By Bailey Young / Staff Writer

For two days on Twitter around January 20th, there was media coverage of the crises happening in Virginia. However, not many people were reached within those 48 hours of awareness. Most people aren’t aware that Second Amendment rights are beginning to be forcibly removed from American citizens. Most people aren’t aware that one of our 50 states is, metaphorically, going up in flames.

Long story short, since 2007, Democrats have slowly taken control of Virginia’s state government. In November, Democrats took control of general assembly, running on stricter gun laws and more gun control. Although their campaign was clear, Republicans blame the Democrat victory on low voter turnout. Since then, the government has moved to take away all assault rifles, have universal background checks, and a red-flag law that allows law enforcement to remove any weapon from a person whom they feel poses a threat.

This is the closest any state has come stripping its citizens of the Second Amendment.

Although their methods seemed threatening, the citizens of Virginia have found a way to fight back, declaring themselves as “gun-rights sanctuary” counties, a term parallel to those used in immigration policies, prohibiting any law-enforcement officer from removing weapons from anyone within those counties. Thus far, protestors have taken to the streets, but no violence has occurred.

However, that didn’t stop the governor from declaring a state of emergency on Jan. 20 to help with the possibility of gun violence in the capital on Lobby Day.

You may be wondering why you, a Hutchinson Community College student, should care about something 3,000 miles away, but the fact is that depending on upcoming elections, that could be any state’s reality in a couple of years. People everywhere, especially college students, need to be aware of things happening in and outside of our borders, and the fact that some in the media has blatantly failed to mainstream this could be potentially devastating.

HutchCC is no stranger to guns and everything that comes with them. HutchCC’s campus policy is to allow anyone on campus to conceal carry, students included. With the rise in school shootings, it’s easy to see why someone would be hesitant to allow and promote this but as an anonymous student stated, “I’m indifferent, I guess as long as the owner is mature and can control their temper, then I don’t see a problem with it.”

If only Democrats in Virginia could feel the same way.

There should be more regulations when handling and purchasing a weapon. Each person should have to have extensive training and be licensed. However, there is never an excuse for an amendment right to be taken away from a law-abiding, mentally and physically able person. Having a weapon comes with responsibility. Bad, immature, and unknowledgeable people with guns have the opportunity to hurt everyone but they’re not the only ones being targeted. The majority of the people fighting for their rights in Virginia are good people with guns. They should be exempt from the harassment the government has imposed upon them, but instead, they’re the ones peacefully protesting in the streets.

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