I am pro-gun regulation and shoot trap

That’s not a contradiction

Sabine Wood, Reporter

In March of 2021, I was living in Boulder, Colo., one of the seemingly safest cities in America. For the three years I had lived there, it seemed like nothing bad could ever happen. 

However, my perceptions of Boulder changed on March 22, 2021. At 2:30 p.m., a twenty-one-year-old man entered the parking lot of the King Soopers supermarket, exactly one mile away from my house. In the parking lot, he used an AR-15-style pistol to shoot and kill three people. He then entered the store, where there were at least 115 people inside, and by 2:39 p.m., he had shot and killed seven more people.

A chain-link fence was put up bordering the store, where thousands of people left candles, flowers and mementos to memorialize the 10 victims. Every day for six months, that memorial stood to remind us of the tragedy that occurred in our community.

On Sep. 7, 2022, another violent event took place in Memphis, when a 19-year-old went on a shooting rampage that resulted in four people dead and three others injured. This event put Memphis in the spotlight as another futile violent shooting, drastically affecting the Memphis community. 

Both of these events had significant impacts on the ways that I see both of the cities that have played such a large role in my life.

I was struck by the harsh reality of gun violence and its near-constant role in the world I live in. Seeing the lack of care that the government has for the safety of innocent people made me lose significant trust in our lawmakers. 

I realized that my safety, even in one of the safest cities in the country, was compromised in an instant. I had always known about the increased amount of gun violence in the U.S., but I had never been directly affected by it until the Boulder shooting. 

After witnessing the aftermath of such a tragedy, I viewed guns in an entirely different way. Before the shootings, gun violence to this extent had only been something I had seen on TV or read about in the news. After the shooting, I felt surrounded by constant reminders of the destruction and despair that were bound to happen again if something didn’t change. 

This strengthened my beliefs that change needs to happen, that more rules should be put in place, and most of all, that tragedies like this shouldn’t be taken so casually.

For decades, there has been a nationwide debate on gun restrictions that have polarized the country. The right to bear arms, given by the Constitution’s second Amendment, is often interpreted in the “pro-gun” position, allowing free purchase and ownership of firearms with little to no restrictions. 

On the opposing side, the anti-gun or pro-gun control position is held by people who believe that these laws do not apply to modern day and that our country should not be functioning on laws created over 230 years ago. 

While the debate between these two sides can be fierce and somewhat predictable, there are several stereotypes of people who hold pro-gun or anti-gun positions. In many cases, people who have pro-gun control beliefs are expected to want to eliminate all guns and judge people who own or use guns. However, I can speak from experience when I say that not all pro-gun control people feel this way. 

I am pro-gun control, and I am also a member of the St. Mary’s trap team. If it is a stereotype that gun control supporters want guns to become completely illegal, my membership on the team would be paradoxical at best. 

I can enjoy my time shooting on the line and still have firm beliefs in gun control and regulations. I wish more people felt the same.