Control the People; Not the Guns

One of the most debated and most controversial topics that is talked about right now is gun control. This topic is debated on so heavily, because of the hazards that guns provide. Ever since the 10 amendments were created, the second amendment has stated “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This opens up the door for discussion, because on one hand, guns are dangerous, while on the other hand, guns are necessary for self defense. Many people resort to the second amendment and say that it contains the supreme laws of the United States, and that the right to bear arms cannot be touched upon. Others argue that the second amendment is outdated and that guns are more dangerous than ever before. No matter what side you are on, the doors are always open for debate.

average-firearms-per-100-people

From a safety standpoint, guns should totally be eradicated. Unmonitored firearms have been the cause behind horrific events, such as Sandy Hook. America also has one of the highest death rates involving firearms. In 2014 alone, there has been 10,945 murders involving firearms. This number only includes homicides. However, suicides take up about 62% of all gun related deaths. When put into perspective, suicides involving firearms take up 49% of all suicides. From hearing this evidence, most people want guns to be banned, or have some form of restriction on them. On the other hand, guns are a form of self defense. Guns put your mind at peace, knowing that you have the means to protect yourself. If this basic right that takes the form of our second amendment is infringed upon, how would the people have the means to protect themselves? In 2012, there were 1.2 million criminal cases that involved murder, burglary, and more. In other terms, there were 1.2 million opportunities for a victim to use a gun as a form of self defense.

Personally, I believe that the power to purchase, use, and own a gun should continue to be a right. With rising criminal threats in America, many people need a form of protection, which also provides mental tranquility. A gun is just that. Of course, not everybody should be able to purchase a gun. Background checks should be required, to ensure that the gun is going to a safe location. Additionally, guns should be protected by something such as a safe. This will reduce the chances of someone using a gun in a harmful way to others. Another factor in owning a gun that I believe to be important is the education behind it. I compare this to obtaining a driving license. Nobody can drive a car without proper education. This should apply to guns to prevent accidental injuries. The education should entail how a gun works, how to implement safety features, and how to use a gun. While the second amendment may be outdated, the need for a gun is stronger than ever. Guns provide self defense for almost anyone, and could prevent many criminal invasions from being successful. With criminal activities being more frequent than in the past, the average citizen needs the means to stay safe in their personal belongings.

I have come to the conclusion that the guns themselves are not the problem. It is the people who choose to use guns against others. This relates to why I believe that a background check is necessary. Does the person requesting for a firearm have any mental disabilities? Do they live with anyone dangerous that could obtain a gun? Do they have any criminal activity on their record? These questions are supplemental when determining if someone can own a gun. Guns alone do not hurt others. Guns provide the opportunity for people who want to use physical assaulting and violence on others. As long as people are responsibly using guns for self defense, or even recreational activities, they should be permitted.

-Xavier 

Is Violence in Video Games to Blame for Violence in Real Life?

A large majority of the American population believes that the content in some video games causes violent behavior in the people who play them. Take the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto franchise for example. Grand Theft Auto V had record breaking sales in its first day of being released. It is a game revolving around, chaos. It breaks the boundaries of the phrase “do whatever you want,” because in this game, you can buy a million dollar car one minute, and then the next, it explodes because you drove it straight into a taco truck. Or, the player could purchase a tank and go on a rampage through the streets. Now these are the kind of actions that cause many people to think that video games cause violent behavior, but this is simply not the case. Recent studies show that violent video games have nothing to do with the actions of people in real life. It is only mental defects that cause such actions.

I strongly agree with these studies. The fact that so many people blame video games for tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shooting is just absurd. These happenings are the result of mental illness, not because someone wanted to recreate a video game in real life. As I said earlier, Grand Theft Auto V had record-breaking sales in its first day. Basically, this means that millions upon millions of people bought the game, many not as mature as they ought to be. You don’t see these millions of people going out and carjacking someone do you? Didn’t think so. The only reason that these things might happen is that a few very impressionable kids that are WAY too young to be playing violent games, go and try and do what they saw in real life. But still, this isn’t the video games’ faults. It’s the result of parents that don’t care what their kids play or see on TV.

So now the problem stands, what can we do to make people see that video games are not at fault for violence? There are too  many people that need something to blame for violence in America, and unfortunately, their scapegoat is video games. Despite the large amounts of scientific research that disproves that video games cause violence in people, not enough of them will listen.

~Ethan

Deadly Rampage at U.S. Navy Yard

 

On September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former member of the Navy, killed 12 and injured 8 people at the Washington Navy Yard. Aaron had been employed at the base by a military subcontractor, was killed in a shootout with police. It was believed that he gained access to the secure facility from the ID of a 50 year-old former Navy Yard employee, however he was also working as an IT company worker that was upgrading the Navy’s computer systems. D.C. authorities did not suspect terrorism, but his motive still remains a mystery. At first, officials believed that two people were involved in the shooting, Aaron Alexis and a white man in a tan outfit. Later they found out that the man they believed to have been involved, was identified and was no longer a suspect. Not all of the 8 people that were injured were shot, some were just injured when fleeing the scene. Some say this will bring back the discussion of gun laws and how we should make them a national matter.

