Monday, April 27, 2009

My Gun Control Essay, Upon Request

Banning Guns Cannot Prevent School Shootings

Imagine yourself at the scene of the Virginia Tech shooting. You hide under the desk that you were sitting at peacefully just moments ago. Gun shots ring though the air as you sit curled up on the cold floor, wondering who the next victim of the evil rampage will be. Don’t you wish you could have had a gun in this moment? Don’t you wish you had a way to defend yourself against the murderer?

Because we cannot go back in time, we cannot know how differently the Virginia Tech shooting could have turned out if one of the victims had possessed a gun. We can, however, analyze this and other school shootings to see how they could have been different.

Thirty-one states currently have laws allowing concealed handguns for adults with no criminal record or history of mental disorders. (Lott 1) The cause of concealed-carry has grown over the past decade or two. More and more people are realizing how much of a positive difference allowing guns can really make.

Banning guns on campuses doesn’t protect students. Rather, the policy only endangers those who are ethical enough to follow the law. Outlaws are the only ones who will have guns if guns are outlawed. This means that criminals will have guns, and law-abiding civilians will not. Students and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

In 1997 in Pearl Mississippi, a shooter was stopped by an assistant principal who had retrieved a gun from his car. (Lott 2) Because he was not allowed to bring his gun into the school, the assistant principal could not stop the shooting earlier. If he would have been allowed to bring his gun into the school, the lives of the shot students could have been saved.

In Edinboro, Pennsylvania, in 1998, a passerby stopped a shooter who was reloading his gun by pointing a shotgun at him until the police arrived. (Lott 2) If it were not for this civilian, the shooter would have been able to finish reloading his gun and continue his massacre.

If a person bearing a gun had not been on the scene at either one of these shootings, much more damage could have been done by the shooters. Sharp-minded civilians with guns, however, were present at both of those school shootings. Without anyone even firing a shot, both of these tragedies were prevented from becoming worse.

For a more recent example, consider the Virginia Tech shooting. Obviously, there was no student or teacher with a gun at the scene of the shooting. As I stated before, we cannot know if the tragedy could have turned out differently if someone would have shot the shooter. We can logically see how the tragedy could have been prevented by a student with a gun, though. Imagine if a student or teacher would have pulled a gun on and shot the Seung-Hui Cho before he began shooting people in the classroom. Dozens of lives could have been saved by that quickly-thought action. There is no possibility that someone with a concealed gun would have been on the scene, however, because concealed weapons are not allowed on the Virginia Tech campus.

Almost any mass shooting could be prevented by a quick-thinking civilian with a concealed gun. Because one of the criteria for owning a concealed-carry permit is that the owner must be somewhat proficient at shooting, there is a good chance that a murderous gunner could be stopped by one bullet.

Banning concealed handguns really doesn’t protect anyone. If a person is intent on killing someone, or is intent on killing a mass of people, he will do it. Someone who is willing to go against the law and kill someone, or kill a number of people, will not mind going against the law about carrying a gun on a campus. And even if a murderer does not bring a gun onto campus, there are many other ways to kill someone, such as a knife, baseball bat, or even bare hands. Guns themselves really aren’t the problem, in fact, “Guns aren’t bad things or good things. They’re things, inanimate objects, chunks of metal with no will of their own.” (Medred 3) So if people bent on murdering will murder, people who will be the victims of the murderer should have some way to defend themselves. The best way for a person to defend themselves against an attacker is a gun, simply because it is so deadly.

In a study that analyzed the relationship between concealed handgun laws and crime rates between 1977 and 1995, the effect of those laws was clearly seen. In those 19 years, states that passed laws allowing concealed-carry guns saw an 84% decline in multiple-victim shootings. In addition, after concealed-carry laws had been established for 5 years, murders decreased by at least 15%. (Lott 2)

Some people say that we cannot trust civilians with concealed handguns in mass-shooting situations because they might shoot an innocent bystander instead of the murderer. As I stated before, however, one of the criteria for obtaining a concealed-carry permit is that the owner must be somewhat proficient at shooting. There is a small chance that someone with a concealed handgun would shoot the wrong person in a space the size of a classroom.

Others contend that small arguments could turn into shooting battles. I can see why some of my opponents would think this, but people are just as likely to shoot each other over small arguments as they are to strangle each other or stab each other. One of the requirements for a concealed-carry permit owner is, as I stated earlier, that he or she is mentally sound. People who are right in their minds will not attempt to kill someone with whom they have a minor disagreement. And if a person is bent on killing another, they will find a way to do it. According to Craig Medred, editor of the “Outdoors” magazine, “The problem isn’t the weapon of choice, it’s the anger.” It doesn’t make any difference whether a killer has a gun, a knife, or a crowbar.

Guns are used defensively 2.5 million times every year. (Lott 2) There have been many times over the past decades that multiple-victim shootings are prevented by civilians with concealed guns. Because there are people who are bent on killing others, the victims should have an effective method of defending themselves. Namely, they should be able to defend themselves with a gun. Banning guns doesn’t actually protect anybody, so people should be allowed to carry a concealed gun if they wish. Many lives could be saved if concealed handguns were allowed on college campuses.

Works Cited

Lott, John R., Jr. “...” ...

Medred, Craig. “...” ...


Congrats if you read the whole thing. =P

Nothing much is going on right now. I'm trying to figure out when we can get a band meeting together this week...


Emily Joy said...

Great job Wes! I read the whole thing =) I completely agree. I actually was just thinking of this the other day and was wondering if you were still going to post it ^_^

Wesley said...

Haha, thanks. I actually just submitted it yesterday as a final draft, so it was actually only done yesterday. I'm glad you agree. =)

Matt said...

bravo, Wesm bravo. It was a little informal in some places, but really good.

and yes I read it through :)

Marissa said...

Very good, Wesley! I love how you write with conviction and emphasis. :-) I would suggest one thing, if I may: try to pare down on your "be" verbs (am, is, was, were, be, been, being). You're already an obviously excellent writer, and strengthening your essays with active, descriptive verbs would really enhance your points.

Again, wonderful work!

Nathaniel G. said...

Wes! What a great essay! =O
It must have taken a whole lot of research for all that information to be put in to one essay huh? Absolutely incredible!

I hope you get a good grade on it. =D

Yes guns are risky business, well hey as you said, any kind of weapon can be dangerous. =/

Yeah, it's very sad that some people let there anger control them even to the point that they would murder someone. =(

If only we as humans would put our sinful anger to death =/

Great post Wes!! =D

Anonymous said...

copy/pasted and I got an A.