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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Lax gun control to blame for increased violence, not religion

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the governors of 31 states including Arizona declared they oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their state borders. While they cannot legally carry this out, they can make the process extremely difficult for refugees to receive help from their states. These rejections are generated out of the irrational and prejudiced fear that aiding these refugees would also mean aiding ISIS terrorists in entering America undetected.

This fear is not only prejudiced, but also highly offensive — at least when you hear Sen. Ted Cruz’s justification for it. According to The Washington Post, Cruz stated, “We can’t roll the dice with the safety of Americans and bring in people for whom there is an unacceptable risk that they could be jihadists coming here to kill Americans.” His implication that every Syrian refugee has a terrorist agenda is flat-out ignorant.

Cruz continued to stress, presumably in an effort to justify his stance further, that he does not want to turn away Christian refugees, just Muslims. He argued that Christians pose no “meaningful risk” of a terrorist attack.

Do the Crusades or even the Westboro Baptist Church ring a bell? No one religion is more capable of harm than another, and Islam definitely is not the only religion in our world right now that’s followers commits acts of terror in the name of their beliefs. Ideally, yes, religion and war would not involve one another; but that is the way the relationship between the two has been since the major world religions emerged, and will probably not change anytime soon. In this case, it is better to be proactive about gun policy than jeopardize the principles that America was founded on by turning away those in desperate need for safety.

The real problem does not lie with these refugees seeking help from America. The real problem lies in the accessibility terrorists have to guns in this country.

Rep. Tony Dale, a Republican congressman for the state of Texas, expressed that one of his top concerns about the refugee situation is how easy it is to buy a gun in his state.

Dale is not wrong. The availability of guns for anyone in America, even legally, is nonsensical. According to the Government Accountability Office, between 2004 and 2014, 91 percent of the time suspected terrorists attempted to buy guns in America they succeeded. This is because the law only bans felons, fugitives, drug addicts and domestic abusers from purchasing guns. However if a person’s background check indicates he or she is on the FBI’s terrorist watch list, usually under “reasonable suspicion,” they are not prohibited from legally purchasing rifles or handguns. Some bipartisan groups attempted to pass a law that would no longer make this possible, but the National Rifle Association not surprisingly, opposed it.

The argument is not that all guns should become harder to attain for American citizens, or that the Second Amendment should be compromised in any way. The background checks for the purchase of guns here however, are illogical. The fact that the NRA is the only group standing in the way of the provision only makes the situation and the law more frustrating.

While an attack in America that imitated those around the world recently would be tragic to say the least, we should not act out on our fears by taking them out on the refugees. Instead, we can be overly cautious and act out on them by changing our own management of firearms. This slight modification to the law is not a remedy for all future fear of terrorism in America, but it is a step in the right direction toward sensibility and away from enmity.

Follow Jessica Suriano on Twitter.

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