Guns Save Lives

July 26, 2008
By Nastacia Goodwin, Everson, WA

"I was edging towards hostile when I remembered the blind hunter tramping off alone into the Michigan forest. He may bag a deer, or he may happily shoot a camper in the stomach. He may find his way back to the car, or he may wander around for a week or two before stumbling through your back door. We don't know for sure, but in pinning that license to his chest, he inspires the sort of narrative that ultimately makes me proud to be an American."

These words, written by David Sedaris, truly capture what has become the American standard towards the safety of its people. Over the years, due to the belief that all citizens should have equal rights, in this case with firearms, America has become blind to the fact that, in some cases, there are individuals who cannot be trusted with the same rights as the rest of us.

At 11:19 a.m. on Apr. 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris entered Columbine High School kicking off a bombing and killing spree that took the lives of 12 fellow students and one teacher before the boys committed suicide in the school library. They bought the guns with the help of a friend at a local gun show.

While this event was deemed the worst school shooting in American history, sparking major debates about gun laws, none were passed nationally that would require sellers to screen buyers at gun shows.

At 7:15a.m. on Apr. 16, 2007, four days before the anniversary of Columbine, Seung-Hui Cho began his two-part shooting spree, killing 32 people at Virginia Tech before turning his gun and killing himself. While there is no evidence that he purchased his guns at a gun show, he did buy one over the internet.

According to, in a detention order signed by Special Justice Paul M. Barnett in 2005, Cho was described as "mentally ill and in need of hospitalization, presenting an imminent danger to himself or others as a result of mental illness…"

On Jan. 19, 2008 a bill was presented to the Virginia State Senate that if passed would prohibit criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms at gun shows.

On Jan. 21, the above bill was rejected and sidetracked onto the Virginia State Crime Comission "for further study," as survivors and families of the Virginia Tech Massacre stood in support of the bill passing and their opposers stood nearby wearing buttons reading "Guns Save Lives".

In 1999 this country got as far as debating about the gun laws. In 2008 we have come as far getting a bill to a state senate, yet regardless of the innocent victims gunned down in their classrooms, our country still will not admit that there are some people who should not be able to buy guns. Is this because the change would inhibit gun sales? Is it because over 40 lives aren't worth restricting Second Amendment rights for minors, criminals, and the mentally ill? Whatever it is, by voting "no" on bills that restrict certain individuals from buying guns, time and again we allow history to repeat itself on an even greater scale than before

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