An argument for gun control

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An argument for gun control

Jessica Maguire, Staff Reporter

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In the 21st century, one of the major concerns in a student’s life is not just a little test that is causing them stress; it’s whether after you leave home, will you return at the end of the school day?  So many innocent students are being killed by gun violence while trying to get an education.

School aged kids born in the 21st century have never known life without these horrendous school shootings. Students in school not only have to religiously practice fire drills, but now they have to religiously practice active shooting drills.

Brianna Ludgis, a senior at Naugatuck High School, believes that “These drills do work, but should be done more frequently with the amount of school shootings that have been happening recently.”

After twenty five years of no major gun control legislation, on February 27, the House of Representatives passed a law requiring background checks for all purchases and transfers of guns. The vote was 240-190.

This is the first step the new Democrat controlled House of Representatives is taking to put an end to the epidemic of mass murders caused by guns. This is only the first law they put in place; another one is in the process to extend background checks reviews to be three to ten days.

There are possible veto threats from President Donald Trump due to the belief, it will create unnecessary steps to own a gun. However, in a recent Quinnipiac University survey, ninety two percent of Americans favored background checks for all purchases of guns.

These laws will close up the loopholes of private sales with no background checks that are leading to some of these deadly school shooting.

This epidemic is not decades old. On April 20, 1999, two teenagers, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, went into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and killed 13 people and injured more than 20 people with guns.

Klebold and Harris bought the gun and 100 rounds of ammunitions privately from a man named Mark Manes.

Due to buying it off the market, Klebold and Harris did not have to go through background checks. If they did get a background check it would be seen that they did have a criminal record for stealing.

This epidemic of mass murders and illegal sales of gun is not only happening in the United States but around the world as well.

On March 13, 2019, there was a school shooting in the town of Suzano in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Twenty-five year old Luis Henrique de Castro and 17 year old Guilherme Taucci Monteiro went into Professor Raul Brasil school and killed 8 people including Monteiro’s uncle who worked at a carwash down the street.

Brazil, however, is a country with very strict gun laws. In Brazil, to obtain a gun there needs to be a specific reason to have one like hunting, safety protection, and target practice.

As well, to obtain a gun in Brazil you have to be twenty five years old and it is illegal to expose to eighteen year olds and younger. A person even needs to do a background check which makes sure the people who go through the legal process is suit to own a gun.

However, the people of Brazil can still bypass the process by purchasing a gun through the black market in Brazil which many do. The black market is the illegal trading of goods and services.

In the United States, the purchase of guns through black markets is less compared to Brazil due to the fact we have the ability to purchase guns for whatever reason we would like.

Loophole purchases are still a problem in the United States but the major problem in the United States is if the person has the mental capacity to obtain a gun and background checks can detect this.

Background checks show if the person has a criminal history, any warrants for arrest, and mental health. Lately, in the United States, we have been seeing these mass shootings done by people with mental illnesses or problems.

On December 14, 2012, there was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Twenty kids between the age of six and seven and six adults were killed.

Twenty year old, Adam Lanza, came into the school with one semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle and two pistols and murdered these innocent people.

In a report released by Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate in 2014 stated Lanza as “a young man with deteriorating mental health who had a fascination in mass shootings.”

The Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate also had Lanza’s developmental and educational history which contained several red flags or warning signs that went unnoticed by his own mother, the school districts, and many health care providers.

How and why did this kid with several warning signs and deteriorating mental health get a hold of these guns? Is it not a concern because Lanza did not technically have a criminal record?

These guns were legally his mother’s but he, a person with mental issues, got his hands on these deadly weapons and committed the second worst school shooting in the United States after Virginia Tech that resulted in the deaths of 32 people.

As well, on February 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day, a day that is supposed to be full of love, turned into a nightmare for the students, faculty, and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.


Twenty year old, Nikolas Cruz, went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people, a mixture of students and faculty. He was armed with a semi-automatic assault weapon and smoke grenades.


He fired more than one hundred shots while in the school.


Cruz grew up as an orphan who battled with depression and other mental illnesses. He was adopted by a woman who later passed away in November 2017 making Cruz’s mental illnesses worse.


Police have been called on multiple occasions for violent outbursts Cruz had. Cruz had even been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas during the time he attended there.


The gun he used is a gun he legally bought. However, how did he obtain the gun if he has a noted police record, mental illness and an expulsion from school?


This questions whether the current three to five day window for a background check is sufficient to have noticed all these citations about Cruz. If the time was extended could it have prevented this tragedy?


These mass shootings at schools proof the fact that these laws are essential. Our country needs stricter gun laws that consists of background checks and for these background checks to be longer to ensure the person is capable of owning a gun.


How many more massacres do we have to face to realize these news laws that are being installed are not infringing on our rights but it is necessary?


To the following victims of these four school shootings and to the rest of the innocent people dead due to gun violence one day we will get justice for you.

Columbine: Cassie Bernall (17), Steven Curnow (14), Corey DePooter (17), Kelly Fleming (16), Matthew Kechter (16), Daniel Mauser (15), Daniel Rohrbough (15), William “Dave” Sanders (47), Rachel Scott (17), Isaiah Shoels (18), John Tomlin (16), Lauren Townsend (18), Kyle Velasquez (16)

Sandy Hook: Charlotte Bacon (6), Daniel Barden (7), Rachel D’Avino (29), Olivia Engel (6), Josephine Gay (7), Dylan Hockley (6), Madeleine Hsu (6), Catherine Hubbard (6), Chase Kowalski (7), Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung (47), Jesse Lewis (6), Ana Marquez-Greene (6), James Mattioli (6), Grace McDonnell (7), Emilie Parker (6), Jack Pinto (6), Noah Pozner (6), Caroline Previdi (6), Jessica Rekos (6), Avielle Richman (6), Lauren Rousseau (30), Mary Sherlach (56), Victoria Soto (27), Benjamin Wheeler (6), Allison Wyatt (6)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Alyssa Alhadeff (14), Scott Beigel (35), Martin Duque Anguiano (14), Nicholas Dworet (17), Aaron Feis (37), Jaime Guttenberg (14), Chris Hixon (49), Luke Hoyer (15), Cara Loughran (14), Gina Montalto (14), Joaquin Oliver (17), Alaina Petty (14), Meadow Pollack (18), Helena Ramsay (17), Alex Schachter (14), Carmen Schentrup (16), Peter Wang (15)

Suzano: Marilena Ferreira Vieira Umezu (59), Douglas Murilo Celestino (16), Kaio Lucas da Costa Limeira (15), Jorge Antônio Moraes (51), Caio Oliveira (15), Eliana Regina de Oliveira Xavier (38), Samuel Melquíades Silva de Oliveira (16), Claiton Antônio Ribeiro (17)


As March for our Lives, a group Parkland survivors created to end gun violence, mission statement says “Not one more. We cannot allow one more person to be killed by senseless gun violence. We cannot allow one more person to experience the pain of losing a loved one. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. We cannot allow the normalization of gun violence to continue. We must create a safe and compassionate nation for our youth to grow up in.”


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