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Damon Brooks

ENG 102
Less Guns, Less Violence
Prof. Deadrick
December 4, 2015
Less Guns- Less Violence
Everyday, 30 or more people are shot and killed in America. I have been a victim to a
saddening tragedy, which ultimately changed my life forever. On September 26, 2004,
my father was shot and killed in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore is notoriously known for
their high homicide rates as well as Washington, D.C, Chicago, and New York. According
to National Public Radio (NPR), Baltimore set a record with 300 homicides in 2015. The
Maryland state law states, [Maryland] requires purchasers of handguns and assault
weapons to complete a certified safety training course. In a matter of seconds, ones life
can be taken as a result of improper use of guns. Guns are continuing to harm and kill
people throughout the world. There are stories reported on a daily basis that feature
horrific details of violent crimes as a result of gun abuse. Guns are continuing to become
a major epidemic throughout the world. I believe that guns should be illegal around the
world. Guns should be banned because they are a danger to society; they are used
improperly, and are not well regulated. By banning guns, we are expressing that gun
violence will not be tolerated in our country.
Guns are powerful and are continuing to establish a negative impact on the safety
of our society. On June 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, Dylann Roof opened fire
and killed nine people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Among the people killed were the state senator who also was the pastor Clementa
Pinckney, Susie Jackson, Myra Thompson, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons
Sr., Reverend Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor,
and Ethel Lance. Roof initially had observed the church at the daily bible study.
However, following the event he began shooting and killing people with no remorse. This
massacre attracted mass media attention due to the setting at the Emanuel African
Methodist Episcopal Church. Another, on November 14, 2015 there was a mass shooting
that killed 129 people. Several people in Paris were planning to enjoy a soccer game
when a massive explosion erupted that required immediate attention. The terrorists began
to shoot randomly in a crowd of people, eventually injuring and killing several others.
On August 27, 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia another heartbreaking homicide occurred that
left society scarred and citizens baffled. A former news reporter for WDBJ7 named,
Vester Lee Flanagan II shot and killed two journalists named Alison Parker and Adam
Ward who worked with WDBJ7. This crime had really affected me because I am an
aspiring journalist and it is disappointing to know that somebody would perform such a
heinous crime.
With the constant use of guns, violence keeps increasing. Scott Martelle is a news
reporter for the Los Angeles Times that covers controversial stories and writes articles to
influence his readers to agree with his position. Martelle believes that guns are dangerous
and very capable of creating an exorbitant number of violence in the communities. In the
article, it states that Guns exist for one purpose: to kill. Guns are powerful objects that
have increasingly raised homicide rates and people who have been a victim to gun
violence. As of February 6,2015, FastStats reported, 16,121 deaths were as a result of

gun violence. On November 2, 2015 a devastating tragedy took place that will never be
forgotten. In Chicago, Illinois a 9 year-old boy named Tyshawn Lee was murdered
following his departure from school. Gang members ultimately fired several fatal shots at
Lees head and neck once they lured him into an alley. Crimes like this have continuously
become a danger to society, most importantly to the children. The increase in gun
violence has created an unsafe and treacherous society for all citizens. In the article Ban
All Guns Now by Jack Lessenberry, he mentions an instance when a gun was used to
commit a senseless act of violence. A young man had access to a gun inside his home, so
he committed a disturbing act that we will never forget. He killed his mom and then
proceeded to go to a local elementary school where he shot six adults and killed 20
children. In order to not bear the consequences, he committed suicide. Lessenberry states,
None of this would have been possible if he hadnt had access to those guns. Banning
guns will reduce the probability of horrific crimes occurring like this. He also stated, We
can choose to fight for culture and life or we can permanently embrace a world of killing
and death.
A gun is a unique firearm that requires skills to operate it effectively. Jack
Lessenberry of the Detroit Metro Times stated, Guns make us dead. Yes, I am sure there
are a handful of people who have saved themselves because they had guns. But far more
have shot Poppa by mistake. The author use that quote to elaborate on how people use
guns for safety reasons, however there have been instances where the gun was not used
properly and killed someone. According to NPRs Scott Simon, Many reasons have
suggested: gang robberies, the supply of guns on the street Simon suggests that guns
are used in crimes to intimidate others and how society has created a way for guns to be

