 1982 and 2012, 49 percent of killers used weapons that had been acquired legally. Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter of Sandy Hook, took his mother’s gun, shot her in the face, then went on to commit one of the biggest massacres the United States has ever seen. In the Santa Barbara college community of Isla Vista, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger purchased several guns and went on a rampage, killing seven, including himself.

According to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, all firearms must be purchased through a licensed dealer. It also states that a civilian may not carry a loaded firearm in a public or incorporated area, but no permit or license is needed for an individual to have a gun inside their home or business. California’s gun laws are some of the strictest in the country, but gun violence is still rampant.

According to the NRA-ILA, “ILA is committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes.” The guidelines they use to constitute a law-abiding citizen should be more defined. The current laws are not stopping guns from falling into the hands of criminals.

In inspections conducted between 2008 and 2011 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 62,000 firearms were found missing from licensee’s inventories, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The debate over gun control and accessibility is an ongoing battle that cannot be solved overnight. It is much easier said than done, but we need gun laws to be more strict everywhere and we need government support now more than ever.

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    xpresscommenterNov 13, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    guns dont kill ppl,,,ppl kill ppl and if u can’t see that your literally a pussy named Mgh999.

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    Pitbull2o08Nov 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

    You think that the more laws to make guns less accessible will deter criminals!!?? Have you been sheltered your whole life? This is exactly why we need more people to conceal and carry! The bad man that took your phone and made you feel those horrible feelings, is not going to care about laws. He didn’t before. But if he stood you up and you reached in your purse for your “phone” and took out a 38, i bet justice would have been served that night.

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    PKOct 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    More legislation is not the answer. The answer is enforce the laws we have and protect yourself. I am a firearms dealer in CA – the DOJ currently is overwhelmed with processing background checks so much so that if they cannot determine a potential buyer’s eligibility they leave it up to the dealer to decide!! They actually have a term for background checks called “undetermined”. Look it up on CA DOJ home page –

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    williamdiamonOct 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

    “I will never forget the day that such a small object had so much control over my life.” Me either, I carry on the advice of my father, it turned out to be good advice as it saved the lives of my wife, myself, and six others in an interrupted armed robbery in a store one night. The robber pointed their gun in each of our faces and told us to put our hands up, we did. When they turned back to the clerk and started screaming at him, I drew my carry gun and said drop the gun. They didn’t and instead turned to again aim at me. So I shot them. They got arrested and sent to prison for 3 years. Hopefully they’ve learned a lesson and turned their life around by now.

    “The current laws are not stopping guns from falling into the hands of criminals”

    Yes, that is strange, because they mentally unstable and criminal are the most likely to obey our laws. Right.

    You suggest a law will stop madmen?
    Are you suggesting that law stops crime?
    Know of any crimes that have been stopped by law?

    Law does not stop crime (look around), it only allows for the pursuit of justice, after the fact.

    If it did, there would be no such thing as a TRAFIC TICKET, would there?

    You probably know that the Isla Vista murderer had three separate background checks for the guns he had with him, from the very regulated Sate of California. A State that pays close attention to a citizen’s mental health records and will consider someone prohibited for even voluntary inpatient depression care. He also fooled his parents and the police. This is because no one can predict the future. What good did his background check do? Nothing. N O T H I N G. Can you begin to see the folly of it now? You will also note, half of those he murdered, he stabbed to death with his knife. Will you now suggest a background check to own a knife?
    We cannot predict the future, no one knows who will commit evil or when as anything is possible. Therefore a background check, no matter how thorough, is never going to produce results better then we are returning now.

    Think access to too many guns contributes to crime and murder in America?

    There are 100,000,000 gun owners in America. There were 12,664 murders in 2011. 6,543 with a gun, (about half were committed by career criminals and gangsters). That leaves about 3,300 committed by the generally law abiding. The 100 to .0033% ratio shows criminal use by the law abiding to be not the norm, but an extreme rarity, an anomaly.

    America has the most guns in the world per our 2nd A., yet ranks 103 for murder rates. People in 102 other Nations have the ability to commit this act with kitchen utensils, at will. The suggestion that the availability of guns in America threatens our safety is disproven by the people in those 102 other Nations. Guns are no more dangerous to the public safety then kitchen utensils are.
    If your presumption was true, that guns contribute to murder, we would be NUMBER ONE, wouldn’t we?

    If public safety is our real concern, we should discuss gangs and the drug war as the FBI considers 50% of murder and 80% of our Nations crime to be the gang warfare over drug turf in our inner cities.
    By prosecuting gangs as they did the Mafia with infiltration and RICCO laws we could effect half of our murder rate. This is the issue we should be focused on, the people who are actually doing the murdering.

  • M

    Mgh999Oct 29, 2014 at 6:42 am

    How about we stick with facts….your every 17 minutes includes the 20,000 that take their own lives (of course 20,000 commit suicide by other means – you hypothesis is these go away if guns go away – i doubt it – UK has the same suicide rate as the US and that hasn’t changed).

    Second, the Santa Barbara kid – stabbed three of his victims.

    And you forget the people who used guns in self defense. In 2013 the CDC concluded their were at least 500,000 self defense uses (that report was ordered by BO following Sandy Hook) and they were less likely to be seriously injured

    The fact is areas with the most restrictive laws have the highest murder rates – CA, NY, DC, Chicago, Baltimore……The fact is most murders are committed by criminals (prior convictions – 70%) using illegally obtained guns (90% of the time)…..murder rates have been dropping even while more citizens are legally owning firearms. Mass shooting are terrible and tragic but they also are very infrequent (p.s. the 74 school shooting report has debunked because they included events that occurred near schools, after hours, etc.)

    To think you can magically dry up the supply is a pipe dream – look at Mexico – all you end up with is a disarmed populace which make easier victims.

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California legislation does not do enough to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands