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Here’s What You Need to Know About Gun Control & The Presidential Election

When it comes to gun control, most politicians are either totally for it, or totally against it – and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are no exception. We all know that Trump fully supports Second Amendment rights, and that Clinton wants stricter gun laws, but what do each of them actually plan to do about gun control while in office?


Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is taking a more reserved stance on gun control in this election than she has in the past. According to her official campaign site, she says that while Americans “may have our disagreements on gun safety regulations,” there are a few things she thinks all voters can rally behind.

One of these is expanding background checks to apply to all gun sales, including transactions that take place online and at gun shows. Many believe that this is a good compromise, because it doesn’t create any additional firearm legislation; it merely ensures that we are reinforcing the laws already in place.

Another aspect of her platform includes ensuring that domestic abusers, violent criminals, and the “severely mentally ill,” are unable to purchase firearms.

“If you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America,” she said in June.

This notion is controversial, because it calls for an increased amount of legislation, something that National Rifle Association (NRA), a major contributor to many Republicans, is hesitant to allow. While Clinton claims that she will fight against gun lobbyists like these, she will struggle to get past the Republican-majority Congress, who are adamant about protecting Second Amendment rights.

Additionally, her past political work fighting against gun rights that has some concerned that she will change to a more strict platform once elected.


Donald Trump

“The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period,” Donald Trump writes on his campaign site, clearly stating his view on the matter.

He is completely opposed to banning guns and magazines, claiming that the terms “assault” and “military-style” weapons are used only to scare the public. “Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of the choice,” he says.

Trump does mention that the right to guns “belongs [only] to all law-abiding Americans,” and, like Clinton, he wants to enforce the laws already “on the books,” and ensure that violent felons don’t have access to firearms. Unlike Clinton, however, he feels that people who want guns will get them somehow or another, and that adding background checks to gun shows and online sales will be ineffective.

Finally, in light of recent events, Trump wants to ensure that military members can carry on bases and in recruiting centers, which they are not allowed to do now. This will involve a change in federal law, but may help protect servicemen and women, considering that they are all highly trained to use these weapons.

Trump’s opinions vary distinctly from Clinton’s, but both are aware that our current gun control legislation isn’t working, and they’re actively developing ways to fix it.

The right to bear arms can be a tricky and controversial topic, but it’s important to think about as we head into the election. Remember, while your university can opt to ban guns inside the buildings, the outdoor common areas are generally public spaces, meaning that if guns are allowed in public, they’re allowed on the quad!

Keep this in mind as you make your final decisions on who you’re going to vote for this November.

Michelle Adams is a political writer for HerCampus as well as a successful freelancer, specializing in self-help articles, political op-eds, and millennial lifestyle pieces. She is currently studying for her B.A. in both English and mass communications at Shenandoah University. Visit her personal blog at http://michelleadamsblog.com, or connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/madamsblog or Facebook at http://facebook.com/michelleadamsblog.
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