Handguns and other firearms have a long tradition in American civilization. The right to bear arms is an American right featured in the second Amendment of the Constitution. In the 18th century, when the constitution was written, times were different; there was a need for armed citizens to insure the safety of the society as a whole. Contemporarily the police department preserves the safety of society and the need for armed citizens is out of date. The founding fathers of the Constitution could presumably never imagine the horrendous outcome of their actions. Every year too many lives are claimed as the result of the American government’s inability to fully face up to effects of the issue. Compared to other western countries that have considerably stricter gun control laws America is still viewed as "The Wild-Wild West".

  The growing gun related death toll in the U.S. has to come to a turning point. Stripping away the constitutional right to bear arms might have the effect that only criminals will have access to guns. It is important to understand that in a society where both criminals and law abiding citizens have access to guns the likeliness of an innocent person getting shot, when both parties are waving guns, is probably greater than if only criminals have guns. A ban on firearms might not be appealing as a short-term solution but it is important that people don’t limit their thinking to their generation and not think about the safety of their children, grandchildren and the society people are creating today for them to live in.

  The main obstacle in removing firearms from citizens in the U.S. is the second Amendment of the Constitution. It 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." The second Amendment can be interpreted as every citizen right to bear arms. However the key word is "Militia", meaning soldiers or defenders of the State. In the late 18th century, when the Constitution was written, times were very different than those of contemporary America. People were scared of possible invasions from Native Americans, the English, and other nationalities. By "a well regulated Militia" the founding fathers probably meant that citizens could have a muscot standing in the corner just in case anything would happen. Note that the writers of the Constitution added, "a well regulated" in front of the word Militia. That would most likely reveal a controversy in writing this Amendment, some of the founding fathers might have foreseen the possibility of a misinterpretation of this Amendment.

  In the U.S. there are approximately 200 million privately owned guns, which is statistically close to a gun per person and places more than one gun per home on average. In other words, guns are all around. This affects, without a doubt, the whole society structure and the citizens that live within its boundaries.

  The children that live within a gun infested society are going to suffer the consequences. In fact, kids between the ages 16 and 19 have the highest handgun victimization rate among all age groups. It’s not hard to understand why, since there are on average more than one gun per household, kids are likely to find firearm and in some cases even use it.

  In March 1998 two children, 11 and 13 years of age gunned down a total of 13 people in a school in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Of the 13, nine survived and five people, classmates and teacher, died as a result of the shooting. One of the boys had taken two rifles from his grandfather. They positioned themselves about 100 yards from the schoolyard and when the bell for recession sounded and people started to exit the school building the two boys opened fire. This is a horrendous event that proves that if guns are present within a household or within a family, odds are that kids will perhaps be curious enough to actually capitalize on them.

  In October, 1997 a 16 year old boy shot and killed his girlfriend and her best friend while they were exiting a Mississippi school leaving six others wounded. The spontaneity of young children and guns are a lethal combination as illustrated in these two examples.

  In a study made across high schools in Seattle, 47% of males and 22% of females reported that they had easy access to handguns and 11.4% were gun-owning males. The access to guns might prove to be deadly for both innocent bystanders and the holder of the gun. Children should not be able to own guns. One of the prerequisites for owning a gun should be that the person is responsible enough to own a firearm. Since there are no guarantees for that, guns should only be issued in extensively controlled forms otherwise the government jeopardizes the safety of the people they've sworn to protect.

  In the ages 10-14 72%, and in the ages 15-19, 85% of all homicides are committed with firearms. In addition to that 60 % of all suicides among youths is committed with a handgun. The total firearm death rate concerning white males in their teens now exceed natural causes. These are alarming statistics show the brutal reality of firearms in the U.S.

  A study made by the American Psychological Association, Commission on Violence and Youth showed, in a study made in Seattle in 1993, that 6% of males in the 11th grade had at least once brought a handgun to school. More than 1 in 20 had brought a handgun to school, in other words the prevalence of guns across the schools is nothing less than a common sight. How does that affect the rest of us? Parents might just get the news from police officers that their son or daughter had become victim to a stray bullet while attending history class.

  The lawmakers in the United States are addressing the problem by putting up metal detectors in schools. In the case of metal detectors, officials have realized that preventing the possession of firearms inside the boundary of the school is necessary for the safety of the students and teachers. This is a temporary solution to ever-growing problem. The risk of a student or a teacher getting shot inside the school property has probably been reduced, which is positive. But the fact remains that outside of the school property the risk of being victimized is growing every year.

  In order for these types of events not to occur legislators and other professionals are emphasizing precautionary actions of the gun owners and most of the time a ban on guns isn’t mentioned. "Why I should be denied the same right my father and grandfather had?" Because times have changed, guns are not solely created and used for hunting anymore, and with today’s technology, in the form of automatic guns and high impact ammunition, guns have become deadlier, which leaves a greater responsibility on the owners. Are people ready for that responsibility?

  1. Nowadays it is the armed citizens who are responsible for the overall social safety.

  2. The legislation should forbid individual citizens to have guns because it is relatively less detrimental.

  3. According to the second Amendment of the Constitution, American citizens have the right to bear arms and to use them whenever they want.

  4. It can be told from the statistics that for each American family there is approximately one gun.

  5. The Jonesboro shooting case demonstrates that if guns are kept in a household, kids would probably ________________________________.

  6. It is improper for a child to own a gun because they are not _____________________.

  7. _______ white teenage boys die from firearm attack _________ from natural causes.

  8. The fact that more than a twentieth of the 11th grade students have brought a gun to school means that guns are actually ____________________.

  9. Although lawmakers addressed the problem by using metal detectors within the school, It is still highly possible to ____________ out of school.

  10. The reason why today’s individuals should not be allowed to keep guns is that guns are no longer used for _________ alone.
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