The issue of gun violence in the U.S. has caused the strengthening of gun laws. Mayor Vincent Gray of Washington D.C., joined President Barack Obama in the fight to tighten gun laws due to the recent shootings. Many people think Obama is to blame for the shootings and that these shootings could have been prevented if we didn’t have such weak gun laws. Others say that we need national gun laws. I agree with those people because obviously local gun laws will not work when you could just go to another jurisdiction to buy a gun. If we had national gun laws, maybe this shooting, along with others could have been prevented. For example, after a mass murder in Australia, the Australian government passed strict gun laws. Since then, there has not been another mass murder. In the U.S., we have one shooting after another. Will they ever end?

~Alyssa

Are Schools Really as Safe as They Say?

There has been more than 30 school shootings since Columbine in 1999, but only about 15 throughout the rest of the world since the Columbine shooting. With school shootings becoming more common in the US, what are schools doing to be safer for students and staff? Some schools have just begun to practice lockdown drills in case of emergency and locking school doors during the day.  Before December, many schools left their doors unlocked during the day, free for people to come and go. Some schools in Ohio are required to give a floor plan to police, and 58 schools have failed to do so. A bill is trying to be passed in Congress called the School Safety Enhancement Act of 2013. The bill is trying to ensure that schools can get the money they need for school safety.

In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, many schools all over the country are reconsidering their safety plan. But why did it take the lives of children for schools to realize they weren’t safe? Even this past week in Connecticut a five year old was able to get out of his kindergarten class and walk all the way home. In the same school, a young girl was missing for about 45 minutes before found in her sisters classroom. Schools claim to be taking more safety measures, but if a school cannot even keep track of all it’s student, what would happen if everyone were to be evacuated? Here in Cheshire, we have been practicing lockdown drills in schools for years, long before Newtown. Even though many schools don’t have many safety measures, it is better late than never to keep students and staff safe in school.

~Carolynn Pechmann

Taking Steps To Prevent Another Sandy Hook

On December 14, 2013, twenty children and six adults were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. This tragedy hit the U.S. by storm in their hearts and their minds. A realization occurred that the use of guns in the U.S. must be controlled. Twenty-six innocent people died that day.  We must do our best to prevent any more. On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Connecticut state senators intensely discussed a bill to control the overall use of guns. This bill would require background checks on the private sale of guns and a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips (the kind used in the Sandy Hook shooting). The high-capacity ammunition clips that the shooter used allowed him to shoot 154 rounds in five minutes. The bill will also create a $15 million fund in order to help schools improve security due to the fact that it would also increase the amount of weapons included in Connecticut’s assault weapons ban. The bill is still being intensely debated in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. For more information visit here.

I think that by placing these measures, it would make the U.S. Government feel they did something to help protect people from another shooting like Sandy Hook. I believe that it’s a “grey area” if you ban the use of guns to the public, it would be a violation of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, the right to bear arms. Still, as long as guns are available to the public, it’s possible for another tragedy to happen any day. I’ve heard the term, “working the system”, well I believe “working the system” is exactly what these types of people do to get their hands on a gun. On the other hand, a 15 million dollar fund in order to help protect schools from tragedies like Sandy Hook from happening again, is something long overdue. Would you give up your right to bear arms in order to protect from another Sandy Hook? I would! What do you think?

~Kellie Phipps

Gun Control

On December 14, 2012, 20 students and 6 adults were shot and killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It was just a regular day.  Little did the parents know that they might not see their children again because of a man with a rifle and two pistols.  Imagine having to say to our child that we lost your older sister?  The issue is, should we go against the second amendment of the United States that gives people the right to bear arms?

Shootings keep on happening.  How are we supposed to stop that?  I believe that guns shouldn’t be banned, but there should be stricter policies to be able to own one.  Some people use a gun for a hobby.  People also need a gun to defend themselves, but how are we supposed to know if they are going to defend themselves, or shoot innocent people?  There are many different opinions about this issue.  People get very fired up when this comes up in a day-to-day conversation.  I don’t blame them.  This is for their safety.  People with a criminal record shouldn’t be allowed to purchase guns.  But should we?

~Bailey Cunningham

Taking away our Arms

 

On December 14, 2012, in Sandy Hook, 20 students and six adults were shot and killed by guns. An assault rifle and two pistols were the death weapon. Nobody thought a tragedy such as this could happen since the Columbine shootings, but we were wrong. Ever since the shooting Congress and the president have been arguing heavily on if gun laws should be more strict, or if they should even take away the second amendment. President Obama has already banned assault rifles. After one ban, there will be more bans

The second amendment of the United States gives the people, of the United States, the right to bear arms. Now this amendment was also ratified in 1791 and involved muskets;  not pistols and assault rifles. These shootings keep happening, but we cannot prevent people from having guns. It’s a national safety hazard and terrorism acts will happen against places. Criminals don’t need to use guns. There are plenty more weapons they could use to create chaos. That’s why I believe if guns weren’t banned we could protect our families, our children, and our schools from memories of horror. With guns, we could stop criminals before anything serious happens.

