Bloody Toulmin

December 3, 2010
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Sitting in math class, starts out as a normal day, until blood splatters on my paper and on the right side of my face. I turn to find a gun pointed on my head and am being told to get on my stomach with my hands up. I look around and see a couple of bodies on the floor, I look at the shooter and my body shutters: stone faced and unrecognizable. Now take a deep breath and imagine experiencing that. Imagine coming home and your child telling you that today could have been their last and then telling you that is what happened today at school. “On April 16, 2007, the campus of Virginia Tech was stained with the blood of 32 people killed and 20 injured in the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.”(Katy Ralston, April 29th, 2010) There have been plenty of academic shootings in the U.S. The increase of shootings in academic institutions in the United States represents a senseless, immoral, and destructive act.
Shootings cause fear and have increased in academic institutions around the U.S. All people deserve to live without fear in an academic setting; all people should feel safe. The reason shootings have increased around the U.S. is because there are so many loop holes in the system. Most people say that a killer got the gun by stealing it, but that is not a true statement. Two ways that make it easy for a person to access a gun is through a straw purchase, or through Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL). It is easier for a youth to get a gun through a straw purchase. A straw purchase is when a person, person A, walks into a gun store with another person, person B. Person A chooses out the gun they want and person B will buy the gun using their identification and then give it to person A. FFL are people who legally own firearms but sell them to people who cannot legally own firearms. If adults can’t even abide by the law when they are supposed to be role models then how are younger generations supposed to know what to follow? Adults talk about how younger generations are going to mess everything up, but they can’t even get it right themselves! “Between 1994 and 1999, there were 220 school associated violent events resulting in 253 deaths - - 74.5% of these involved firearms. Handguns caused almost 60% of these deaths.” (Journal of American Medical Association, December 2001). “In the 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.” (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000). “The National School Boards Association estimates that more than 135,000 guns are brought into U.S. schools each day.” (NSBA, 1993). Even though the statistics above show years a while back the statistics in this generation still run high.
Shooting people is a senseless act that comes from nothing. Shooting rampages or just shootings in general, are built from nothing. Shooting in general is such an unexpected act. It can never truly be predicted when someone will be shot, it may be hinted but it is not something that is predictable when it would take place or even where. People don’t have a definite cause for killing; it is just a reaction of emotions that build up after time. People who kill are like ticking time bombs, they hold everything inside and then they just explode. The killers that tend to explode are the ones who usually go on a killing rampage. Those who kill only one or two people have targeted them specifically for certain reasons. When people kill it is something that is planned, not a reaction at random. As the killers plan they tend to leave subtle hints, so that is definitely something that needs to be responded to a lot faster than it has been. The people that are most often targeted are the bullies, and they are being targeted by someone who has suffered from the torture they were put through by that person.
As a murderer you aren’t like everybody else you are immoral. Everybody has morals in their life; it is what makes them who they are. One thing that is so difficult for people to understand is what exactly was the murderer thinking when they did such a thing. How can you go to a school where you are well known and just kill friends or even innocent classmates? What state of mind allows you to do such a thing? It is shown that most people who have murdered have suffered from either illness, a recent loss or suffering, or were not raised in the greatest environment. As a parent do you really want to walk around saying, “my child killed someone!!”? It is very doubtful you do, so spend time with your children and see where their minds are at, teach them good morals, and the difference between right and wrong.
Killing people effects the lives of loved ones to those lost and loved ones in your life; therefore this is a very destructive act. Not only does killing someone or multiple people effect your life, but other’s around you and people in your life. Think about it, instead of ending one person’s life you are damaging other’s close to that one person. Picture the closest person to you; no matter a friend, family member, adult, whomever, imagine one day you get a phone call saying that this person was involved in an unfortunate event and got shot. Not only did this person get shot, but they died instantaneously. Once this information was relayed to you how would you feel? Emotions would be pouring through you and it would be very difficult to handle. When the time of the wake and the funeral roll around all those people that showed up, they are the ones who are affected by this tragedy. Aside from the people who show up, the community, university, etc. are all affected by this tragedy. The killer’s side of the family is also affected by the tragedy no matter if the killer took their own life or is being locked up. This situation is a lose-lose situation so it seems almost indescribable of why a person would ever want to do this. It is like dominoes, you push one and they all fall.
The Virginia Tech shooting was the biggest blood bath in the history of the U.S. education. Not only were the sidewalks stained with blood, but there was a trail of blood in the dormitory. Do we really want this to be repeated? Technology is increasing and younger generations are being raised around this type of violence. As technology increases and knowledge in the minds of younger children increases, these acts of violence will only become more clever and most likely harder to swallow. Since younger kids are introduced to this violence they have more time to plan their attacks out. The younger generations are more advanced with technology and will find more loop holes in the system and be able to get what they want. Academic institutions are not fully caught up on the generation of technology, which gives these kids something to take advantage of. The increase of shootings in academic institutions in the United States represents a senseless, immoral, and destructive act. How well do you really know your child? For all you know they could be shot or they could even be the shooter.





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