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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This article has 106 comments. Post your own now!

FrankInFL said...
Dec. 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm
If gun owners were as ignorant, callous, vicious, venal, and violent as the anti-gun crowd (and this article's author) always depict us bodies would be stacked like cord wood on street corners from coast to coast (and they're not).  In the process of getting there, the species H. armatus would become endangered (at least) or extinct.  NRA members, being (on the whole) heavily armed, would find themselves the first demographic to go extinct as they kill each other off daily. C... (more »)
HacobJidalgo said...
Nov. 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm
Saying guns cause violence is like saying "all white people are fat", because its not true and it would never be true, because it depends on the user, I agree on the stricter policies part, but I still don't understand why people should ban video games or ban certain music because this makes people go balistic and go rouge and start killing off everybody one by one. In fact I dissagred with you from the start. Good day to you sir or mam.
mplo replied...
Oct. 7, 2015 at 9:44 am
Nobody says that guns cause violence, but they do increase it by quite a bit, because it's way easier to pick up a gun, aim it at a person from a distance, and then pull the trigger. Comparing guns with video games, cars, certain types of music, etc., is totally non-sequitur, first because cars are designed for transportation, and video games and music are for people's enjoyment, as are movies. As a gun-control advocate, I'm aware of the fact that a total ban on handguns is not realistically... (more »)
Hammer80 said...
Oct. 30, 2014 at 10:57 am
Your very first sentence is false, and not all handguns are semi automatic. Semi Automatic means 1 pull of trigger, 1 bullet is fired. Glock makes several fully automatic handguns that are not easily accessable to the public. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 makes automatic firearms, semi automatic converted to fully automatic firearms, illeal. This means that any full auto firearm manufactured in the US or imported to the US before May 19, 1986 is legal for anyone who is willing to pay... (more »)
Anonymous Teen Brony said...
Oct. 17, 2014 at 1:31 am
Saying that guns cause violence is like saying that pencils make mistakes, cars drive drunk, and spoons made oprah fat! and my tip for all people using this website for school stuff, dont'! talk to professionals please.
ThinkRonSwanson said...
Sept. 19, 2014 at 10:28 am
The only thing that's hogwash is the thought that taking away guns could actually work. For instance, if you took away all registered guns, who would have guns at all? Criminals. You know, the people who actually commit crimes? You can not just say "Give me your guns" and expect one person to give you all the registered/unregistered weapons. 
Islandman said...
Jun. 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm
Ok I'm writing a paper on this as well, and will dispute the authors stance on the issue of stricter gun laws as a nice engaging warm up. (Author is pro gun control) 1. Not all hand guns are semi-auto, (see revolvers, and derringers.) Remember old western movies where the cowboys had to use there thumb to pull the hammer of there revolver back before they can shoot the bad guys. 2. The militia and the military were/are not the same. Author appears to purposely misinterpret the second amendme... (more »)
Wildfire replied...
Dec. 4, 2014 at 1:30 am
BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! Well stated!
ABPippins replied...
May 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm
Amen! I want to read what you wrote for this assignment now! Excellently stated
SchrodingersCatisDead said...
May 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm
I agree with you! Your point are good but... It's a opinion/current event, that doesn't mean it has to be boring! Your writing is stiff, in order to keep readers entranced you have to make us interested.
KandiceMichelle said...
May 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm
You have my utmost respect for writing something so controversial. You did a good job writing the piece, but I don't agree with your points. I don't want to bash your opinions because there isn't much of a point. Neither of us are going to agree, but you did a good job writing it :)
axlyte said...
May 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm
you know this just shows the political education of those blinded to what the government stands for the american flag used to stand for liberty and freedom now it stands for greed i fully support the second amendment and we'll just see where this person ends up to be
Billyjones814 said...
Apr. 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm
Ok I started reading this and the sentence that says "All handguns are semi-automatic." What the heck do you think revolvers are? You have to pull the hammer for each shot. If you are doing a gun control essay, you should know the proper mechanics for guns. That being said, something else I found faulty in your paper is the 2nd Amendment. When it says "the right to own and bear arms" is a right of any citizen. The First Ten Amendments are called The Bill of Rights. Those we... (more »)
big i said...
Apr. 11, 2014 at 10:54 am
look not all hang guns are semi automatic yes some are but alot are not so learn somethimg before you post a status about guns im a rancher and have alot of guns and i would know alot of the school shootings happened with bigger rifles like ak 47 alot of guns like that so please please look upsome gun information
Mikey123 replied...
Dec. 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm
hes talking about hand guns
juygdyj replied...
Dec. 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm
hes talking about handguns. read what he posted then you could start talikng
big Q said...
Mar. 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm
im not going to deign to finish reading all your article, (its not worth my time), you start out with "all handguns are semi-automatic" look up what a revolver is.. you have to pull back the hammer with every shot. there are also single-shot pistols as well... learn something about guns before you post crap about them online!
taylorr replied...
May 9, 2014 at 9:53 am
is that really nice to say a gun is a gun so what get over it!
TXhypno replied...
Dec. 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm
A couple commenters have made the erroneous statement that you have to pull the hammer back on a revolver in order to fire it.  Almost all revolvers are "double action" which means all you have to do is pull the trigger to fire.  Single action, like the old Colt .45, are the only ones where you must first pull back the hammer.
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
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