The Precedent

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Where do you stand: PHS Young Republicans and Democrats Debate

The Precedent sat down with officers from the Young Republican and Young Democrats clubs on campus to see what PHS students have to say about the gun debate.

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The Precedent: Where do you stand on issues regarding the Second Amendment?

Senior Sarah Martino of the Young
Democrats: “I’m a full supporter of
the Second Amendment: hunting
rifles and small handguns should be
allowed for the public. I really don’t
see why it’s necessary for a 19 year
old to have, or the need to, purchase
an AR-15… we only need that in
combat, reserved for our military.”

Senior Hunter Hedilius of the
Young Republicans: “I think
the second amendment doesn’t
outline any sort of limitations or
restrictions on any type of arms that
an individual will be able to use,
and when you turn 18, you should
receive all the rights and privileges
outlined in the Bill of Rights and
the Constitution.”

TP: Where do you stand on issues regarding mental health and firearms, taking into account one’s ability to understand how to operate a firearm safely?

HH: “Just as you go in a car, you
should need a license to prove that
you know how to operate a car.
I think as you segment off into
different types of weapons – you
have to take a course to earn a
license where you prove that you
know how to use it, and that license
will give you permission to own any
[of that type] of gun.”

SM: “Our current administration…
needs to take [mental illness]
more seriously and need to starts
implementing things to help people
stop bullying at schools to help
stop cyberbullying. Do background
checks on people with mental
illnesses, and implement something
at our schools to help find safe
places for people who have anxiety,
depression, or are suffering from
bullying to get help.”

TP: What steps can we take to begin to improve school safety in America, as a whole?

SM: “We’ve been changing how we
deal with school shootings because
we’re learning from them. Many
of us probably don’t want to have
to walk through metal detectors at
school, but if we can’t find a way to
stop teenagers or adults who want
to come in and hurt children at a
school, that might end up being the
only way.”

HH: “Teachers should have the
option to have a gun on the
premises, if they so desire, and of
course should be offered for them.
I also believe that security guards
should be able to fulfill their job
title, and carry a gun to provide that
security and even more of an armed
security presence.”

TP: How can we, as high school students and young adults, begin to become advocates for change?

HH: “It is Congress’ job to ensure
the health and safety of the public.
We need to vote in midterm
elections, we need to get involved in
different linkage institutions, such
as lobbying institutions – donate
money to those who think will
put your voice where it needs to
be heard. There’s many ways to get
involved.”

SM: “Register to vote – that’s the
biggest thing [young adults] can
do right now. A lot of people think
their vote doesn’t count, but in
the midterm election, it is when it
counts. Those are the people in your
local government that you’re voting
for to actually get in to represent us
at the higher level.”

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The student voice of Perry High School
Where do you stand: PHS Young Republicans and Democrats Debate