Graphic by MEREK ALAM
Gun control has been on the forefront of minds across the country ever since shootings and other massacres have seen a rise in frequency.
Many companies have limited sales of high powered guns and rifles. Walmart will no longer sell handguns and certain types of ammunition that can be used in assault style weapons, and Dick’s Sporting Goods has released a statement saying that they are considering no longer selling guns altogether.
Colt, a company based in Connecticut, is no different. The manufacturer has stated that they will stop selling AR-15 rifles for consumer use for the time being as demand for the specific rifle goes down. In a statement released to the press, the president of the company reaffirmed their support for the 2nd Amendment despite the halt in production.
The 2nd Amendment has long been debated. Some believe that the Amendment means the same thing it has since its creation; others believe that it should change with time.
“I think [that] the 2nd Amendment was necessary when it was originally written,” said Taylor-Nicole Kissel (’20), “but is no longer needed.”
“I have complicated feelings with the 2nd Amendment,” said Katie Bailey (’22). “On one hand, I respect the freedom it ensures. However, I have a problem with certain groups of people who lately have been, in my opinion, abusing it. I don’t think it should be completely nullified from the Bill of Rights, just edited.”
In the past, AR-15 rifles have been involved in multiple mass shootings, including incidents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the concert in Las Vegas and the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Many people have expressed relief at the halt in production of AR-15s, including students on Alma’s campus.
“I felt such a sense of relief when the news broke,” said Bailey. “Even though I’ve personally never experienced gun violence firsthand, I know [that] with this suspension, our society [is] one step closer to a sense of safety by keeping AR15s out of dangerous hands.
“I believe if not banned, AR-15s should be very heavily regulated. I feel like unless adequate reason is presented (i.e. a police officer or soldier needs one), nobody should be able to purchase them.” continued Bailey.
“I already feel safe on campus, but this definitely makes me less worried about potential shootings on other campuses, as well as our own,” said Kissel. However, there are some that disagree with the action as well.
“The AR-15 is becoming an increasingly popular platform, and Colt’s cease of production means huge losses of revenue on their end,” said Ethan Zalac (’22). “Many think it to be a ‘weapon of war,’ but the simple truth is that there is no military in the world that uses it as a standard issue rifle due to its diminished battle capabilities despite media outrage.
“On top of this, gun bans only disarm law-abiding citizens and do not remove the capability of criminals to commit their crimes. The fewer lawful citizens owning guns, the less safe I feel.”
The AR-15 was first manufactured in the 1950s for the military and was developed in response to the AK-47 making its rounds through the Soviet Union. AR-15s and other similar semi-automatic weapons were banned from the country in 1994 and lasted until 2004, when the prohibition expired.
It is unclear whether or not this ban helped to reduce gun violence, as exemptions were included in the law. Copycat weapons were allowed to be sold.