Students react to President Obama’s new gun plan

Comparing national and local statistics about gun control



Communities across the nation are mourning the losses of loved ones. Over the past seven years, 900 people have lost their lives to mass shootings.

In the wake of these losses, Obama has decided to enact an executive action to control the use of guns.

Gun control has always been a controversial issue.  However, current incidents such as the shooting in San Bernardino have stricken fear into Americans and once again ignited the talk about gun rights.

This issue has hit the Oval Office as President Obama, in his last year as president, unveiled new plans for gun control in America.

With tears in his eyes, Obama explained his points about the new restrictions on guns.

The president highlights background checks, banning of military assault weapons and high capacity magazines, increasing school resources for prevention and expanding mental health sources.

Although gun crimes are not prevalent in the Annandale community, the topic still strikes home to many as Virginia is embedded with deep gun history.

A survey was given out on Jan. 11 during Pride Time, asking 188 students about their beliefs on certain gun control issues.

The poll found that many Annandale students fell into the liberal spectrum of beliefs.

Obama’s plan will focus on increasing background checks and making sure that criminal background checks are made for all who wish to purchase a gun.

This plan directly tackles private sellers, requiring them to obtain a permit in order to sell

The AHS poll found that a majority of students support the idea of background checks before owning a gun. 88 percent of students were in favor of it.

“I definitely agree with Obama’s plan with background checks because it ensures guns fall into the right hands,” sophomore  Hidaya Hussen said.

Annandale, like the mojority of Americans support background checks.

A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in December found that 89 percent of Americans favored “a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online.”

Along with background checks, the AHS survey also concluded that 66 percent, or 124 people, feel that fully automatic  assault weapons should be banned to civilians.

Obama has also addressed this issue, as the new executive order will reinstate the ban of assault weapons that was in place from 1944-2004.

With the talk of gun restriction comes the question of how many guns a single person should be allowed to own. In Annandale, 64 percent of the surveyed students said that there should be limits on the number of guns that can be issued to one person.

Although not addressed in Obama’s new plan, Americans find conceal and carry laws a big issue. 60 percent of Annandale students found that conceal and carry should be allowed.

In Virginia, new changes were made last year that it would  not recognize concealed carry permits from over 25 states.

“Conceal and carry laws are helpful for safety, but only if there are background checks and he or she is a professional and has a lot of experience,” sophomore Ayah Rababeh said.

Another issue that was addressed in the survey was who should be allowed to own guns.

A new Virginia state law going into effect on July 1, 2016 will restore the gun rights of some convicted felons.

However, in the AHS survey, only 17 percent of of students said that felons should be allowed to own a gun.

When AHS students were asked if the mentally ill should be allowed to own guns,  93 percent of students agreed.

Under a federal law enacted in 1968, an individual is prohibited from buying or possessing firearms for life if he /she has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a means institution.”

The trends exhibited in the AHS survey are all or mostly in relation to Obama’s plans for guns.

In the results of the survey in Annandale, only 24 percent of the people survey admitted that they owned a gun, and these results may be linked with the fact that many of the results were were more aligned with liberal beliefs and Obama’s plan.

A CNN/ORC poll found that 67 percent of Americans are in favor of the changes Obama announced.

However, many Americans have a lot of skepticism about the effectiveness of Obama’s new plan.

The same CNN/ORC poll found that six in 10 Americans say that these measures will be ineffective.

Despite the skepticism among Americans, a lot of the issues addressed in Obama’s new plan were in line with Annandale’s beliefs.

“Annandale has not dealt with guns on a large scale, but guns are an issue that we must address, and it  is important to talk about it to find a good balance.” said Hussen said.