Informative Essay: Adolescent Gun Violence in America

Decent Essays

On an unseasonably cold March morning in 1993, high school sophomore Edward Gillom exited his first period classroom and made his way through the crowded hallways of Harlem High School. After engaging in a heated argument, allegedly over a girl, with Ronricas “Pony” Gibson and Ricoh Lee, Gillom pulled out a .38-caliber gun and opened fire. Gillom’s shots fatally wounded Gibson and left Lee with a non-fatal gunshot wound to the neck (Washington Ceasefire, 2011 pg 1). The shooting in Harlem, Georgia sparked national attention as one of the first high school shootings and added to the alarmingly high rates of gun violence by adolescents during the 1990s. According to the Virginia Youth Violence Project, forty-two homicides took place in …show more content…

Heller, the court ruled that “the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing individual right to keep and bear arms…including, ‘the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation’” (National Rifle Association, 2011 par 4). Although the Constitution gives individuals the right to bear arms, it does not exclude “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places…or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms,” (Romano & Wingert, 2011 par 13). In recent years here has been much discussion among the nation’s lawmakers and their constituents as to whether or not the Second Amendment is still constitutional; the question is whether or not the Second Amendment should be revised, to prohibit the sale of firearms to those who do not meet certain conditions and qualifications, or even removed from the constitution. According to a national survey of 1,005 high school students, conducted by Vittes, Sorrenson and Gilbert, “63.7 percent of high school students believe that regulating the sale of guns does not violate the constitution” (2003, pg 12). In the same survey, 64.6 percent responded that they would support stricter laws addressing the sale of firearms, and 82.2 percent of those surveyed, believe that the government should make and enforce laws making it more difficult for

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