Above: Mr. Reeser tells Bobcat Beat reporters his thoughts on gun control. Video by: Lexi Dennis . Feature Picture: Corbet Adams, Senior.
Story By: Sarah Paepke
With the number of school shootings and terrorist attacks constantly on the rise, President Obama has a growing responsibility to make executive decisions that will keep American citizens safe. In response to the increased danger of gun violence, the President recently introduced a new group of actions that he believes will make it harder for those who wish to do harm to get their hands on a gun. His new strategy was released Jan. 5, 2016.
President Obama presented the solution of background checks in order to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
“We’ve created a system in which dangerous people are allowed to play by a different set of rules than a responsible gun owner who buys his or her gun the right way and subjects themselves to a background check,” said President Obama.
Being directed by executive decisions, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) makes it clear that if you plan on selling firearms, you will be required to attain a license and be prepared to conduct background checks. The ATF is also in the process of finalizing an action to require background checks for people trying to purchase dangerous weapons through a trust or corporation.
The FBI plans to make improvements in this area by having background checks that are processed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also plan on alerting local authorities when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a gun. More than 230 additional examiners will be hired to assist in conducting these background checks.
Mental health information will also be monitored more closely in the process of buying firearms, which could potentially cause personal privacy debates to arise. Information about individuals who are prohibited from buying firearms due to mental health reasons will be included in the background check.
The future of gun safety is another focus of the President’s strategy.
“If we can set it up so you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same thing for our guns?” said President Obama.
The Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security have been instructed by President Obama to conduct research into gun safety technology.
Some people are concerned that the government will have too much information on who owns guns. The second amendment gives us the right to bear arms, and it will certainly be debated whether or not we have the right to do so without government supervision and control.
High School Teachers Weigh in on Gun Control
By: Peyton Johnson
If there was one thing it seemed people in Idaho were afraid to see happen, it is probably gun control. US citizens, and especially those in Idaho, have worried about their guns getting taken away. Arguments have been for both sides, but what do people really think of gun control?
Mr. Reeser, a government teacher at the high school, believes that all guns should not be taken away, but have some common sense regulations.
“I think that there should be universal background checks. I think that anyone who buys a firearm in the United States needs to have a background check,” Mr. Reeser said.
He also said that he owns guns and uses them.
Universal background checks have been one of most talked about and debated ways to stop firearms from getting into the hands of those who use them to hurt others. But many people believe that background checks won’t do what lawmakers would want them to do.
Officer Bovie, the high school resource officer, worked as a police officer for the City of Rexburg and responded to instances where weapons had or were being used, all of which were owned legally.
“The problem I see with it is most of the people you don’t want to have them, don’t have them legally and so…making it illegal or not isn’t going to change it,” said Officer Bovie.
Although many do not support gun control, there are those who argue the other way. Mr. Reeser thinks that if the two sides put away their differences, they will be able to really discuss ways to fix problems with guns.
“I think the most important thing is, that whenever we have these conversations on gun control it seems the two sides demonize each other…I think that if we can set those things aside we could probably have a substantive conversation and actually come to an agreement on some of this stuff,” said Mr. Reeser.