Persuasive Speech On Gun Control To Prevent School Shootings

It’s called school, not a shooting range. Students should be focusing on their educations, not living in fear of being harmed in the environment they consider safe. According to CNN, “The US has had 57 times as many school shootings as the other major industrialized nations combined.” If this isn’t a glaring pointer that our gun laws must be updated and renovated to create a safer country for our successors, then what is?

Every day, children go to school wondering if they will be shot or, in extreme cases, killed. This fear is constant—always present when walking through the halls or eating lunch with their friends. Teachers and parents dread lockdown drills, because they believe that even with locked doors, nothing can stop a potential shooter from harming the students. A former school teacher is quoted as saying, “And I sometimes think that, even with all the safety measures we have in place, if someone really wants to get in, I don’t know how much we would really be able to do to stop it.” Schools can lock the doors and put blinds over the glass, but what barrier does that provide between the students and a madman who can kick the door down?

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The NRA is also to blame. In agreement with our president, Donald Trump, they believe that more guns are the answer. Arms for the teachers, guns for the people, and more guns for everyone who wants one after the Pittsburgh shooting. Time and time again, the National Rifle Association is proven wrong. With more guns, there are more shootings, there is more leeway for people to be killed. Why should these people get rifles when they are part of the problem? Our Second Amendment should be respected, not worshiped to the point of causing death to others. For instance, Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooter, showed signs of autism, depression, and ADHD but was still able to obtain a gun. This demonstrates how faulty our system is and suggests that we require thorough background checks, and medical examinations to ensure that gun buyers do not have any mental deficiencies, to avoid further incidents like the Florida school shooting.

Guns and mass shootings are a sad reality that we live in nowadays, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Society can be passive, not aggressive, and those who need help should get it. Most gunmen are mentally unwell, suffering from conditions like autism or depression. These are severe issues that can be fatal not only for themselves but also those around them. Looking at the Columbine shooting, we see that the two culprits were mentally unstable: Eric Harris was a psychotic, sadistic bully victim, while Dylan Klebold was a depressed young man who wanted to end his own life. Eric aimed to kill as many people as possible, not caring if he died in the process, whereas Dylan wanted to kill himself, not caring if he took others with him. Their motive was to kill students, teachers, and police officers.

All throughout high school, they were harassed and made fun of, which was a main contributor to their motivation to go on a killing spree. