Kate LaScola

Kate is our Community Manager here at The Conversationalist. She attends James Madison University and when she's not starting conversations or studying, you can usually find her blogging for Kate Moves Mountains, with Starbucks in hand.

How Do We Eliminate Gun Violence Without Taking Away our Constitutional Rights?

I’ve been raised to not use a gun, ever, unless my life is in harm's way. With that being said, I believe I should always protect myself and have the opportunity to do so. 

Every time an act of gun violence is broadcasted, it is closely followed by the mental state of the shooter. Mental health and gun violence seem to go hand in hand and I understand why. The part I don’t quite get is what we are doing about it. 


Red Flag Gun Laws are being met with a lot of controversy due to some believing these laws are in violation of The Constitution. The Second Amendment allows Americans the right to bear arms, but now those arms can be taken away in an instant in some states, 17 to be exact. How exactly do we help eliminate gun violence without taking away our constitutional rights?


How exactly do we help eliminate gun violence without taking away our constitutional rights?


I was raised in Virginia (where we don’t have red-flag laws) by a law enforcement officer half the time and the other half with my single mother. My parents taught me to be aware of my surroundings every minute and to trust my gut. I’ve had my house broken into, my car was broken into and I’m terrified that one day I’ll be living alone with no one to help me fight back.

I’ve been raised to not use a gun, ever, unless my life is in harm's way.

My dad has taught me the impact a weapon has and how to handle it correctly. I have never seen it used incorrectly or in an unsafe manner, but I have heard stories. Many stories that are so horrific because the wrong weapon got into the wrong hands of a bad person. With that being said, I believe I should always protect myself and have the opportunity to do so.


I have dealt with mental illness my entire life and can tell you I will never hurt a person. If someone believed I would, then by all means take away anything that could cause harm to others. People who hurt others with a gun for no reason are sick, mentally. It’s a different type of illness from anxiety and depression, but it is still an illness. 


I am constantly reminded that those with mental illnesses are the ones to be watched when I reality that’s not true. I am apart of the mental health community and advocate to end the stigma every day. Just because we struggle internally does not mean we aim to cause harm to others externally. People can easily hide what is going on in their head and the normal person can do terrible things. There isn’t one group to target, but we all need to look out for one another. We need to all understand that if there is a chance, then action should be taken regardless of who they are.


I don’t think the Red Flag Laws will work as much as everyone hopes they will.

Dangerous people will still fall through the cracks of the system and be able to cause harm. People will always cause harm, but I think it would be more effective to start within our education system. 


We are all required to attend school from the age of five until 18. It’s the one constant for every child in America, so why don’t we start to teach about the hard things in life? What if each child learns about the capability of what could happen and the warning signs for people who think about using it? Everyone needs to talk about it, that way everyone can understand that violence and self harm is not the answer. 


Truth be told, my opinion may not be the right answer. Gun reform is one of the most heated and debated-about-topics in America today. Instead of being so mean to each other, we need to talk with another and try many new things.

Be open to others' opinions, understand where they are coming from, and know that we need to protect our people from the violence. 


Every person has their own opinions about gun reform based upon the knowledge they have and the experiences they’ve encountered. This is what causes so many different opinions to emerge after a time of crisis. We are meant to have these conversations, no matter how hard, because our future depends on it. 


Every person has their own opinions about gun reform based upon the knowledge they have and the experiences they’ve encountered. This is what causes so many different opinions to emerge after a time of crisis. We are meant to have these conversations, no matter how hard, because our future depends on it. 

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