Freedom to Live

Posted by Sam M. Michigan
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My writing is about the issue of gun violence and how as Americans we can can use our freedom of speech to help create change.

As a student in America I am in constant fear of being a victim of gun violence. Whether it be at school, a park, or just walking down the street, there’s always a slight discomfort in the back of my head. The lack gun control is allowing for easy access to these deadly weapons and is hurting people everyday. With over 100 mass shootings in this year alone and 23 being at schools, it’s difficult to feel at ease.

Being a citizen of this country also means that I have the right to speak freely and fight for what I believe in. It is my constitutional right. In speaking up, protesting, and demanding change for the issue of gun control, I am expressing my American Creed.

Due to the recent school shooting events many students have been stepping up and using their voices to demand change on this issue. I have partaken in some of these events, including the National School Walkout on April 20th. On that day my classmates and I silently got up from our seats and walked out of the school together. Many students holding “anti guns” signs, we marched side by side, all the way to the Royal Oak farmers market. As we stood in front of the stage and listened to our friends and peers up at the podium fight for gun reform, we too were fighting for change by being there. This shows that as citizens of this country it is our right to speak up for we believe in.

Other people think that because we are fighting for gun reform we are being unconstitutional. The second amendment has been apart of our lives for a long time and people don’t want to lose it. They believe we are trying to strip away their right to carry a weapon, but most of us just want more laws and regulations in place to make obtaining a weapon more difficult. In most states in America if you are above the age of 18, you can legally obtain a weapon in about 15 minutes. Only two background checks are required by store owners to buy a gun, unless it is a private store owner, in which zero background checks are required. Most people who are fighting for gun control simply want to make this process harder.

If you look at statistics, it clearly shows that the United States is one of the only countries with an alarming rate of gun related homicides. In a CBS news article called, How U.S. gun deaths compare to other countries, it shows the total death rate per 100,000 people. In the United States it is about ten deaths. The second highest is is Finland at about four deaths per 100,000, and all other countries are below three deaths. Many of these countries have had past issues with gun control, so they did something about it. Australia for example, experienced a horrific shooting in Port Arthur; a few weeks after the shooting, the Australian states agreed to implement stricter gun laws. In the six weeks prior to the laws being put in place, people all over the country were protesting and demanding change. This shows that if you fight for what you believe in you can help create change.

Living in America it is very easy to obtain a weapon of war. I walk into my school everyday praying that it doesn’t get added to the increasing list of recent school shootings. I fear for my siblings and cousins who all currently go to school. My heart drops every time I hear a voice over intercom speaker or when the fire alarm sounds. I have even thought about how I would escape in all of my classes, just in case. I know I’m not the only one who is going through life with this fear of being a victim of gun violence over my shoulder. We shouldn’t have to worry about this at such a young age. Nobody should have to worry about this. This has been an issue for a very long time and little has changed. We need to continue to demand stricter gun laws. It is our job as citizens of the United States to fight for what we believe is right and continue to make our country safer for everyone.

Published on Jun 11, 2018
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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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