By Brittany Specht
Since the 1300s, guns have been a popular tool of weaponry. Only within the past few years have guns entered the spotlight posing as deadly weapons that need to be restricted, giving way to the recent rise of gun laws in America, including Obama’s most recent proposition to prohibit the sale and possession of all assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to usgovinfo.about.com.
The reason for the recent change of view on guns, some say, is because of the rise in gun violence. The recent shootings between African-Americans and law enforcement are assumed to be the driving force that has propelled gun laws to their highest point in American history in efforts to decrease these violent gun interactions. But Lynchburg’s local gun shop owner, Steve Crist, has a different interpretation of these recent events.
“I think the fault is criminals disobeying the law,” said Crist. “If you do what’s asked of you and told of you nobody’s going to get shot.”
Gun laws are still being enacted in an effort to diminish the incidents involving firearms. It would be reasonable to assume that these new laws would have the greatest negative impact on gun salesmen, but this does not seem to be the case. Crist has seen the largest rise in gun sales over the past year then he has seen since opening of his store in 1958.
“Obama is the number one gun salesman of all time,” said Crist. “When they talk about executive orders and stuff like that and threaten those type of laws, you see it (gun sales).”
Jordan Stein, president of Students at Liberty for Gun Rights, a very active group on Liberty University’s campus in support of the Second Amendment, also noted the recent rise in gun sales.
“There have been record setting gun sales in America over the past 15 months. They (the people) are realizing that they need to protect themselves, and the government is not going to do that for them,” said Stein.
In light of the recent uproar, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said that if she is elected into office she will expand background checks, take on the gun lobby, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals and the mentally ill. Although these seem like noble intentions the reality of these promises is not very reliable says Ryan Suhy, gun salesman at Pro’s choice in Forest, Virginia.
“The reality of it happening, I don’t think it can be fully enforced,” said Suhy. “I don’t see how you can prevent firearm transactions on the street from happening.”
While Suhy does not see the reality of it all, Stein goes even further by saying that there is not only an enforcement issue but also a direct infringement on the constitutional rights of American citizens.
“Eighty percent of guns used in crimes are obtained illegally. (Background checks) are an infringement upon the Second Amendment, and are asking the government permission to exercise our rights,” said Stein. “We wouldn’t tolerate a background check on the First Amendment, and we shouldn’t tolerate a background check on the Second.”
Background checks have continually failed to provide the security they were created to ensure, according to Stein. Mass shooters, such as the Orlando shooter, the Colorado movie theater shooter and many others, passed background checks. Stein says that background checks disarm the good guys, and do absolutely nothing to stop the bad guys.
The next president will undoubtedly bring in their own ideas of what gun laws and restrictions should be in place concerning these issues. According to Stein, the less laws the better.
“I would like to see the end of gun free zones, with our school and everywhere else,” said Stein. “I would like to see deregulation of machine guns and suppressors. I would like to see getting rid of the background system. If it infringes on my right to exercise the Second Amendment then I want it gone.”
So the question is left then, what can be done to stop the gun violence that has taken over our cities? Crist offered a quick explanation.
“I just don’t think any extra gun laws are going to help anything,” said Crist. “I will tell you something that will help more than any gun laws, is getting that Bible back in elementary schools where it belongs. Get the kids raised the right way where they know what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s your big disconnect there.”
Brittany Specht served as Secretary for Students at Liberty for Gun Rights for the Fall 2015-Spring 2016 year.