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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22rbhattacharyyaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
today at 8:17 am
@ktribbey6 Totally agree... just read the Bill of Rights (2nd amendment uhny
ktribbey6 said...
Oct. 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm
guns aren't the problem it's mentally unstable people who shouldn't have them killing people just because a gun looks scary doesn't mean it is more lethal this essay right from the get go is completely stupid.
Monsieur_Sam said...
Oct. 10, 2016 at 7:19 pm
Even though I disagree with you, congratulations on a well written article! My only problem was the accuracy of your second amendment claim. The second amendment reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In your argument, you overlooked the part of keeping a free state, which is impossible without guns. I would have liked to see a counter to that argument. But very well written! Even... (more »)
TheTrinster said...
May 16, 2016 at 6:22 pm
Could anyone link me an article/essay where the author actually has any factual knowledge on firearms
RynOcerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 19, 2016 at 12:08 am
This is a teen submitted article on a website that is an echochamber for teenage opinions... What did you expect?
danielasanchezdiaz said...
Mar. 31, 2016 at 9:34 pm
I strongly agree with your opinion. The second amendment is misread by those who use it like an excuse to spread hate and fear in humanity. Guns are not the solution.
jesseshook.js replied...
Apr. 3, 2016 at 11:38 am
I agree with you
KingCheetah replied...
Sept. 21, 2016 at 7:21 pm
I would like to respectfully disagree on your stance concerning gun laws. I believe in stricter gun laws, more thorough background checks, and a ban on any and all military grade guns. However, there are multiple reasons why some guns, handguns hunting rifles/ shotguns should remain available (although restricted). First is the economy. A ban on guns would cause a massive part of the gun producing industry to disappear. That means anyone who has a job in this industry now has to pack up and look... (more »)
GraSled said...
Feb. 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm
I see your point. But these people we call criminals are called that for a reason. They will always find ways to get to guns. Through a friend or in the black market. All stricter gun laws will do is prevent people that use them right, weather for sport or personal defence, from being able to obtain them. Also, not ALL handguns are semi-auto. Most of them are, true, but there are some that you reload after firing every projectile. And Revolvers aren't (technically) considered semi-auto.
Julia replied...
Mar. 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm
I love this very informative, non hateful reply! Thanks for thinking before typing. :)
michaelmaksmyday said...
Feb. 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm
No offense, but your writing which can not in truth be called agenuine "article", due to it containing nothing but falsehoods, inaccuracies, misquotes, falacies,fiction & utter nonsense, would take too many pages of rebuttal in order to answer factually & to substantiate so many many incorrect claims & innuendoes. Therefore one factual statement by one of our founding fathers should at least factually state exactly why they had the experience, wisdom common sense, patriotism,sincereity, & expert... (more »)
Trump2016 said...
Jan. 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm
How about you learn how guns actually work instead of saying all handguns are semi automatic.
michaelmaksmyday replied...
Feb. 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm
exactly, even that is false in this obvious anti Rights piece of political propaganda
trump 2016 said...
Jan. 28, 2016 at 2:27 pm
Making stricter gun control laws will only take guns away from good, law-abiding citizens. Criminals will always get guns...
jesseshook.js replied...
Apr. 3, 2016 at 11:40 am
not unless you give every gun seller a sheet of all of the people who cannot purchase a gun.
elephab12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm
In a country like America, taking away citizens' guns would be a monumental task. Really, it would be easier to cut off every American's right arm. The people here are extremely attached to their guns and always will be, so threaten to take them away would cause chaos. However, one can not hide behind the illusion that owning a gun is always for the greater good. Other advanced countries like Japan, Australia, and Britain have far fewer gun - related deaths each year with no corresponding increa... (more »)
m-ashreader said...
Oct. 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm
So someone breaks into your home at night. You can't protect yourself because the government has taken you gun. Then your family dies because you had no way to protect yourself. Let's be honest if bad guys want guns, there going to get guns even if our government takes everyone else's. It's kind of like drugs. Are they illegal? Yes, but still hundreds if not thousands of people still manage to get there hands on them and die everyday. This happens in Mexico all the time. Weapons are not a... (more »)
michaelmaksmyday replied...
Feb. 7, 2016 at 7:31 pm
really good & accurate reply. maybe the writer will at least come to some sensible conclusions now & will have some sense of loyalty & consideration for their own loved ones at least if not for our counjtry & all of our freedoma & liberties which she obviously shows so much distain for.
T.Snow said...
Jun. 26, 2015 at 4:38 pm
“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.” ― Adolf Hitler From the living devil himself. This sums up what they are slowly and successfully doing to not only our country and our lives, but our future abi... (more »)
m-ashreader replied...
Oct. 2, 2015 at 1:14 pm
This an amazing and true! Thank you so much for writing it. I totally agree with you!!!
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