Pizza and Politics Focuses on Gun Laws This Week

Posted: November 13, 2017 | Author: Miles Anderson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Student in classThe Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service hosts Pizza & Politics every Wednesday at noon to discuss a current political topic. Leavitt Center student employees research the topic and moderate the conversation. These discussions expose students to a variety of important issues and encourages them to share their own perspectives while learning all sides of an issue. Free pizza is provided for all who attend.

During the last several years, a noticeable spike in the number and severity of mass shootings have occurred in the United States. Creating a dialogue about gun violence, safety regulations and gun control policy, Leavitt Center moderators Abdikadir Eftin, a senior political science and communications major, and Morgan Barney, a junior English major, addressed these difficult questions about gun laws in this week’s Pizza & Politics.

These are a few of the questions that were posed to the audience throughout the course of the discussion:

Would higher gun regulations result in less gun violence? Why or why not?

The audience appeared split on this matter. Many individuals expressed their belief that gun regulations have nothing to do with gun violence and those with malicious intentions will acquire firearms regardless of the regulations in place. Those in this camp typically also expressed that gun regulations put unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens who are already cautious in their use of guns.

Others felt that gun regulations would result in less gun violence due to the lessened availability of semi-automatic rifles and other weapons with high magazine capacity for those with bad intentions.

The Federal assault weapons ban of 1994 prohibited the manufacture, sale, transfer, or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” for ten years. Should a similar act be enacted today?

With some exceptions, the majority of the audience seemed to believe that this type of act should not be enacted today. There was some discussion about the fact that these rifles are not actually “assault” weapons but are single shot rifles. Automatic assault weapons are already illegal and prohibiting semiautomatic rifles puts an extreme limitation on 2nd Amendment rights.

Does the NRA have too much influence over gun control policy?

Some members of the audience indicated that they do feel as if the NRA has too much control over gun laws due to the large amount of money they spend every year lobbying against gun control laws.

Others disagreed and stated that the money spent on lobbying and the programs run by the NRA are supported by the nearly 5 million citizens who are members of the NRA and that portion of the population is simply doing their part to influence public policy they believe is well within their rights. It was expressed that other groups are welcome to have the same level of influence if they can garner the large following that allows the NRA to be so influential.

Should firearms be allowed on college campuses?

The consensus for this question was that firearms should be allowed on college campuses. One of the reasons given for why they should be allowed is for protection against potential shooters on campus. Another reason given for allowing guns on campuses was to give women a way to protect themselves against sexual predators in an age with ever-increasing sexual violence on campuses.

Though no audience members expressed a belief that firearms shouldn’t be allowed at all on campuses, some did indicate that SUU’s open carry policy makes them a bit nervous. They expressed that they prefer individuals to conceal their weapons to avoid making them feel uncomfortable when their main priority on campus is to learn.

Tags: Blog Leavitt Center

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