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My thoughts on Newtown: America, wake up



Joined: 1/3/2013
Posts: 4
kat.talerico
The recent tragedy in Newtown has shaken many Americans to the core. It is a truly frightening thing to realize that something so awful could happen in a town so similar to my own, to twenty children whose innocent smiles are so reminiscent of my little brother’s own gap-toothed grin. The shooting at Sand Hook Elementary is a tragedy that demands to be heard. We cannot move on with our lives until a change is sought after regarding gun control. Aurora, Oak Creek, Virginia Tech: how many more shootings must we endure before America wakes up?

The United States Constitution has served our country well over the years, but over the 226 years since its creation, we have had to make changes to fit modern day conditions. After all, the Constitution was written by seventy gentlemen in 1787, a time in which guns could only fire one bullet before they needed reloading, and semi-automatic weapons like that carried by Adam Lanza did not exist.

While America is a national leader in progressive thinking, politicians have made minimal progress regarding gun control laws. As the gun lobby in the US gains power, it seems politicians may not take steps to counter it. However, it is time for Americans to spare ourselves our dignity and look to other countries’ examples.

Australia, along with many Western European countries, have reformed their gun control laws in the last few decades. After a violent massacre in 1996, Australia instituted a new policy on gun registration and ownership. The process can take more than a year to complete background checks and collect information on the mental health of the prospective owner. Australian murders have decreased at a considerable rate since 1996, and there has not been a mass shooting since 1996. Western European countries, too, have experienced a decrease in homicides since their new implementations; total homicides total less than a quarter of the United State’s.

Many citizens consider limiting gun control as a deterrence of freedom. Yet the “freedom” the second amendment guarantees for gun-owners has only locked the rest of the population in a dreadful, imprisoning fear. I cannot attend a high school football game without having my purse searched for a weapon. Two weeks ago a student threatened to bring a gun to school in response to being bullied. Living in a constant state of foreboding suspicion that at any time someone could produce a concealed weapon is by no means what I would call “freedom.”

The heartbreak that America has experienced from the bloodbath in Newtown shows that legislators must take immediate action regarding gun control. Americans must realize that freedom is not defined by the ability to own a gun, but by the guarantee of safety and the ability to pursue a lifetime of happiness- an opportunity the children of Sandy Hook could not live to see fulfilled.
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Comment by DarkStar49


Joined: 5/28/2009
Posts: 335
As tragic as this is, how many kids each year are killed by drunk drivers, negligent parents, drug or alcohol overdoses? Yet we accept these realities?! Those old gentlemen carved our constitution so that you and I can express our opinions...freely! I have owned many guns for many years and not once have I ever considered doing such a sick act! What scares the hell out of me, is when a kid sees a real gun for the first time and can only compare the experience to the guns he choses on his favorte video game, to kill virtual players!! What!?

Guns dont kill people! People kill people! The title to this essay was accurate...we all need to really wake up! The glamorization of killing eachother in Hollywood and video games seems to me to be more of a fatal flaw in society, wouldn't you agree? Thank God for the constitutional freedom for you to be able to express your feelings on such an important topic. It was well done!

- Greg Phillips
Editor, Stage Of Life
Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013 5:12:21 AM
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Comment by Kwweesten


Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 50
I agree with a lot of the the things you said, we need to wake up.
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:53:40 PM
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Comment by seamstressofwords


Joined: 12/7/2012
Posts: 87
Hey!

My name is Laura and I'm an intern at Stage of Life. I wanted to thank you for submitting your story to our "Where Do We Go After Newtown" writing contest, but more importunately, I want to congratulate you on being selected by our Editors as an essay finalist!

Watch this page http://www.stageoflife.com/gundebate.aspx for when we announce the winner.

Feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or any other site you use. Share your accomplishment with the world!

Thanks for sharing your story on StageofLife.com.

Laura
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 5:50:35 PM
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