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  1. It is my personal opinion that most of these students that marched, at Oak Ridge and at other schools across the nation, were marching for the wrong reasons. We all want to stop mass shootings, but will more gun control really solve that problem?

    My answer is no.

    Both my parents are Mexican immigrants that grew a deep love for this country, and they fostered that in me as well. They love Mexico too, but they saw many of the flaws that plagued it and the problems that continue to cripple it today. Reasons why they, and so many others, want to come to the United States (which I believe they should do so legally, but that is not the topic of my statement). One of those flaws was the strict gun laws in Mexico. These laws made it very hard for citizens to acquire a gun, and even then the types of guns you could own were very limited. Thus, corrupt government officials, as well as gang members, made up many of the gun owners. This was one of many contributing factors that made the drug cartels powerful; the citizens were limited in protecting themselves. In fact, for every 100,000 people in Mexico, 6.34 are murdered by someone with a gun (Wikipedia). Here in the U.S., 3.5 people are murdered via gun per 100,000 people. Note how there are around 101 guns for every 100 people in the U.S., and that there are 15 guns per 100 people in Mexico. As we can see by these statistics, each gun in Mexico has, on average, a higher kill count than those in the U.S.

    The argument that guns in the hands of civilians rarely prevent crime is absurd. According to a massive study by The National Academies, “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010)” (The National Academies Press). Though this statistic may sound surprising, it doesn’t turn out to be once you think about it. Guns have been called the “great equalizer” by many people. Would a 6-foot, 275-pound man stand a chance against a 5-foot-5, 150-pound woman with a Glock? Probably not. Sometimes, it’s the mere presence of firearms that scares would-be criminals away. After all, would someone shoot up a gun show? Probably not.

    Also, for the argument that WE supply the illegal guns to Mexico, we wouldn’t have that problem if we have a strong Southern border (Another thing my family and I support).

    Whenever I hear people wanting to ban semi-automatic weapons, I am reminded of the children’s book that was read to me a long time ago, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” If they ban semi-automatic rifles, people will commit murders with handguns, most of which are semi-automatic themselves. Now seeing the deadly capabilities of these weapons, they will ban these types of pistols and instead restrict ownership to single-action revolvers with a lower caliber. But wait, these guns can be fanned (if you don’t know what fanning is, look it up) and can still kill if you know where to shoot with a smaller bullet. The same can be said if we go down the rifle path. We ban military characteristics on rifles such as no Picatinny rails or high-capacity magazines (Wait, you can RELOAD? So high-cap clipazines don’t matter?). Then, people will be killing each other with hunting rifles if they didn’t get their hands on now-illegal weapons. What will happen after the restriction of hunting rifles? You can see where I’m going.

    Yes, these mass shootings are tragedies, but guns are not the problem. Would an unloaded AR-15 in a gun safe stand up, escape, load itself, and go on a killing spree? Of course not. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Franklin). So if it isn’t the fault of our firearms, it has to do with our society. How do we treat others at school? Do parents know how to properly raise their kids? Do we appropriately discipline the youth? Does everyone know that they’re loved? It is my humble opinion that rightfully answering these questions will do more to stop gun violence than any law passed by Congress.

    Works Cited
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate#Sources
    https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/1
    Franklin, Benjamin. “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” Chartwell Books, 2015. Print.