The gun debate is a hot topic right now in our country, as mass shootings seem to be occurring more and more. I realize it is a touchy subject with passionate people on both sides. While I certainly respect everyone’s opinion, I think the issue has the potential to be very scary for our country.

In wake of the recent Florida school shooting, protesters made the news all weekend as they rallied under the “March for Our Lives” movement, calling for gun control and the eradication of the NRA. I would like to address a couple of things that I can’t seem to get off my mind after seeing the protests.

I agree that assault rifles are pointless for the average citizen to have, but I believe “the right to bear arms” gives the average citizen the freedom to bear any arms he or she desires from an assault rifle to a cannon. Our nation’s founders gave us this right from the beginning, and if it wasn’t for it, we would have never won our freedom from the beginning.

Even if a law to ban assault rifles were passed, it would never stop the problem. There are more guns in our country than there are people, and there are 325.7 million people in the U.S. Whether a law against guns is passed or not, if a criminal desires to get a gun, he will get it. Sure, he may not be able to purchase it from Walmart or Academy Sports, but on the black market, he will have access to a gun.

Overall, though, I believe in the people of America. Perhaps the greatest thing about our country is that it is “by the people and for the people.” If enough people continue to protest and elect government officials that feel the same way that they do, gun laws could very well become a reality.

I’m not calling for those who think different than me to come over to my side, because I know that will more than likely not happen. But I am asking that each person really think about what they are advocating for. I’m not really concerned about gun laws for my generation, but rather for my children and grandchildren. Will they be able to defend themselves if need be? I do not know.

I had a history teacher in high school who was a U.S. Marine. Before each class he would ask us, “Are you more free today than you were yesterday?”

In the world we now live in, there may come a time when you need a gun and can’t get one. The thing that scares me the most is that whenever our freedoms or rights are taken away, we will never get them back, so be certain of your position and think for yourself.

If you think gun control gives you more freedom, I would say advocate it. If not, I’ll leave you with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”