purchased easily. The access to guns is continuing to expand which ultimately leads to
more homicides and unnecessary injuries. There are crimes occurring around the world
where children are having access to guns and are accidentally killing others.
Guns have a great impact on lives and should be banned in America; however
some can argue that by banning guns one is disregarding the Second Amendment. The
Second Amendment states, "The right to bear arms and the right to regulate a militia." By
making guns illegal, the government is violating its citizens Second Amendment rights
that were created in 1791 to empower every citizen. The government created and
designed rights that protect citizens capabilities. America has provided its citizens with
many rights and responsibilities protected by the US government in order to enable them
with an equal and appropriate number of responsibilities. Guns are a threat to increased
violence, but the Second Amendment protects and supports a citizen striving to legally
obtain a gun.
However, there may be conflicts because some may argue that not every person
uses guns to perform malicious and violent crimes. People who are legally registered with
guns will be against the banning because they can simply argue that they obtained their
gun legally and that they are knowledgeable on how to operate a gun. Moreover, citizens
who acquire gun licenses will argue that their gun is for the safety of themselves as well
as their families. A gun can be a weapon that can deliver individuals from harm and
danger. Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative
Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least
989,883 times per year. Guns are one of the most used weapons in the world and can
possibly be used to protect individuals from injury and possibly death.

When I lost my father in 2004, I began to become more accustomed with gun
violence and the frequency of it occurring. When one experiences a devastating tragedy
like I have, one will do anything to prevent someone from going through the exact
situation. Lives are being taken daily as a result of gun violence. I believe that our gun
laws are not strong enough to make a difference in lowering the amount of gun violence.
However, I believe if adjustments are made to make gun laws stricter, it will decrease the
probability of murders that occurring. Families are mourning too often over the death of
their loved ones, so by banning guns we will help to reduce the number of families that
will suffer. While hunters use their guns to kill animals, I believe that guns should be
banned be banned for everyone and their should be no exception. If we make an
exception to allow guns to be possessed by hunters then we are being biased to as a
country, we must take a stand to ban guns to create a safer environment for our past,
present, and future.
Society and the culture are becoming very violent on a daily basis. Guns are very
easy to obtain based on their availability in society. In Maryland, all that is required to
obtain a non-regulated firearm is a background check (Buying Process). The easy
accessibility to guns will contribute to the steady increase of homicides and gun related
crimes. I believe that several people who possess guns are not legally registered and
skilled enough to control a gun in a safe and effective manner. According to the Detroit
Metro Times, We will look back on those now defending the right to carry concealed
weapons much as we today regard Nazi theoreticians like Joseph Goebbels
(Lessenberry). Lessenberry stated this bold statement because he knows that we should
not be in agreement with carrying concealed weapons. Also, he mentioned the Nazis

because Americans typically view them as very violent and dangerous. In J.B. Wogans
article, he states, Reducing the amount of gun violence in this country is now essentially
a local issue, one that city leaders have to pursue on their home ground. But they have to
pursue it carefully, avoiding outright bans on the possession or carrying of weapons
(Wogan). The author uses this quote to put an emphasis on the way violence is an issue
that some people cannot seem to reduce. In addition, Wogan stated, The approaches vary
widely, from punishing reckless behavior by gun owners to rewarding businesses that
take voluntary steps to prevent violent criminals from acquiring guns (Wogan). Wogan
believes that we should ban guns and find ways to reduce the probability of criminals
acquiring guns that can harm and injure several people. Guns are a very serious matter in
the United States because of their ability to protect, kill, and serve us.
Californias gun laws differ from Marylands, as they seem to be much more
strict. California requires local governments to grant authority to regulate firearms and
ammunitions, although the state legislature has expressly removed this authority in
certain areas (Background on California State Law). That means that in certain places,
one has to go directly to the state government in order to be able to purchase a firearm. In
addition, it also states that California bans most assault weapons and .50 caliber rifles,
and prohibits the sale of large capacity ammunition magazines (Background on
California State Law). This quote is a representation of the way gun laws are viewed
differently by each state. California is much more concerned with the increase in violence
that is occurring throughout the world. There gun laws help protect their society and to
provide laws that will decrease the amount of violence capable of occurring. Also,
California gives local law enforcement discretion to deny a license to carry a concealed

