Stricter Gun Control This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 23, 2013
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Did you know that all handguns are semi-automatic? This means that all that stands between you and death is the pull of a trigger. Limited access to handguns would decrease violence, as has been proven in the past by numerous laws. In addition, the mass killings that throw a blanket of loss and sorrow upon our nation can only be done with guns.

The opposing argument – that the Second Amendment applies and gives us the right to possess guns – is not supported with evidence, and is plain hogwash. When the amendment was adopted in 1791, the general public made up the militia to which the amendment refers. By this definition, only the military and other state security groups, such as the National Guard, should possess the right to bear arms.

Many including Kurt Eichenwald of Vanity Fair, believe that “America needs to repeal the Second Amendment.” Those who do not support gun control believe the solution is to allow everyone to have guns for self-defense. Consider, though, how many brawls break out every day. If everyone has a gun, these fights might not end with just concussions and black eyes; more people would die. On the other side of the argument, with more sensible ­reasons, gun control advocates believe firearms should be taken away from the mentally ill and criminals. The endless debating, conflicts and deaths caused by guns is why my state of Michigan should limit access to handguns.

Quite simply, guns cause violence and death. Even though the U.S. populates only five percent of the world, we own almost 50 percent of civilian guns worldwide. Gun control laws help keep the public safe from heavy artillery weapons. Although the laws in place should be stricter, there is sufficient proof that they succeed in protecting the public. According to the Macmillan Social Science ­Library, the 1994 Brady Law, which required background checks and a five-day waiting period for all handgun sales, prompted a ­drastic decline in violence. Aggravated assaults involving guns dropped 12.4 ­percent, violent crimes from guns decreased by 35 percent, and more than 500,000 convicted felons were prevented from purchasing firearms. After the 1989 ban on importing assault rifles, the number of rifles used in homicides fell by 45 percent the very next year!

The number of people affected by gun violence in America is devastating. Their slogan perfectly summarizes the need for stricter gun control laws. “There are too many victims of gun violence because we make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons in America.” Their research showed that in 2011, one-fifth of the 100,000 people shot in the United States were children and teens. Currently, background checks do not ­include charges in non-criminal offenses such as domestic violence and mental health. Creating stricter gun control laws would keep guns away from those who may become violent with the possession of a dangerous weapon.

Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Columbine. These mass shootings were all performed with semi-automatic handguns. The shooters had psychological issues. In addition, there have been 70 mass shootings since the attempted assassination of Senator Gifford two years ago. In fact, disputes involving guns have become more and more frequent.

Other devastating outcomes can result from the ­severe trauma of a shooting. In Houston, Texas, several people had cardiac arrests from the stress of a shooting situation. Another consequence is the very grave ­incidents of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The victims of the Columbine incident had reactions after the killing at Sandy Hook. After a near-death experience, and likely physical injuries, victims are also hindered by psychological issues.

The most important and core democratic value, the right to life, has been violated by loose, lethargic gun-control laws. Since this core democratic value is a right we all possess, each person has the right to the protection of his or her life. Guns endanger lives and deprive us of the first natural right listed in the Declaration of Independence. “We … are endowed … with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Guns have compromised this right to life, and have also deprived us of feeling safe and secure.

