Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fatal Shooting of Texas Student Raises Second Amendment Issues

By Carlos Garcia

Guns don’t kill people but people do. A 23-year-old student is dead after he was shot by a campus police officer during a traffic stop in San Antonio, Texas. Robert Cameron Redus was said to be a honor student at the University of the Incarnate Word and portrayed as a good kid. Redus was pulled over by Cpl. Christopher Carter of the campus police. Redus was said to be driving "erratically at a high rate of speed" near the campus late at night. He then had a struggle with the police officer, according to police, which lead to the shooting and his death. The college has suspended Cpl. Carter and taken away his gun. Just like any other police officer, he had to hand it in and await investigation and possible trial.

The student was shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A total of six shots were fired. The campus police commented that they do not know why there was a struggle or why six shots were needed to stop the victim. Currently Cpl. Carter is on temp leave and is being paid until further notice. This is a standard procedure in Texas. College officials commented that Carter has been with the school for seven years and has a strong background in law enforcement. This means that they are trying to say he would not fire without a reason.

Redus’ school friends and family described a very different kind of person. "Cameron was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person," Redus' friend Annie Jones said. "So compassionate." Many have asked to keep Robert Cameron Redus in our prayers, that justice may be served. College officials commented they will not speak of the investigation until factual evidence is shown.

There is no allegation that the student was armed with a gun. A big question is whether the campus police officer should have been armed. In Texas the current gun laws allow you to purchase a firearm at the age of 18. A handgun purchaser must be 21 years old. This is something to be thinking about. “There is no legal statute specifically prohibiting the carry of a firearm other than a handgun, although there is debate as to whether doing so constitutes "disorderly conduct," notes an entry in Wikipedia on Texas gun laws. Many people do carry a firearm, and this should be regulated. If you have a concealed weapon you cannot enter the following: Federal buildings, schools, public sporting events, racetracks, correctional facilities such as jails, election places.

Our Second Amendment says we have the right to keep and the right to bear arms. This was created in a time where weapons were needed, due to people on call to fight for the country. This was colonial times where many would need to gather and fight for freedom. The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791. So I would say that these laws do not apply to our current day. In my own opinion, I don’t think we need guns for civilians. We as a people do not face struggles where we need firearms daily. I feel as if people are afraid of the government coming to take over or a murderer entering their homes. If we crack down on weapon violence, we can save innocent lives.

These days many things can spark debate about being banned, but firearms are at the top of the debate. President Obama at one point tried very hard to ban the purchasing of automatic weapons. In recent news there have been many school shootings and deaths related to sales of a gun to people not stopped in doing background searches. Also guns have been taken from others that were not placed in safe keeping. We need to examine our lives and think, do we really need a gun. Many will go as far as saying a car is a weapon, but a firearm is something that has a greater killing capability.

Carlos Garcia is a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Carlos is 21 years old, first generation Cuban American. He is majoring in Communications with a minor in Marketing. Carlos currently is dorming at the school, but lives in New Jersey. He wishes to one day work for an advertising firm or in a job where he can be creative and have input.

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