This past American Thanksgiving, Thursday November 22, romaine lettuce was recalled and taken off store shelves because the bacteria, E.Coli was causing many people to fall ill which resulted in five deaths in the U.S.  This year 13,416 people died because of gun violence in the U.S.  13,416 people could have been saved if the government reacted to the number of deaths by guns just as they had to the lettuce scare.  The incongruity is evident in the tragic event involving Sandra Parks. 

“Sometimes, I sit back and have to escape from what I see and hear every day.  I put my headphones on and let the music take me away,” wrote a then 11-year-old Parks in a school essay titled  “Our Truth.” “When I do I come to the same conclusion… We are in a state of chaos.  In the city in which I live, I hear and see examples of chaos every day.  Little children are victims of senseless gun violence.”  On Monday, November 19, 2018, two years after penning her essay (which received an award for a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. contest, 13-year-old Sandra Parks was hit by a stray bullet while in her bedroom.  She now falls into the statistic of 3219 children and teens killed or injured this year because of gun violence.   Her story is one of many. 

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Though it seems difficult to take away guns from each owner, it is possible.  The action is necessary to decrease the violence that comes so easily when anyone is able to buy a gun at a local Walmart.  If this isn’t attainable in the U.S because of the mass population that is pro-guns, stricter background checks on people should be required.  When the Second Amendment was written, the United States was different in many ways.  The guns (muskets) didn’t shoot the same as the semi-automatic and automatic guns used currently.  A symbol of the Revolutionary War against England has been turned into a tool to enact hatred and cruelty upon others.  Many other countries have been successful with gun control. For example, Australia, Canada and England. 

Gun violence is common in cities with poverty issues, resulting in an ongoing struggle in these communities.  Gang violence is one of the many reasons that adds to the 96 lives, on average, taken away daily.  Every month, another mass shooting appears on news channels.  Shootings that could have been prevented. Six years ago, elementary school Sandy Hooks was the scene of a mass shooting that killed 28 people in total. Teachers, students have been murdered because it appears to more important to save people from E-coli than gun violence. Areas such as malls and schools, places that should be safe have become places where people lose their lives in horrific ways.

In her essay, Parks talked of how future generations will have the education and the power to change the future.  But because of an event rooted in violence, Parks didn’t get a chance to have a future; the impact of her words, however, are powerful.  “We must not allow the lies of violence, racism and prejudice to be our truth. The truth begins with us,” wrote Parks in the conclusion to her essay.   Gun control will mean less events such as these.  Less deaths and less injuries.  Less innocent lives taken away out of pure acts of violence.

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