As John F. Kennedy put it, “Change is the law of life.” It is time we changed the laws that made it possible for 20 first-graders to die. We must make it much more difficult for anyone with an untreated mental illness, or someone who has been in prison, to buy a gun. Many others are affected by the effects of these mass shootings including those who have lost loved ones. Even if those killed are not our acquaintances, our spirits are struck by a brutal blow. After the killing of five- and six-year-old children, we cannot help but think: What if? What would their lives have been like? What will they never experience? This is why we must limit access to handguns and make stricter gun-control laws, in the state of Michigan, and the rest of the country.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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jojo_d said...
Mar. 8, 2014 at 7:21 pm
Dear author, I agree with your argument 100% that America needs heavily stricter gun control.  However, this article is slightly misinformed.  Many mass shootings did not occur with handguns but semi-automatic rifles.  DO NOT let pro-gun comments discouraging from pursuing this topic and trying to make a difference.  I have made that mistake and I regret it every day
SamAdams1776 replied...
Dec. 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm
Some inportant points:   1. We don't get any rights from the Bill of Rights: it's purpose according to its own preamble is to restrict government. The rights are assumed as natural, pre-existing rights, so repealing any of the Bill of Rights would not remove that which is natural adn pre-existing; it would simply mean the government was hostile to our natural rights--not actually give it authority it cannot have--since government is not the author of our rights in the first plac... (more »)
backwoodshunter said...
Mar. 3, 2014 at 1:16 am
the right to bear arms is an amendment wether you like it or not. and not all people should have guns for self defences there are rules that stop ''bad guys'' from getting them. also taking guns away from good american people will take away their defence from people that get them on the black market. and last the 2nd amenment will never be repealed because there are too many people that support the amendment.
country00 said...
Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm
did it ever occur to you that taking away guns won't take away violence as i said in my first post if you magically take away our guns people find different weapons then what are? you going to do try to take away or restrict all the other weapon? please look for the facts look at different things instead of websites look at songs and online speeches take away my gun when u take it away from my ancestor.  
mplo replied...
Oct. 7, 2015 at 9:57 am
Here's the rub, country00: Nobody says that a person can't be seriously injured or even killed by a knife wound, a blow with the fist or a kick, or even a club, or even an attempted strangulation. A gun, however, is not only far easier to use, but the use of a gun is even more likely to result in a death or a permanent maiming. Depending on the area and intensity of the injury, the chances of survival and/or full reccovery from a stab wound, a bludgeoning, a kick, a blow with the fist, or ev... (more »)
Country00 said...
Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm
many of you that are saying yes your only defence is that our crime rate is higher so get rid of guns you say no gun no violence. well who are you to take away the guns people have bought and the guns that have been passed down trough generations? who are you to say that guns are evil they are not! most of my family extended family included knows how to shoot. it is something we have fun doing it is something we care about. who are you that say we shouldn't ave the freedom to shoot, own gune... (more »)
MUDDIN55 replied...
May 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm
guns dont kill people people kill people!
Bill Nye Not said...
Feb. 6, 2014 at 9:02 am
Your very first sentence was a lie, why should anyone bother with the rest. I'm guessing you have had a public education.
Opinionated12 replied...
Mar. 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm
I found that comment extremely offensive. Just because someone doesn't have a private education doesn't mean you should be little them or that they are anything less than someone with private schooling. Clearly, you are quite arrogant and rude.
Yoloswag replied...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm
It's not the education that he is truly attacking. It's the lack of effort the author put into researching this paper. A quick 20 minutes of googling will show correlations between stricter gun laws and higher violent crime, the definition of a semiautomatic hand gun, the facts surrounding the prohibition of firearms in the aurora, sandy hook, columbine, and VT shootings.
mplo replied...
Oct. 7, 2015 at 10:02 am
I beg to differ. I think that the article was well written, and the author did a very good job conveying his/her points across.
danielleaj said...
Feb. 3, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Very convincing essay. To all those complaining about the facts, essays are formal writing and usually have a purpose to convey, persuade for instance, and the facts are just for elaborating and do not have to be correct. They are to serve the purpose of the essay as supporting deatils.
FrankInFL replied...
Dec. 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm
I beg your pardon...  Facts don't have to be right?   You're not serious  If you're a teacher, you are committing malpractice.

Sen. Daniel patrck Moynihan used to say "You're entitled to your own opinion.  You're not entitled to your own facts."   Yes, by God, facts do have to be right.
john said...
Jan. 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm
all hand guns are not semi automatic get your facts strait before you open your mouth  
EmmaClaire0823 said...
Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm
This is ridiculous. Criminals don't follow laws in the first place, so why would we ban guys when all that does is prohit good people from owning guns. It isn't like someone who wants to commit mass murder is going to say darn, handguns are illegal I can't kill these people anymore. That isn't going to happen. If you ban guns all you do is keep honest, good samaritans from having defense against criminals. It is amazing this got to the magazine. 
Darkness replied...
Feb. 18, 2014 at 2:37 am
mate your trying to tell me that becasue a criminal doesn't follow the law, everyone should be allowed to have guns, does that not mean, that a criminal could get a gun?
Void27 said...
Nov. 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm
The fact of the matter is that if you make it harder for everyone to own a gun then more gun abuse will break out following the complaing by americans all over, no matter how safe you think we can make this place, no matter how many laws are passed to "try" and stop this from happening, the truth of it is that guns are also sold under the table (meaning there are more then one way to get a gun of any kind) we as kids, we as teenagers, will always get a hand onto a gun because the law c... (more »)
mplo replied...
Dec. 30, 2015 at 11:31 am
The fact that there are rogue gun dealers who operate underground and sell to people illegally, without requiring waiting periods or background checks are a huge, huge part of the problem. These rogue gun dealers need to be put out of business altogether.
theTruthReturns said...
Nov. 7, 2013 at 1:48 am
Not supported with evidence?  How about 222 years of republicanism, the fact that we hold inalienable rights that cannot simply be voted away by the majority?  It is the very thing that makes this country a republic rather than a democratic state!     The 'opposing argument' reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and be... (more »)
JustinNelson said...
Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm
Maybe the problem isn't guns. Maybe it's psychotropic drugs being dealt by the pharmacies for made up mental disorders like depression and ADD? Most of the shooters in recent times have been on these drugs and need I remind everyone about when a man snorted bathsalts and ate another man's face off? We live in an addictive reality with some of the most dangerous drugs being dealt by our pharmacies, grocery stores, and just-for-kicks at our fast food pig-toughs (not restaurants).
Madd replied...
Dec. 17, 2013 at 9:23 am
I agree with you, it's not the guns that are the problem, its the people behind it and whats being pumped into their nervous system. Btw Rush is amazing...
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