On the 19th anniversary of Columbine, and fueled form recent headline shootings in the country, demonstrators in Oshkosh walked over to Senator Ron Johnson’s office to promote changes they would like to see made in gun law.
And from there, both ends of the debate met.
Those showing support for change mentioned expanded background checks, limiting or banning high-capacity magazines, and barring automatic weapons from civilian use.
The second amendment exists to protect us from an oppressive government. But in the modern day, the minds behind these movements say that particular defense is outdated.
“The government is always going to out-arm the citizens and it’s a scary reality for people that are distrusting of our government,” said Brock Doemel, president of Students Against School Shootings in Oshkosh.
The goal is to prevent mass shootings, but some were not so hot on the idea of outright banning certain weapons.
“I want it to stop happening, everyone does,” said a man identifying himself as Alex in Oshkosh. “It’s a tragedy. It honestly makes me upset talking about it. But I don’t think stripping constitutional rights away from people is any sort of way to get this done.”
Conducting more thorough background checks seems to be the middle ground for both sides of the debate.
“I want universal background check for all firearms sales,” he said. “But I do want to do it where there isn’t a federal registry, so they can’t come and take them later.”
It is a foundation that can maybe branch out once everyone has a better understanding of each other.
“We support the right to bear arms,” said Doemel. “What we’re looking for are common sense gun reforms that a majority of us can get behind and if we can save even one life, it will be worth it.”
A spokesperson released a statement on behalf of senator Ron Johnson, saying:
“Senator Johnson is committed to making our communities safer while protecting law abiding citizens’ constitutional rights.”