Local Reactions to Gun Control, Roe v. Wade

By: 
Roberto Vazquez
MICHAEL MILES believes much of America’s gun violence is really due to mental illness, including loneliness and depression.” – Photo by Roberto Vazquez

In less than 24 hours, the cultural, political and legal landscape of America was rocked by two key events, marking it a historic day.

On Thursday, June 23rd, the Senate announced a 65-33 bipartisan vote on gun control, followed by a 234-193 vote in the House of Representatives on Friday night, making it the most significant gun legislation to be passed in more than 25 years. The legislation only needs President Biden’s signature to turn it into law.

However, it was the following morning, Friday the 24th, that shook America like a cultural temblor, when the Supreme Court declared the right to an abortion no longer exists, reversing Roe v. Wade (1973), while also overturning a New York law that restricted concealed carrying of a gun.

Here are several reactions to these recent events and why, as well as what may result from these developments, respectively.

The Youngest Perspective

At 18, Claudia Lopez is studying architecture at Long Beach City College. She is not a gun owner and has never voted. The events of the last 24 hours have left her glum.

Lopez said, “We’re not evolving like we should. The abortion thing scares me the most. People are still gonna get abortions, but not safely. It shouldn’t be up for debate.”

Regarding guns, Lopez added, “I don’t feel comfortable with anyone owning guns. I think the process for buying guns should be a little more (rigorous). It shouldn’t be that way.”

Lopez stated she plans to vote for the first time in the upcoming elections in November.

Pro-Life and Gun Owner

Christine Flores is in her early 40s, a non-party affiliated voter, and a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment and pro-life.

Flores commented on the Roe v. Wade ruling first, stating, “I think that decision was long overdue, and regardless of if you’re pro-choice or pro-life, it’s important to know that this decision today does not prevent a woman from getting an abortion, it simply returns the power to the state.”

She added, “So, this (overturning Roe v. Wade) is a great step because people will become more involved in their local government and the states will need to decide (these issues) for themselves.”

Flores then spoke on the bipartisan bill.

“Concerning gun control, I think that it’s a beautiful example of both sides of the aisle coming together. It’s just so sad that the catalyst for this has been the travesties and the horrific shootings.”

Flores continued, “Americans are so tired and afraid, they’re on board with gun laws. Everybody agrees there needs to be a handle on all this mayhem,”

Despite her agreement with the recent change to the legal, political and cultural landscape, Flores voiced concerns.

“The controversial thing is the red flag laws. It creates a problem where, ‘S.W.A.T.-TING’ can become an issue.”

Her comments were in reference to prank calls falsely reporting an active, armed shooting suspect. At times, these pranks have resulted in an innocent person being mistakenly shot and killed by responding officers, or S.W.A.T team.

Flores believes America is at war with itself, concluding. “We’re already in the midst of one (cultural war), ‘cancel culture’. You see pictures of war, even just looking at the news. Burning courthouses, people going into the Capitol building, burning police cars, massive retail looting. It’s so over the top, it’s unbelievable.”

She predicted a grim future, one where violence will be used by leftist groups.

“I think that there’s gonna be riots, I think there’s gonna be looting, I think Christians are going to be persecuted and they’re going after the Catholic Church. That’s who they see as the enemy.”

She concluded her comments with, “There’s no reason for violence. There’s no reason for crime.”

A Twentysomething View

As Michael Miles sits at a local coffeehouse, he ponders a reporter’s questions. The Roe v. Wade ruling comes up first.

“I think we’re going backwards. Who is to say when life begins?” Miles asked out loud.

The 23-year-old then spoke on the gun issue in America, “It’s not really an issue about gun laws. There are many countries that don’t have this issue and they have the same access to guns that we do. I think it boils down to the ideals that we have in this country.”

Miles added, “We’re very individualistic and people become isolated. I think that’s what creates a sense of loneliness driving people to do things that are insane.”

Miles stated, “I think we can do better. I think they’re asking the wrong questions. I think we should remember that we have more power than we think.”

‘I Support Gun Control’

Ledeen Barnett is in her 50s and is also pro-choice.

“I think that the Roe V. Wade decision is going to result in the death of lots of women and the unwanted births of a lot of children. I think that’s going to have a much greater, more detrimental effect on the future than the gun bill.” She added, “I think Republicans will use it (the bill) to prevent any further gun legislation. If it doesn’t have the teeth to enforce it, if it doesn’t have the coverage to be meaningful, it’s all a fantasy.”

She added, “Anyone can be carrying a weapon. That makes me nervous, when you’re talking about whether there’ll be unrest over Roe, because if there is unrest, conceivably, everyone in the crowd could be armed.

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