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Watch: South Pas Students Debate Gun Control

After months of drafting a bill that would make it illegal for any non-military, non-law enforcement citizen to own a gun, students from the South Pasadena San Marino YMCA Delegation argue its merits and faults.

On the very day where another school shooting shook the American public, and further enflamed a war of words over gun control, a group of South Pasadena High School students lent their voices to the roiling debate.

Members of the South Pasadena San Marino YMCA Delegation, who are preparing for the 65th Model Legislature and Court in Sacramento later this month, punctuated their points in front of classmates and parents Thursday night at Huntington Middle School in San Marino. 

Standing behind a podium, and decked out in their best professional garb, students argued for and against bills sponsored and crafted by their peers. Legislative measures included bills to establish fact checking procedures for presidential campaign videos, and a mandatory number of energy storing elliptical machines in state prisons that non-violent inmates could use to reduce their sentences.

And then there was the gun bill.

Sponsored by South Pas student Adam LaBrie, Bill no. 248 would make the ownership of any gun illegal with special exemptions for active police and military personnel. And as for hunting, that would occur on state certified grounds and no gun on the property would carry more than one bullet at a time. 

"Gun violence is not an issue. It is not a problem. It is an epidemic,'' LaBrie said.  

Fellow gun control proponent Jeffery Burke, a student at The Waverly School in Pasadena, raised his fist toward the audience and thundered that the country is at rock bottom.

"It's time for us to look at the corpses that litter our country...and say enough,'' Burke said, referencing the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre where Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adults. 

But forbidding law abiding citizens is not the answer, countered So Pas student Hannah Rips. 

"A population that is unable to defend itself from its government is ultimately its slave,'' she said quoting from her speech, adding that tyranny is much less likely to happen in a country where its citizenship is armed.

The students will hone their arguments and debate each of the drafted bills from the floor of the Legislature in several weeks. 

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pat jon patches February 02, 2013 at 02:26 AM
WTF . This is non issue 2A is the law. Not to mention just by being alive, i will (legal or not) use any amount of to stop a threat to my life. This is human nature, move on with life.
Jackson Baer February 02, 2013 at 09:08 AM
Guns, God, and a whole lot of hate for the president. It's amazing how conservative's are against anything President Obama is for. I don't think Obama is perfect by any means but he is our leader and we should stand united as a nation- not divided and resort to petty attacks. We are a democracy and we voted for him whether you like that or not. If I see one more Facebook post about how he's taking our guns, I'm gonna flip. God forbid we do background checks on everyone who tries to buy a gun and limit assault weapons. http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/
Hannah February 02, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Jackson Baer- we were debating a bill that Adam himself proposed, not anything the President has proposed. In Youth & Government we debate things we would like to see implemented in society, not proposed policies by political figures. By the way, I'm agnostic and libertarian. -Hannah
Jackson Baer February 02, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Hey Hannah, I'm an agnostic Christian? Yeah, that's about right lol
South Pasadena Masonic Lodge February 02, 2013 at 09:24 PM
The students put a lot of thought and time into their arguments. I wish that more had obtained the facts regarding countries where guns had been confiscated and banned; ie. the actual crime rates after, home invasions, muggings, robbery, military round up of citizens, etc. It's not right to call the students who crafted the mock bill stupid or ignorant; they, like many liberal or socialist leaning persons, have picked up ideas from like minded individuals, and our media. It is good that the students are participating in learning about government.

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