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Paden Mecham
English 1010
22 Nov. 2015
Peterson
Why Gun Control?
Why is the need for gun control so important today? With everything
that goes on in the world today is this as important as it seems to be? I dont
know much about the policy or legislature on the second amendment. Over
the last year that I have seen the news something is always happening with
this issue. That is why I chose to research this topic and to find out more
about why there are so many different opinions about the subject. As a
hopeful future educator it interests me to know what regulations that will be
in place to help prevent events such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy
Hook from happening again. Each of these school shootings made an impact
on the local communities and nationally. Columbine High School massacre
happened in 1999, Virginia Tech happened in 2007, and Sandy Hook
Elementary occurred in 2012. These terrible events span over 10 years and
there hasnt been much done or changed since. Most recently there was the
Umpqua Community College Shooting. These massacres are going to keep

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happening unless something changes. It will affect every level of education


across the nation unless something is done about it.
COLLIER, CHARLES W. "Gun Control in America: An Autopsy Report." Dissent
(00123846) 60.3 (2013): 81-86.
AcademicSearchPremier.Web.13Nov.2015.
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Summary: In the Article Gun Control in America: An Autopsy Report author
Charles Collier discusses some of the most recent events that have caused
individuals to consider the change in gun laws. Collier discusses the tragic
events of Trayvon Martins death, as well as the horrific scene that surrounds
James Holmes. In relation to Martins death, the author shares that the man
who killed Martin was within every right to do so. The circumstances were
such that the man did not know if Trayvon Martin had a weapon or not, and
without such knowledge he shot Martin. He discusses that the man who
killed Martin was within his right to carry a weapon, and to use such. In
regards to the case against James Holmes he also acknowledges the fact that
Mr. Holmes also had the right to carry a weapon, and to use it if he felt like
he was defending himself. He also brings up this point by stating In the
Holmes case, for example, if the other theatergoers had only been armed,
they might have killed Holmes before he could kill so many of them (pp 85)

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Analysis: Author Charles W. Collier is a professor at the University of Florida


in Gainesville. There he is a professor of law and philosophy, thus giving him
the knowledge and background into this topic. Collier writes this article to
individuals who have minimal to some knowledge of the subject. The author
does not over complicate things, and continues to use terms that can be
understood by a majority of individuals. He uses the personal stories and
words of individuals who were affected by the specific events he discussed in
his article.
Assessment: This article was a great one to find because it allowed me to see
the perspective that everyone has some responsibility in the events that
occur in their lives, especially in regards to gun control. The author said In
other words, less gun violence proves that gun control is not needed; more
gun violence proves that gun control is not working. In either case, the
proper response remains laissez-faire (Collier pp 85) after all is said and
done, I learned that we must take everything we can into consideration if we
are going to change the laws that we have. That being said there are still
many things that we will not be able to account for. We must also find a true
answer to the question why? The excuse that the individuals are mentally ill
are no longer answers that can positively affect changes needed.
EICHENWALD, KURT. "THE BULLET INITIATIVE. (Cover Story)." Newsweek
Global 165.4 (2015): 36-45. Academic Search Premier. Web.

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17Nov.2015. <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=108354471&site=ehost-live>
Summary: Author Kurt Eichenwald discusses in his article, The Bullet
Initiative that people need to begin to look at the bullets and accessories
that can be added to the weapons, not just the weapons themselves. The
author is very bold in his opinion and position, and even calls out the
National Rifle Association for working for years to make sure lunatics and
felons can obtain guns as easily as possible (pp.42). Eichenwald gives a
solution to help the problem. He says There is, however, a simple solution, a
common-sense compromise that will infuriate both sets of extremists in the
gun debate, but would place the united states on a saner path (pp.38). The
author gives these seven steps to help the United States get on that path, as
well as referencing some supreme court cases to help make his point.
BAN ACCESSORIES that serve no purpose other than to transform
guns into weapons of mass slaughter, such as attachable drums that carry
100 rounds. ADOPT RULES that make it harder for criminals and the
mentally ill to obtain firearms. OUTLAW THE public display of weapons.
ALLOW THE concealed carry of guns using the shall issue standard.
STOP TRYING to ban scary-looking add-ons that primarily protect the
shooter, but dont make the gun more dangerous to others. FORGET
ATTACKS on the armor-piercing bullets. ABANDON EFFORTS to outlaw

