The Oberlin Review

Ohio Legislature Gun Control Debate Reveals Poor Priorities

Jackie Brant, Opinions Editor

November 15, 2019

 Just over three months ago, a mass shooting at Ned Peppers — a local bar in Dayton, OH — left 27 injured, 17 from gunshot wounds. Ultimately, nine people died as a result of the shooting on Aug. 4, 2019. When the shooter fired into a large crowd at the bar, he was carrying an automatic rifle that held 100 rounds, which he had previously ordered online from a Texas distributor. He also had numerous ammunition magazines with him, along with body armor, a mask, and hearing protection. Until the time of the shooting, he had been hiding the gun and the ammunition magazines at a friend’s apartment. Aside from a few traffic violations, Betts had no prior criminal record — although he had allegedly been suspend...

Oberlin High School and College students protested gun violence by walking out of school last Friday.

High Schoolers Hold Gun Violence Walkout

April 27, 2018

Local students walked out of Oberlin High School last Friday to honor the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. The walkout — one of thousands across the U.S. — was also part of a continued effort to protest gun violence as a part of the national, youth-led movement that began after the February mass shooting in Parkland, FL. The students left school at 1 p.m. and congregated in Tappan Square, where community members and college students joined in solidarity. The walkout feat...

Karpatkin’s Letter Maintains Hypocrisies, False Accusations

Daniel Markus, Managing Editor

April 6, 2018

In recent weeks, the Review has published numerous pieces regarding gun control in the wake of the murder of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, by Nikolas Cruz. Initially, we published “Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales,” (The Oberlin Review, March 2, 2018) by Jacob Britton. Briefly, his piece argues that the AR-15, used in the Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Santa Barbara mass shootings, among others, would have been right at home in the 18th century when there were “guns even more dangerous around.” Unsurprisingly, this argument elicited several responses, including “Current Gun Control Debates Give Inadequate, Ineffective Solutions” (The Oberlin Review, March 9, 20...

American College System Destroys Real Liberalism

Howard Sachs

April 6, 2018

Editor’s Note: This letter contains mentions of violence. To the Editors: Nathan, thank you for your thoughtful piece on gun control. I respond with respect. I used to be Jewish and a Democrat. Unfortunately, the Democratic party has now almost completely abandoned liberalism and instead embraced the illiberal value system called leftism. I am still a passionate liberal. Now, they call us constitutional conservatives. I certainly understand your values regarding gun control. However, I consider them, in general, highly illiberal and very harmful to us all. Here is why. First, like or not, believe it or not, leftism is a child-like value system. It appeals to people because all of us have a deep and strong drive to be ...

Falsely Equating Gun Control With Abortion Restrictions Prevents Productive Reform

Editorial Board

March 30, 2018

While the student-led movement to tackle gun reform has spread across the country, culminating in hundreds of thousands participating in the March for Our Lives throughout the U.S. on Saturday, many Americans still want to protect the status quo of gun accessibility. Pro-gun advocates often argue that people kill people, not guns; point out cases of armed officers in schools foiling the attempts of shooters — whether true or not; or express fear that a restriction on legal circulation of guns will endanger people who relinquish their arms to the government from criminals. As frustrating as these excuses are for failing to address how absurdly easy it is to obtain firearms in this country — especially the AR-15, which...

Communal Support Imperative in Fighting for Tolerance

David H. Finke

March 30, 2018

To the Editors: I was heartened to be able to join several hundred other Obies on March 14 at the bandstand in solidarity with school kids across the country walking out to protest gun violence. Hearing from the College’s dean and the city’s mayor added to the event. Later we learned of a walkout by Oberlin High School students — which was initially prohibited — adding their numbers to the over 3,000 such expressions of outrage and solidarity. This nationwide manifestation of youth activism will alter the political landscape. I’d like to share a statement adopted by our local Quaker Meeting that speaks to the immediate and underlying issues: Oberlin Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) share...

Publication of Numerous Articles Attempts to Censor Conversation

Jonathan Karpatkin

March 30, 2018

To the Editors: By publishing no fewer than three responses to Jacob Britton’s letter on AR-15s, The Oberlin Review showed that its interest is not in dialogue but in punishment for holding dissenting opinions. The commentary by the two editors of the Review in particular is built on straw horses and unfinished arguments. When Roman Broszkowski and Julia Peterson write about grenades, they twist Britton’s argument. They jump from arguing about the individual right to bear arms as established by District of Columbia v. Heller to attacking the stance that all weapons should be legal, a stance which Britton does not take. Grenades aren’t firearms, nor AR-15s, nor have they been used prolifically in mass violence. Bri...

Current Gun Control Debates Give Inadequate, Ineffective Solutions

Jonathan Karpatkin, Contributing Writer

March 9, 2018

This op-ed is both a response to Jacob Britton’s letter disputing the constitutionality of a federal ban on AR-15s and similar weapons (“Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales,” The Oberlin Review, March 2, 2018), and an expansion of my own views. Throughout his letter, Mr. Britton misrepresents not only constitutional law but also the history of firearms. As someone with comparatively extensive knowledge of guns and gun control, I feel it’s my responsibility to, foremost, correct the record with regards to Mr. Britton’s letter, but also to present my take on the current gun regulation debate. Mr. Britton first assumes that the Supreme Court’s review of amendments is restricted to interpreting the inte...

Britton Cherrypicks Statistics, Presents Narrow View

Roman Broszkowski and Julia Peterson

March 9, 2018

Last week, the Review published a letter to the editors that raised a number of points about gun violence (“Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales,” The Oberlin Review, March 2, 2018). Given that several claims in this letter do not stand up under closer scrutiny, we felt compelled to respond and offer the evidence and context that Jacob Britton’s letter lacks. In his article, Britton states, “The fact that the United States has significantly lower homicide rates than other countries with stricter gun laws should be enough for anyone to remember that safety is in the hands of those who are the most responsible.” While it is true that El Salvador, the country with the highest rate of intentional homicide...

Comic of the Week

Comic of the Week

March 9, 2018

Britton’s Argument Collapses Under Scrutiny

Jade Schiff

March 9, 2018

Editorial To the Editors: Jacob Britton’s argument about the Founding Fathers and AR-15s is bold and contrarian, and I admire him for having the courage of his convictions. However, his argument does not stand up logically or empirically. At a time when American politics is infected from the top down by disdain for truth and reason, such deficiencies cannot go unanswered. Britton writes: “The Supreme Court interprets original Constitutional amendments in the historical context of the Founders.” This statement conflates the two dominant modes of judicial interpretation: originalism and contextualism. According to the first, what matters is the intent the Founders. According to the second, interpretation is determi...

Founding Fathers Would Approve of AR-15 Sales

Jacob Britton

March 2, 2018

To the Editors: This letter is a response to the op-ed by Booker C. Peek regarding AR-15s and Constitutional law (“Constitution Does Not Automatically Permit AR-15s,” The Oberlin Review, Feb. 23, 2018). Toward the beginning of their case, Peek briefly reflects on the tragic mass shooting in Florida. As someone who was born and raised in Florida, I certainly share my condolences with the families of the victims, and I understand why many people are pushing for gun legislation and Constitutional amendments on assault weapons. As a person who shares Peek’s sympathy for the victims of mass shootings, I think it is important to also use those feelings to properly assess solutions while preserving Constitutional law. K...

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