~Zach Racow

Virtual Violence

 

Human society is rife with people blaming horrible events on even minorly related things. People automatically associate events with things that may not even be minorly related to each other. One particular example is the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Some people blame video games for the crazed gunman act. People in Connecticut are proposing a tax on M-Rated video games, as to deter buying them, and deter violence. I personally disagree with these people, I believe that video games are not the catalyst for violence in young people.

I don’t see how people can believe this! They believe that a twenty-something man was influenced by a video game to murder people. The only thing that could have fueled his horrible act was criminal insanity! If a child is horribly violent, there is only one group to blame: the parents. They are the people to allow their child to play a game that has been recommended for people  of 17 years or older.  The parents should exercise their power upon the kids, and should be aware of what resources their children are using. I believe that only teenagers and up should be allowed to play violent games. Also, studies have shown that violent video games may be good for the brain.

~Andrew Below

Gun control in America???

There is no doubt that after what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School here in Connecticut everybody has been affected in some way shape or form. Even though it has already been a month, we are still seeing and feeling the effects. One thing that has changed just recently is in our class every day. Have you noticed the doors locked? This is one action Dodd has taken towards our safety to protect us at school. Another debate that has occurred is Gun Control, which in my personal opinion is very important and very close to home.  If you recall the man who is accountable for the deaths of these innocent children and workers at the school, he stole the firearm. Obviously any man that would do this should not be allowed to have a firearm, and he probably couldn’t get one, that is why he stole it from his mother, who was completely sane. That might not why he stole it that is what I personally believe.

Many people want the second amendment right taken away; which is the right to bear arms. I can’t help but wonder if the people who support this idea , have ever shot a firearm on a regular basis, have learned to respect firearms, learned how they work , how to handle firearms , and how to shoot a firearm. I firmly believe the answer to all of these is not yes, but for me they are. I have been shooting firearms every week at least for over a year. I have learned to respect all firearms in such a way that I doubt anybody in the school could even compare. If I was not introduced to firearm safety I would not respect them. I strongly believe all people should be introduced to firearms so they develop a respect for them .When you tell most adults as a 13 year old girl that you shoot firearms, they automatically believe that you are doing it irresponsibly. That is not at all the case.  Every person that I have met that shoots firearms at the range I go to have such a respect for firearms that most people underestimate. You will never joke around with a firearm and safety is insanely important if you are using them responsibly.

The people that abuse firearms should not be able to shoot a firearm. This seems very obvious to most people. When you buy a firearm you have to present your permit and not just anybody could have one. What you don’t need a permit for is rifles and shotguns.  Instead of banning firearms from everybody, including people who are perfectly capable of handling a firearm, Congress should pass laws requiring a permit to purchase any kind of firearm. Any type of firearm could harm or kill anybody if used in the wrong way. You don’t need to ban firearms because people who do shoot them correctly wouldn’t use them in the wrong way. If people can buy a firearm who shouldn’t be, that is the problem that should be fixed. There are millions of people that use firearms to protect themselves, hunt or use recreationally that would not be able to use them if the second amendment right is taken away. If that is taken away over a million people can’t defend themselves if need be. For somebody like me who shoots recreationally and most importantly to get better, their sport will get taken away. Would you like it if lacrosse , football, soccer , baseball , softball , hockey , basketball and anything else you do would get taken away? It is the same thing here. This isn’t the right answer; instead you should prevent people who shouldn’t be shooting firearms from being able to, instead of not allowing people who should be able to shoot firearms from being able to.

-Mikenzy Golebiewski

Gun Debate

Columbine, Aurora, and Sandy Hook. All scenes of mass shootings, killing the innocent. They were killed by not terrorists, not aliens, but citizens of the United States of America. They were killed because there is no law in this country greatly limiting the process of owning a gun. There are many debates as to whether or not an ordinary citizen should have the right to own a gun. Lawmakers, after the Sandy Hook shooting, are hard at work, banning certain dangerous semiautomatic firearms. Now, why not ban all firearms to begin with? The other side of the debate is that if we ban all guns, we are violating the second amendment. The second amendment states all citizens of the United States of America have “The right to keep and bear arms.”

I personally believe that we should ban all citizens from owning firearms. We should only give the trained and professional police officers guns. But, this would be in a way violating the constitution, therefore I propose that the national legislature immediately begins taking action in creating very strict laws. My suggestion is that all gun owners take an annual test to make sure they are mentally stable, properly know how to handle a gun, and will only use a gun at appropriate times. Another idea I have is to keep all guns at a shooting range for the public, and if anyone would like to use a gun for sport, they could simply keep it in a safe place from other people, and themselves in case they turn mentally insane. If I could change the Constitution, I would most definitely take out the second amendment, to create a safer community. What would you do?

~Angela Zhu