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Guns should not be normalized

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Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

The gun debate continues to grow louder. Guns are now popping up in even more places they should not be, such as churches, children’s books and pockets disguised as cell phones.

Ideal Conceal, a company that specializes in creating concealable weapons, is selling a double-barreled .380-caliber pistol made to resemble a black cell phone when folded.

According to the company’s website the $395 gun can be unlocked and ready to fire with one click of its safety latch.

The website also says the gun can easily blend in at a time when people need to protect themselves and “a concealed pistol has become a necessity.”

It is terrifying to know an everyday item like a cell phone could be a gun in disguise. How can we be sure that when people are pulling a phone from their pocket, they aren’t actually getting ready to fire?

Ideal Conceal describes the gun as “virtually undetectable,” but there are very obvious reasons for designing a gun to be detectable.

Police already face a challenge when it comes to a suspect reaching for something, but now police could potentially be more anxious, knowing that their cellphone may actually be a gun.

In addition, children are constantly wanting to play games on their parent’s phones, what would keep them from reaching for their newest piece of technology?

Not only is it getting easier to conceal a gun, but a Mississippi bill is trying to make it so guns would be allowed in churches.

Mississippi State Rep. Andy Gipson, a Republican, authored the bill which would allow designated church members to act as security and carry guns without a concealed weapons permit. The bill would also grant criminal and legal protection to those who kill or injure anyone while acting in that capacity.

Allowing weapons in a place of worship is absurd, and sad. A church should be a safe and peaceful place where people can practice their faith without having to worry about outside threats, but placing armed security around the church, who will not be held accountable for their actions, will not send that message.

Possibly more disturbing, the National Rifle Association recently partnered with author Amelia Hamilton to rewrite famous fairy tales to insert firearms propaganda into the stories. “Hansel and Gretel” and “Little Red Riding Hood” have been recreated as “Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns)” and “Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun).”

The protagonists in these classic stories are given guns to protect themselves, ultimately changing the outcome of the stories.

Hansel walks around with a hunting rifle and Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother is given a shotgun to protect herself.

While Hamilton defended the rewrites saying they can promote a conversation between parents and children about gun safety, we find this very cynical.

Hamilton also argues that her stories are much “kinder” because no one dies. But children should not be shown that guns are necessary for safety when they are far too young to grasp the concept of gun responsibility.

Mass shootings have become far too frequent in this country.

An October Wall Street Journal piece found the United States ranked first in the world for mass shootings with 133 mass shootings between 2000 and 2014, according to the Oct. 3 story “U.S. Leads the World in Mass Shootings.”

Increasing the accessibility to guns and ability to hide them is not a viable solution to this mass shooting epidemic and in fact, it will have the opposite effect. The article also sourced Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, who found that countries with a higher rate of gun ownership also saw more mass shooters per capita.

Firearms should not be normalized for children, or tucked neatly into a purse or back pocket. The United States needs control gun violence, period.

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