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assault weapons a politically loaded phrase with a mishmash of


meanings that pretty much amount to nothing.
Analysis: The article comes from some sort of news magazine or paper. The
author has definitely done their research. You can tell this by the information
that they give about the different massacres and the supreme court cases
that they refer to. We are also able to tell that they have done research to
support their opinion and to refute the opposing point of view. They give a lot
of statistics that support their position on the topic which definitely helps to
see their perspective.
Assessment: This was a great source to find because it first and foremost
gave me a perspective where blame is actually being placed on one specific
entity. It was also a great find because of the fact that the article stated its
position and gave solutions to the problem. I have read a few articles that
continue to refer back to the Colorado shootings pretty often, and each has
its own perspective of what could have been done to prevent it from
happening. It is great to have a common thread between a few of the
articles to see how different aspects of the horrific event shape their different
or similar points of view.
Khimm, Suzy. In Tragedys Wake. New Republic 246.12 (2015): 13-15.
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Summary: In the article In Tragedys Wake author Suzy Khimm discusses


how very little has been done or accomplished in the aftermath of some
tragic deaths where the murderer used a firearm. The little bit that has been
accomplished has come from a few states who have embraced universal
background checks for gun sales. And some stateshave moved to prevent
certain individuals (felons, the mentally ill and others from obtaining
firearms (Khimm pp. 13). Khimm also discusses the issue of limiting those
who are charged with domestic abuse from owning and obtaining guns. The
author stated The federal law prohibiting domestic abusers from buying
guns is restricted to spouses, parents, and guardians. Some states, however,
have expanded that definition to nonmarried intimate partners and convicted
stalkers (pp. 14). The author then concludes the article by discussing that
across the nation more states would be willing to increase the categories
that would limit who could and who could not have a gun. They would not
however create a policy to limit the availability to purchase a firearm.
Analysis: Author Suzy Khimm appeals to the audience of this article by using
a lot of research data and facts. Khimm does this in order for the audience to
see her side of the gun control debate, which is that stricter laws must be
passed and enforced on who can and cannot purchase a firearm. The author
makes a very valid point that while increased background categories are
good to begin with, they will not ultimately solve the problem. She supports
this view by telling of a few states who have already passed some reformed
gun laws instead of waiting for the federal government to pass them. Khimm

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also supports her view points by sharing why specific politicians are passing
these laws in some states across the nation.
Assessment: This article has really helped me to understand that there are
many individuals out there who could potentially pose a threat to the safety
of communities around the nation. Many of those people who are threats are
domestic abusers. I did not even think about how dangerous these people
could be. More often than not I think of people who are high risk to
communities as people who are put into prison and gang members and
completely overlook abuse situations. The article also helped me to gain a
greater comprehension that because the federal government is not doing
much about this issue, more and more states are stepping up and protecting
the second amendment while also protecting the citizens who reside in each
respective state.
Lieberman, Michael R. A Loaded Debate: The Right To Keep And Bear Arms
In The Twenty-First Century. Albany Law Review. 78.2 (2015): 743748. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.
http://search.ebscohost.com.libprox1.slcc.edu/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=110843374&site=ehost-live
Summary: The article was one that had a lot of information about the
different people who helped discuss the topic of the second amendment at
the Albany Law School fall symposium. It starts off with listing all the
members of the different panels and their credentials and accolades. Then

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author Michael Liebarman discusses what actually happened in the


symposium. He briefly describes several articles that relate specifically to the
state of New Yorks gun law, the New York SAFE Act. Over the course of the
symposium they discussed five articles, and all of these articles were written
by a professor or a doctor. One of the interesting points that was made is
that depending on where different cases are being held depends on the
analysis of the second amendment whether it is with a traditional reflection,
based on the text of the constitution, or even on historical events.
Analysis: The author of the text, Michael Lieberman, is executive editor for
symposium at Albany Law School. Thus providing credibility to the things
that he discussed. He also used many different articles and summarized
them so that the audience could also learn and understand what was being
discussed at the law school. Each of those articles were credible as well
because they were written by doctors and professors.
Assessment: Although the article was mainly a brief summary of the articles
that were discussed it broke things down enough that you could get a
generalization of what each authors opinion on the subject of gun control
specifically in New York. It also helped lead me to more articles on the topic.
The overall effectiveness of the article in helping me accomplish my end goal
is very minimal. the only thing it did was lead me to the other articles.
Sanburn, Josh, et al. A Familiar Tragedy Calls For Unfamiliar Solutions. Time
186.15 (2015): 11-13. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov 2015.

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http://search.ebscohost.com.libprox1.slcc.edu/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=110220244&site=ehost-live
Summary: Author Josh Sanburn begins the article by discussing the most
recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The author
described with minor details the events that happened there and then
discussed how many people thought there again would be no changes to gun
safety policies. The author is hopeful because of what has happened in
recent years after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook
Elementary. Sanburn said speaking of Newtown, it produced a series of
aggressive efforts around the country to regulate gun sales. Within a year,
12 state legislatures expanded background checks on gun purchases (pp.
11). The author then describes five things that could be done to stop these
massacres. The steps are dont name shooters, compel mental-health
treatment, crack down in schools, let cops confiscate guns, [and] make gun
manufacturers liable (Sanburn pp.12). One of the interesting things the
author discusses within the point of not using the name of the shooter is that
one of the motives that could be used to drive some of the mass killers is
because they seek the fame and public attention. And not using the name of
the shooter after the tragic events have occurred could have an affect on
future killings of the same nature.
Analysis: The article appeals to the audience through the use of images
placed within the article. At the very beginning of the article you see a

