The Three Different Sides On Firearms



The resource officer at McPherson High School, Joey Rupert, posing his trendiest pose.

Maleiah Ewert

Many people have different views when it comes to firearms.  For a lot of people, their opinion is dictated by their political party.  People like to separate themselves from looking at the other sides’ view, but, little to their knowledge, no matter if your Republican or Democrat, people have a lot of the same views when it comes to guns, and school shootings.  People just can’t see it clearly because, once we make up our minds about something, it’s hard to see others point of views.

Aaron Schopper is an Independent Democrat.  He teaches current issues, debate, and forensics.  Stereotypically, most people believe that Democrats, liberals, or anyone leaning to the left side of the scale, does not like guns, and does not support them in any way.  “I like guns, I like going out and shooting, especially handguns <or> shotguns,” said Schopper. His idea of firearms is, he supports gun rights in certain situations, “For women especially, it’s important to have the right and the ability to defend yourself, especially in the culture where it’s very poised to victimize you.” But, he does think that there needs to be change, “Gun accessibility to certain kind of firearms is a problem. It becomes very difficult, in a culture, that values firearms greatly, to make any change.  To say guns are the problem miss directs it, guns are part of the problem. to say guns aren’t the problem is just ridiculous.”  

Marc Knowles is a Republican, he loves to hunt, and is a father.  Most people believe Republicans are all for guns, and doesn’t want any change. Knowles’ believes,  “If we change laws to make things tougher. The only people that would be hurting is the law abiding citizens. They were originally invented for  warfare and hunting and gathering food, and they haven’t deviated from that.”  Joey Ruppert is a police and tends to vote Republican, but, he agrees with both sides of the party.  He believes that, “A gun by itself isn’t going to harm someone, the individual behind that gun is hurting someone.”

School shootings and guns in general have been very publicized right now as a big problem.  People want to see change to protect our children in school, and the pedestrians on the streets.  You would think that people with different political views would have different opinions on how to solve school shootings, but, it’s quite the opposite.   Schopper says” If we restricted AR guns, that number would go a lot down.  Are there still going to be shootings? Yes. you can not solve 100% of any problem.  Regulations on the books right now, need to either be enforced, or, rebound. We need to increase mental health background checks, and I think having a resource officer is a step in the right direction.” Knowles said that he thinks having a resource officer is the best option to prevent shootings. “There’s different cities or towns that have police, in the school, they have a desk and a office, they work out of the school like they would in a precinct.” Ruppert says that, “I think we as police officers and even school administrators, who ever gets that information needs to deal with that information.” He also agrees with both of them about having a resource officer, “Having a resource officer is a really great idea, and it’s a step in the right direction.”

Mental Health is a big topic in the discussion of school shootings.  It comes into discussion of why there are school shootings, “There’s a lot being said about our mental health culture and how much money we’re investing into people with mental health issues,” Schopper said.  And, it comes into the discussion of how we can solve school shootings. Ruppert said “I think we need to do a better job on screening and looking at the individuals who are potential school shooters, and getting them the proper help. we don’t do a good enough job to make sure mentally and physically the individual that has that gun should have that gun.” Schopper agrees with Ruppert , “<we need to> make it difficult for people with mental illness to buy weapons, if you have PTSD if you have severe depression, whatever, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns, because your not also a threat to just yourself, but to others.” Knowles said, “Right now the only thing they should change, is maybe looking at mental health but, that gets a little grey and laws aren’t about grey they are about black and white, so you need to figure out where the black and white is there.”

Knowles concludes, “For me as a father and having my children in school is to just make sure they are educated on when a crisis happens and what do you do. And hopefully they survive. The only thing you can do is prepare your kids for life.”