Op-ed Draft– Athenapup4

El Paso, Texas, 22 people killed in a Walmart, August 3, 2019. Las Vegas, Nevada, 58 people killed in Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, October 1, 2017. Orlando, Florida, 49 people killed in a gay nightclub called Pulse, June 12, 2016. Newton, Connecticut, 27 adults and children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012. The only thing these massacres have in common is that they were all caused by gun violence. And these were just the ones that went mainstream. Everyday people are affected by gun violence and there must be something done to gun laws to help prevent it. In response to President Trump claiming he would propose ideas to help with gun laws after mass shootings in August and falling through with the statement I am in disgust yet not surprised. President Trump has no longer asked about the issue and is now moving onto other topics. The article explains that the conversation about gun laws could come up again in the White House if another mass shooting were to occur however, how many innocent people have to be murdered in order to seriously address the issue? 

By taking a look at gun death statistics in other countries you can see how important it is to set stricter restrictions. Take a look at this graph for example. It shows that the gun deaths in the U.S. are 25.2% higher than in any other high income countries. In Australia, in order to obtain a firearm one must give a “genuine need” to own a gun which doesn’t include self-defense, take a firearm safety course, and licensed holders must meet strict storage requirements.  In Japan, gun owners must complete formal instruction, a written, mental and drug test and a rigorous background check. They also must provide how and where the firearm will be stored and make them available for an annual inspection. While in the U.S all that is needed to be done in order to obtain a firearm is a swift background check through a system that goes through the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index and the NICS Index for a match. While that is processing the individual fills out a form, which has the social security number box listed as “optional”, to “verify” their name, address, place of birth, race and citizenship. All this makes the purchase of the firearm completed in only a few short minutes. No course they must take, no reasoning for the firearm, no knowledge check or mental disability check. Just your basic information. This is why we must have stricter gun restrictions and laws. The process is just that easy. 

Now, I know the most common argument against gun control is that it’s going against the second amendment, but is it really? The point of gun control is to set restrictions as to what guns are available to the public, who is allowed to buy one, where they should be carried and when they should be used. It’s not to take guns away all together, that’s just not logical. As to address the arguments like “guns aren’t the issue, people are”, “If we take guns away, people are just going to find other things” or “people will still find a way to get one”  the question then to ask is why make it easier for someone to obtain one? By making restrictions to obtain a firearm you’re making the process harder so that not nearly as many people will be able to qualify for one versus just setting simple restrictions that almost anyone can get around. Simply, why make it easier for someone to put other people in serious danger if we can restrict it even more without violating any rights. And lastly, for the argument claiming that it “isn’t effective” it is proven that countries with stricter gun laws have less gun related deaths than countries with fewer restrictions. For instance, in 1996 Australia set stricter gun laws after a mass shooting and over the years gun death totals were cut almost in half. In Japan, a population of 127 million people has a little more than 10 deaths caused by firearms per year, all due to strict gun laws. And if that’s not enough to prove gun restrictions are extremely effective, In England and Wales there have been 50-60 gun deaths per year in a population of 56 million. Compared to the U.S. which has 160 times more gun deaths. 

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3 Responses to Op-ed Draft– Athenapup4

  1. athenapup4 says:

    Thank you for the feedback. This was extremely helpful and eye opening with regards to seeing if the weapons used were obtained legally or not, which they were purchased legally. It really helped me convey my argument a little but better and was something that has completely slipped my mind when originally writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. davidbdale says:

    This is good work, Athenapup, and a strong first draft in many regards. It uses an effective rhetorical device to open. It makes persuasive use of details and comparisons to other countries. It does what no other essay I’ve ever read about gun control does: it gives a tour of the process for obtaining a new gun. It identifies counterarguments and attempts (not particularly effectively) to address them. All in all an impressive piece of work.

    Couple things.

    Suppose you provided us with a “roadmap” of the overall argument in your introductory paragraph. Since you’ve spent several sentences listing gun deaths and connecting them to guns, you’re part way there. But you get sidetracked by your objection to the President’s waffling support and eventual inaction. What we need is a few signposts to look for.
    —Massacre after massacre.
    —All of them perpetrated with guns.
    —(Guns that were legally obtained? If so, you REALLY have a strong case against how easy it is to obtain those weapons)
    —We already have more guns per person than any country on earth.
    —Guns are WAY TOO EASY to get
    —We already have more gun deaths than any country on earth.
    —The two things are obviously related.
    —We need to make guns harder to get.

    That can be done in just a couple of sentences if you’re good. You’ve demonstrated considerable ability so far; I’d like to see you accept the challenge.

    I’d move the Trump observations to the conclusion where you clearly need a strong closer. After you’ve made your case for the need for tighter restrictions on licensing and purchase, you can complain bitterly that we get no leadership from elected officials who owe their allegiance to the NRA.

    It’s a little odd that you break out the gun death statistics from the gun regulation examples as you do, Pup. A more compelling narrative might be composed by combining, for example, the tight restrictions Japan imposes on new gun ownership with their exemplary low gun death rate. Do the same for Australia.

    If you do a really good job of demonstrating how beautifully the tough gun laws coincide with, you know, people NOT getting massacred every week, you can smoothly transition to a devastating indictment of the yahoos who insist on their “constitutional right” to own an anti-tank missile as god intended.

    Something along the lines of: Considering how tightly other civilized countries control gun ownership (and how much longer they live in peace as a result) even staunch supporters of the 2nd amendment have to admit the cost of our “nobody can deny my crazy neighbor the right to buy an automatic weapon” is costing us the lives of our loved ones. And the blood is on the hands of the NRA and gun nuts everywhere.

    You know, but more polite.


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