I have been reading two sides to the gun debate and am confused about the issue. It seems that one side wants to ban all guns, the other side would prefer we each carried a weapon.

This is how I, a 19-year-old, sees things. I am stuck in the middle of the situation.

I don’t believe any citizen needs a semi-automatic weapon or “machine gun” for any reason. I do, however, believe that every citizen has the right to own a gun for protection and/or a gun for hunting. It is a right, regardless of when the right was written.

Accidents do happen with guns, and people do kill each other for stupid reasons, but the death rate can and will go down if we begin to enforce certain gun laws.

I, personally, believe we should require gun training for anyone who buy a gun. Hunter safety courses already are required, why not hand-gun safety courses?

I also believe there shouldn’t be any private sales and all guns should be registered nationally.

Last, but not least, mental background checks should be required, and anyone who lives with someone who has a severe or dangerous mental illness shouldn’t have a gun in their home. Just because they lock up their guns doesn’t mean someone can’t get them if they really want to.

On the issue of armed teachers, I personally had a teacher just snap one day, and I wouldn’t have wanted him to have a gun in the classroom when he did.

Our schools could have more resource officers who are professionally trained for this job.

I am on the fence about the extremes of the issue, but these are the things I would like to see.

Leandra Marin

Waterville

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