By Ben Usher

As bullets fly over the gun control debate in Washington, Kalamazoo citizens find themselves in their own political crossfire.

Three individuals at the Greyhound station in downtown Kalamazoo offered their opinions on gun control in the United States.

Marcus Baker, a 28-year-old unemployed man living in Kalamazoo, felt that guns did have a place in American society. “It’s a positive thing when a responsible civilian owns a gun because it lets them protect themselves,” Baker said.

Baker explained that the American government has regulations in place to keep the wrong people from getting guns. He did say, though, that “crazy people” owning guns could be a problem. “We have guns in our country,” he said, “so the wrong people are gonna get them sometimes.”

Sophie Walters, a 37-year-old house cleaner from Battle Creek, wasn’t so pro-gun.

“Except if you’re in the military, you don’t need a gun,” Walters said. “It’s stupid that people think they need guns.” It was difficult for Walters to imagine a positive use for a gun, but eventually decided that in the case of theft or violence, a gun could be an appropriate form of protection for a civilian.

Israel Alizia, a 19-year-old freshmen at Western Michigan University, took a more moderate about the gun issue. He emphasized that gun ownership was a constitutional right. He stated it more as an unavoidable fact, though, than a flaming passion.

“Guns need to be available for law-abiding people because we need to be able to protect ourselves,” Alizia said. “It’s our right.”

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