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photograph taken just after the Umpqua Community College massacre in


Oregon. Within the photo you see two people embraced trying to comfort
each other at a gathering at the college after the shooting took place.
Sunburn also gave steps that are simple and that could ultimately make
tragic events such as these mass murders less frequent. The author made it
easy to see that these steps will work and we as citizens of the community
can do a lot to accomplish these steps.
Assessment: A Familiar Tragedy Calls for Unfamiliar Solutions allowed me to
see the perspective that there are more things that can be done rather than
expanding the categories in background checks for potential gun owners,
you just have to think outside the box. The five steps that were listed made
me think that local politicians as well as those who are in our nations capital
could begin to agree on something simple to begin the process of changing
the gun laws to protect us. It seems that in todays society we
overcomplicate things and that causes a lot of contention. Whereas if we
simplified things, the article makes it seem like more people would agree and
things would get done to protect the nation and local communities.
ZORNICK, GEORGE. "Gun Control After Newtown." Nation 299.14 (2014): 2225. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18
Nov.2015.<http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=98350561&site=ehost-live

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Summary: George Zornick begins the article by describing the political


representatives of the area that was tragically affected by the Sandy Hook
Elementary School Shooting. The author sat down with representative
Elizabeth Esty, who was newly elected to represent the Fifth Congressional
District in Connecticut when the Newtown shooting happened. She shares
her side of how she heard about the tragic events in a class room at Harvard.
The author then goes on to share how Mrs. Esty began to get things moving
with gun control laws and regulations. Mr. Zornick goes on to discuss how
tough of a subject it was for politicians to discuss. He then talks about how
many different ways people have tried to bring awareness to individuals
through different ad campaigns and other uses of the media. An interesting
point that the author brought up was that of the gun laws that werent
changed at the national level were changed on a few state levels. So there
are some states that made changes because of the effects of these tragic
events.
Analysis: The author, George Zornick, is the Washington DC editor for The
Nation. The article is very credible because the author was able to get
firsthand accounts through the interviews that he did. Mr. Zornick also uses
many different research data to help back the perspective that he conveys in
this specific article. Zornick wrote this article to individuals who have a bit
more knowledge about gun control with some of the terms and things he
discusses in the article.

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Assessment: Gun Control After Newtown was a great article to find. It had
plenty of personal experiences from those who were directly effected by the
horrific moments at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was a bit tougher of
an article to read. This is because the author, being an editor, uses a few
complex terms that someone who hasnt graduated from college wouldnt
understand.
With everything that I have read and found of the last few weeks I have
learned many things. The first thing that I learned is that there is something
that must be done to make it safer for the American people to own guns.
There are individuals who are in government positions, both on the state and
national level, who want to make changes and are using many different
medias, as well as targeting specific demographics to get individuals to
support some sort of change. The second thing I learned is that there are
many different things that must be taken into accountability when we look at
the individuals who have committed some of these mass murders. Also
looking at some of these individuals you cant say that the whole reason why
they did these horrible things is that they had mental illness or stability.
There are so many other factors that lead them to act. We must ask why, and
not settle for the common excuse. The questions that did come out of this
research are why can the nation not agree on changes that need to be
made? Are there simpler solutions? And why must the individual states
make the changes to the laws rather than the national politicians passing

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them so it is the same nationwide? There are a few people that I know who
are in politics so I may have the opportunity to ask them this question.

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Works Cited
COLLIER, CHARLES W. "Gun Control in America: An Autopsy Report." Dissent
(00123846) 60.3 (2013): 81-86.
AcademicSearchPremier.Web.13Nov.2015.
<http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=88303005&site=ehost-live>
EICHENWALD, KURT. "THE BULLET INITIATIVE. (Cover Story)." Newsweek
Global 165.4 (2015): 36-45. Academic Search Premier. Web.
17Nov.2015. <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=108354471&site=ehost-live>
Khimm, Suzy. In Tragedys Wake. New Republic 246.12 (2015): 13-15.
Academic Search

Premier. Web. 22 Nov 2015.

http://search.ebscohost.com.libprox1.slcc.edu/login.aspx?
direct=ture&db=aph&AN=109984485&site=ehost-live
Lieberman, Michael R. A Loaded Debate: The Right To Keep And Bear Arms
In The Twenty-First Century. Albany Law Review. 78.2 (2015): 743748. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.
http://search.ebscohost.com.libprox1.slcc.edu/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=110843374&site=ehost-live

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Sanburn, Josh, et al. A Familiar Tragedy Calls For Unfamiliar Solutions. Time
186.15 (2015): 11-13. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Nov 2015.
http://search.ebscohost.com.libprox1.slcc.edu/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=110220244&site=ehost-live
ZORNICK, GEORGE. "Gun Control After Newtown." Nation 299.14 (2014): 2225. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18
Nov.2015.<http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?
direct=true&db=aph&AN=98350561&site=ehost-live