The top of the conversation topic list every four years: Politics. The impending elections bring with it the campaign photos, flyers, and debates where we hear the candidates voice their opinions on the most controversial topics from foreign policy to medical marijuana. This year, one of the most debated topics is gun control. Each candidate has their own stance and their own opinion. Let’s review.

Gun Policies of the Candidates

Donald Trump: From business man to politician, Mr. Trump has been incredibly vocal in regards to a number of different topics. Gun control is no different. Though thoroughly outlandish in many of his views, Trump has fervently defended the right to bear arms. In October of 2015, CNN quoted Trump stating: “The right to self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do, too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states.” (CNN, 2015).

Ted Cruz: Dear Teddy. Our Texan native Republican candidate. If a candidate from a state like Texas was ANTI-Second Amendment, I am sure we would all question their origin story. Luckily, Mr. Cruz wrote to Google sharing his thoughts. “The right to self-defense is an essential component of the liberty we enjoy as Americans and is embodied in the Second Amendment. From successfully protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights at the Supreme Court, to defeating legislation that sought to take away this right, I have always championed the right to keep and bear arms.”

John Kasich: The governor of Ohio and Cruz’s ally in attacks on Trump, Mr. Kasich shares the same pro-gun opinion as his opponents, making a republican candidate stalemate on gun control. The NRA changed Mr. Kasich’s status from “F” to “A” in August of 2015, endorsing the candidate. He openly opposed restrictions on the right to bear arms in August of 2010, but stated existing restrictions should stay in place.

Hillary Clinton: The only woman that stands a chance as the Democratic party candidate, and she openly endorses stricter gun laws. To Google in January of this year, she stated: “More than 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. It’s time to act. As President, I’ll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers and other violent criminals- including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.”

Bernie Sanders: The millennials are all “feeling the Bern.” The 74 year old Vermont native has a looser view than that of his female running mate. While he doesn’t hold a high NRA rating due to his desire for stricter background checks before the purchase of a firearm is warranted and an elimination of the Charleston loophole, he does hold views and bring forward points not raised by other candidates. For example, the expression of his distaste for business owners being sued. “If you go to a store and you legally purchase a gun, and three days later you go out and start killing people, is the point to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable? If that’s the point, I disagree.”

He also brings forward the point of strengthening the mental health system and eliminating the distribution of weapons specifically manufactured to kill people and serve no other purpose.

It is incredibly important to research and review what each candidate’s stance is on these topics so we can make an informed decision. The second amendment is an important constitutional right, and one that should be upheld by those in political office.