Every American knows that, by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, we have
the right to bear arms. The amendment was adopted in 1791, a time when semi-automatic hand guns
were not available to the American people. Yet, today, when people want to defend their right to have a
gun in their home, they often refer back to the Second Amendment.
I feel that we must remember that this amendment was created during a “simpler” time. Yes, evil has
always existed in humans, and I believe that it always will. The difference in society today is the
complicity of our lives. It seems that misguided people have found more “reasons” to kill now.
Therefore, putting guns in the hands of average citizens has more potential for danger today.
Furthermore, not only can gun possession lead to public shooting incidents, but also to fatal domestic
occurrences in which children accidentally take their own lives.
A recent article, “Babysitter charged in 5-year-old’s death,” by CNN reporter Tom Watkins recounts
several situations within the last six months that involve children dying from self-inflicted gunshot
wounds. In the article, we learn that a 5-year-old was killed while being cared for by a babysitter in
Orange County, Texas. The child found a semi-automatic .40 caliber pistol and died from a gunshot
wound to the head.
A few weeks ago, a 2-year-old in Fayetteville, N.C. also died from a gunshot wound. Another
incident happened in New Orleans, La. when a 5-year-old girl accidentally shot herself in the head with
a .38 caliber revolver.
The article referenced a statistic that describes the seriousness of this situation:
“According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control,
703 children under the age of 15 died in accidental firearms deaths between 2001 and 2010, the latest year
for which data is available.”
Young children do not know that these guns are loaded or could cause them to die. The guns in these
homes are supposedly used to protect families if their houses are broken into. How often does this
happen? Are these guns being properly kept from the reach of children?
I don’t think keeping a gun in the home is necessary, and a gun being accessible to most Americans is
a malicious cycle. When there are more guns in the street, then people feel more of a need to keep a gun
in their home. However, if there were fewer guns in the hands of the wrong people, then there would be
less of a need for others to protect themselves.
I understand the other side of the argument: No matter what, people will find guns even if they are
illegal or we attempt to make them harder to obtain.
I am aware that people will be able to get their hands on firearms, but if there were fewer guns, then
there would be fewer tragic instances, such as a child dying from a gunshot wound.
Mass shootings would also be less likely. On the news, we are seeing more and more about disturbed
individuals that are “taking justice into their own hands” and killing innocent people. If guns were harder
to obtain, there would be less public shootings.
We cannot defend the idea of carrying weapons to defend ourselves when it would be very unlikely to
successfully pull a handgun on an attacker who has a semi-automatic rifle.
This is my position: Guns are causing more harm than good in our society. Trained professionals and
law enforcement agents should be allowed to carry weapons, but average American citizens do not need
to keep weapons in their homes to protect themselves. The dangers include the continuation of mass
shootings and an increase in children who acquire unintentional and potentially fatal gunshot wounds.