For this year’s upcoming midterm elections, millennials will need to come out to the ballot box in full force in order for their voices to be heard and make changes to Gun Violence, and are being called upon by local officials to do so.
Supervisor of the Town of Huntington, Long Island, Chad Lupinacci says that there is a substantial urge for young voters to come out and vote, even though statistics show they tend to stay home for the midterms.
Statistics show that millennials don’t come out to vote.
“They need to get out and vote on Election Day. It’s very important that 18-24-year-olds come out and represent the lowest voting population. If they want their voice to be heard, they need to do their civic duty and express their opinions through the ballot box.”
Despite Lupinacci’s plea to millennials, history is not in their favor. For the past four midterm elections that millennials had the chance to vote, only twenty percent actually did. In relevance to gun violence and gun control, this is extremely alarming.
Hofstra student Grayson Skeweres says politicians need to be more inspiring, “I think a lot of it is the politicians need to inspire the millennial voters and younger people to go out and vote.”
Lupinacci said “I think this year it will be focused on Gun Control, especially because of all the shootings that have been going on lately. So I think people will have their ears around on where they stand and what the positions are on gun control.”
From other students perspectives, gun control is an issue that needs to be looked at this coming election.
Junior Amanda Caponi from Long Island says, “It’s a complicated thing. Obviously, there’s a lot of shootings that shouldn’t be happening. So there should be more background (checks). It shouldn’t be as easy as it is to get a gun.”
Senior Mackenzie Xanthos from Connecticut says, “I went to high school, a couple of miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary and that really changed my view on gun control. I kind of don’t see the need for automatic rifles, bump stocks things like that.”
Junior Jon Sanelli says, “I think obviously its very dangerous, but I also feel that there are many people that feel it’s very close to them.”
Along with the testimonials of these college students, statistically gun violence is extremely prevalent in America.
Every year, over 2,700 children and teens between ages 1-19 are shot and killed. Nearly 14,500 are shot and injured every year and on average, 47 children and teens are shot every day. Compared to other high-income countries, American children ages 5 to 14, are 14 times more likely to be killed with guns. American adolescents and young adults ages 15-24 are 23 times more likely to be murdered with guns.
Although these statistics involving guns are alarming, students believe that there should be a change in the way that guns are handled, but do not believe that guns should be taken away altogether.
Amanda says, “I just hear a lot of things about the second amendment. As far as taking that away, if somebody feels they need a gun to protect themselves, they should have the right to feel safe, if that’s what makes them safe. Just make sure they’re not a psychopath.”
Jon says, “I think it’s a very split issue and there’s good points on both sides if you really look at it.”
Mackenzie says, “I kind of don’t see the need for automatic rifles, bump stocks things like that. But I don’t think the outlawing of guns altogether is the smartest idea.”
Hofstra Professor of Political Science, David Green pitched an idea to the problem when he said, “If I were a gun control advocate trying to win policy fights, I’d probably try to get pro-gun control Democrats elected by other means, after which they could perhaps pass gun control legislation.”
While this is being debated on campus, on the national and political stages, government officials from the Democratic and Republican parties are weighing in on the matter also. Democrats, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio from New York, are in support of gun control and regulation. Cuomo supports restrictions on guns and proposes ideas such as banning assault weapons, large capacity magazines of guns and enacting laws such as microstamping of guns. A review of mass shootings found that 155 percent more people were shot and 47 percent of Americans were killed when assault weapons or large-capacity magazines were used. In New York State, assault weapons are prohibited from being owned by private citizens. New York is one of the lowest ranking states in regards to death via firearms.
.@MarcoRubio, our state’s firearm death rates speak for themselves. Gun control works. #CNNTownHall
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 22, 2018
The NRA is furious that we are enforcing a law that bans “murder insurance” in New York.
I’ve never backed down from a fight with the gun lobby before and I never will. @NRA: I’ll see you in court. pic.twitter.com/8lRUpqP9SJ
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 11, 2018
The issue of gun control in the United States is widely being discussed in debates because gun-related issues impact college students and others by deterring them from not voting on the issue entirely. Especially because young voters are more likely going to be affected by this, they will need to come out and voice their opinions. A Harvard University poll shows that almost two-thirds of Americans under age 30 support stronger gun laws.
Regionally in the U.S., should states enact laws that will either prohibit or allow concealed guns to be allowed in each state? As it stands, for now, the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest and Western regions are clearly divided.
Supervisor Lupinacci said, “I think it depends on what each state’s expectations are and where their citizens feel their legislation will go. So what we do in New York might not be the best for the Midwest or down South. It depends on what and how people perceive gun control in these states. For example, Long Island is a member of New York and is a lot different than North Dakota or Montana in terms of the way they view gun control.”
In the Northeast, it is diverse because some states allow rights to carry a concealed weapon; others offer discretionary or reasonable use of a concealed weapon, carrying one without a permit needed or finally the rights to owning a concealed weapon are completely prohibited. States such as Pennsylvania, issue a permit for concealed weapons after the appropriate forms are filled out; meanwhile, Connecticut offers permits to people who will follow the laws, use it responsibly and let the government have a say in this decision. In states like Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, they do not need required permits to have a weapon. New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland, all prohibit permit issuances.
Voters in other states sympathize with them on the matter. Texas native Skeweres said, “I have an uncle who lives in Texas, in the country all of his life. What he said was, ‘I have an AR-15 because I think it’s fun because if I have to give up my AR-15 because there are psychopaths out there shooting up schools, I will give up my AR-15. I agree with him on that.”
These issues impact the upcoming election and will likely affect young voters and college students the most. Gun control will need to be handled one way or another. Millennials and young voters will play a huge role in doing just that.
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