What Do You Think

Survivor of the recent shooting, David Hogg, (right) of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, called for visitors to boycott Florida during spring break to raise awareness about gun control.
Photo courtesy wsbradio.com

… of the renewed efforts to pass gun control legislation, at the national and state levels?

The recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, using an AR-15 rifle which claimed seventeen lives, has renewed efforts to pass gun control legislation, at the national and state levels. What Do You Think?

Alex of Kahului with roots in Asingan, Pangasinan: “18 year olds should not be able to buy a gun because at a young age they are more aggressive.”

Allan of Kahului with roots in Calveria, Cagayan: “Anyone under the age of 21 should not be able to buy a gun. Sale of automatic/semi automatic assault guns should be banned.”

Alona Jhane of Kahului with roots in Dingras, Ilocos Norte: “I don’t think it’s a good idea due to the many school shootings recently.”

Aris of Ha‘ikū with roots in Camiguin, Bukidnon and Palawan: “High powered weapons, like assault weapons, should be banned for the masses, and only allowed for military and police use. Weapons such as this is not even ideal for hunting purposes anyway, so I can’t see the need for the general public to have access to such a powerful ammunition. We need to have better background checks and include mental health as part of the determination. But then again, this has been said time and time again, and it still has not happened.”

Aurelio of Kahului with roots in Roxas, Isabella: “Need stricter gun laws. 18 year olds should not be able to buy guns.”

Gayle of Kahului with roots in Tarlac, Philippines: “I think that there should be more restrictions on purchasing or owning any type of weapon at every state, such as conducting background checks, higher age restrictions, limit the number of owned weapons to one or two, license and registration of the firearm should be renewed every year, if the use of the weapon is by wrongdoing then they should be punished at the right level, etc. As a service member, I am very concerned about every issue our nation has, and gun control in every state is one of them. Seeing that the use of a gun has already claimed many lives, it is sad that our people are killed by our own people.”

US Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Rome Lazarus with the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, executes close quarters combat drills as part of low-light, live-fire sustainment training. The image shows the AR-15 Assault Rifle.
Photo courtesy Business Insider

Jane of Kīhei with roots in Makati, Metro Manila: “I think it’s about time to implement gun control but I need to read and educate myself first on what’s involved on this.”

Jeny of Kīhei with roots in Banna, Ilocos Norte: “Hawai‘i has some of the toughest gun control laws (registration, licensing, and regulation) in the nation. However, our Hawai‘i laws can be improved in the registration and licensing enforcement of the law. Such as in the area of eligibility to purchase and carry a gun. Should a person first be evaluated for their risk of being homicidal and suicidal? Should a person be allowed to carry a gun if one is found to have moderate to high risk factors (i.e. alcohol and drug use, bullied, bully, suicide, attempted murder, domestic/intimate partner violence, perpetrator of all forms of family violence, mental illness, etc)?”

Kauanoe of Kahului with roots in Ilocos Norte: “On Valentines Day, a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, claimed 17 lives. On a day that is supposed to celebrate love, innocent lives were violently taken in another mass shooting. Armed with a legally purchased AR-15, the perpetrator exemplified how easy it is obtain an assault rifle to harm others. Although grief-stricken, the students banded together to turn their grief, anger, and trauma into civic action. Though young, these teenagers are inspiring waves of change across our nation—from Florida to our islands. They’ve led the #NeverAgain movement by organizing meetings, school-wide walkouts, and a March to Save Our Lives that Hawai‘i students are rallying behind. I am inspired by the Parkland survivors and hopeful that the conversations they’re spurring help to end the frequent mass shootings unique to our country. We need to find a justified balance between our Second Amendment rights and our inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Kit of Wailuku with roots in Quezon City: “There are three things that come to my mind—1. We should all be advocates for mental health and make sure local services are well-funded to provide support for new and unique challenges we face today, 2. Neither side of U.S. politics wants to BAN guns. But there’s a movement to support gun reform, considering requirements and background checks for those wanting to own a gun. If it’s easier to get a gun than a driver’s license, our legislators should really consider changes for our welfare, and not the interests of strong lobbyists. Most important and lastly, 3. Say whatever you want about millenials and generations after, our youth today have immense power, more knowledge, drive and determination than any of us. They are no longer restricted to the back seat or kiddie table. They are leading national campaigns and standing on the front lines. They deserve our support.”

Lori of Kahului with roots in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte: “This issue does hit home for me because I’ve worked at an elementary school and coach high school girls basketball for over a decade as well. So youth hit near my heart and their safety is my number one priority! My thoughts on gun control is that it needs to be controlled and be placed in responsible hands.

When it comes down to it whether it be gun control or addressing mental illness, it simply has to do with learning to value yourself and learning to value others. When we put that into practice in our broken communities we will begin to see health again. Someone who cannot value themselves or others will hurt people and unfortunately kill others, and then turn and point the gun to themselves. Teaching people about their created identity as being someone who is loved, valued and cared for is very important. When we don’t take time to befriend someone because we are busy, or think we are better than them, it causes people in communities and families to feel abandoned, left out and unimportant. If we learn to do life with each other in healthily-intentional ways we will not only eliminate school shootings but also domestic violence, sexual assault, and other hurtful things people do to each other.

I actually spoke with a teen who goes to Parkland High school who was in a classroom that got shot at. He witnessed death in his classroom and one of his teachers died. I reached out to him and asked what he needed prayer for. He said for his friends because a lot of people were sad and got hurt. He also asked for a prayer for his teacher who got shot. My heart broke as I talked to him and he communicated his hurt.

I prayed and haven’t stopped praying. We need to learn to value ourselves and others and be intentional about how we live life with others. Love will cover multitudes. We live in a broken world with broken communities with broken people. Befriend someone, ask someone how they are doing, show interest in someone no one shows interest for, and simply love up on them because their worth is of great value!”

Luz of Kīhei, with roots in Manila: “The youth should be given stricter rules. They are future leaders. Parents should monitor their activities. The 12 Baldwin High Students who bought drugs online got sick. I am nine years educational assistant at Baldwin High-special education. I empathize with them. Reward them when doing good. Think positive. Help them achieve their goals and dreams. Dream big, think big—I have been to the ‘think big’ store in New York.”

Michelle of Kahului with roots in Pangasinan and Bohol: “I believe that the passing of new laws to ban assault weapons is a good beginning, but it is not enough. We need better laws for background checks and limits on the amount of bullets you can buy. And most importantly, we need to be taught how to look for specific signs of people who could be a danger to our community and not be afraid to report it to the police. This most recent incident is a wake up call and as much as I believe in our 2nd amendment, saving lives is more important than my rights.”