weapon (Background on California State Law). Guns are viewed differently to certain
states, which results with California having the 9th lowest number of gun deaths per
capita among the states in 2013 (Background on California State Law). However there
should be more awareness on how to either ban guns or to strengthen our gun laws. In the
District of Columbia, their gun law requires gun owners to report to law enforcement the
loss, theft, or destruction of a registered firearm (District of Columbia Law Summary).
In other words, DC residents who possess guns have to must periodically report the state
of their guns to the government. The District of Columbia needs to strengthen their gun
laws because there are too many crimes being committed. According to Washington Post,
In June and July this year, there were 428 crimes involving guns. By comparison, in
June and July 2014, there were 333 crimes involving guns in D.C. (Stein). The crimes
were committed as a result of gun increase and I believe their needs to be more attention
on how to create a safer environment in Washington, D.C. as well as every other state in
the U.S. In order to alter and modify gun laws, the government must make the proper
adjustments to improving the laws or banning them altogether.
Guns are very important to me because I have suffered a devastating loss as a
result of it. The government is very powerful and in order to get them to implement a law,
there must be proper reasoning and judgment detailing why the law can help benefit and
improve society. Gun laws are altered every year, but it seems as if the violence rate
reaches new horizons annually. America is a great country that provides great
opportunities for its citizens. However, there needs to be more awareness on how to
decrease the exorbitant number of crimes that are committed. Baltimore, Maryland is
consistently one of the top states with a high murder rate. In order to help lower the gun

violence, the mayor needs to start a campaign to encourage the government to take notice
of the increase of homicides. Gun violence is encouraged through social media, music,
and video games. Children view gun violence as a positive action due to the amount of
exposure they receive. In order to ban guns, we must reduce the amount of exposure to
gun violence. I believe that restricting entertainment companies from including gun
violence in video games will help them to not participate in violent activities. Guns are
very powerful but we must be cautious to how we use them. They are supposed to be
used in emergency situations instead of in the act of committing a horrific crime. Some
of the greatest people in our country have been killed as a result of gun violence. Martin
Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X are among the most influential figures
to have ever been apart of this country. Their contributions to the U.S. have been
monumental in creating a better society, a diverse community, and a promising future.
There are victims everyday to gun violence, and I believe it is time to ban guns to
decrease the murder rate. Whether it is protesting or raising awareness, something needs
to change to improve our society and community.

Works Cited

"Assault or Homicide." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"Buying Process." FreeState Gun Range. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

Donohue, John. "Ban Guns, End Shootings? How Evidence Stacks up CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 Oct.
2015.

"Federal government has to put a squeeze on gun laws." UWIRE Text 21 Oct.
2015: 1. Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.

"Gun control debate reaches presidential race." UWIRE Text 21 Oct. 2015: 1.
Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.

LaFrance, Adrienne. "America's Top Killing Machine." The Atlantic. Atlantic


Media Company, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Lessenberry, Jack. "Ban All Guns, Now." Detroit Metro Times. N.p., 19 Dec.
2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Lund, Nelson, and Adam Winkler. "Amendment II Right to Bear Arms." National
Constitution Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
Martelle, Scott. "You Say Gun Control Doesn't Work? Fine. Let's Ban Guns
Altogether." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2014. Web.
11 Nov. 2015.

"US Murder Rate Sees Sharp Increase in 2015 - BBC News." BBC News. N.p., 1
Sept. 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.

Wogan, J.B. "Beyond gun control precluded from banning the ownership of
firearms, cities are finding new ways to go after gun violence." Governing
Sept. 2014: 32+. Academic OneFile. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.