Students and Guns: the Untold Story

The number of student who go to Ames High that own guns is a lot more than you would think. We talked to two Ames High students who have had experiences using firearms going back to a very young age. Chances are that students that you interact with everyday either own or have other experiences with guns. “I own two rifles and a shotgun,” said Ames High Junior Brian Emmerson. “My dad, grandpa, and other relatives own guns and do competitive shooting, along with hunting.” Another student, Senior Matthew Williams, has had his own fair share of experiences with guns. “I own one semi-automatic rifle and a pump-action shotgun that I have been using for small game hunting since I was 16,” said Williams. “I have had guns in my house ever since I was born. Both Emmerson and WIlliams attest to the importance of being educated on gun safety and firearm education. “My father began to teach me about how to shoot when I was either four or five,” said Emmerson. “My dad taught me that I should never under any circumstance point a gun at another person and that I should always treat a gun as if it were loaded.” Williams also took hunter safety courses in order to get his hunting license. On top of knowing how to properly operate firearms Emmerson tells us the about the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of those who don’t have the proper experience.”In my house we keep all of our guns locked away in a safe,” said Emmerson. “I have always been told it is important to store your guns and ammo in separate locations of the house in order to avoid accidents.” Despite being in favor of gun ownership Emmerson feels that we should strengthen regulation on gun sales. “I believe we should have more regulations such as more background checks on those who are buying guns so potentially dangerous people can’t get away with buying guns,” said Emmerson. Williams, an NRA member, believes that we should try to eliminate all second hand sales of guns. “There’s no reason people should be able to sell guns to Joe Schmo walking down the street not knowing whether or not he’s a potential mass murder,” Williams said. WIlliams believes that we shouldn’t prohibit guns but crack down on those who are purchasing guns. “It’s not guns who kill people, it’s the people using the guns, making decisions based on their mental status and what they think is right.” Emmerson feels that you don’t have to be a violent person to enjoy firing guns. “Going out the range and hunting is a great activity for me to do with my family.” said Emmerson, “I’m not a fighter, I’m a lover.”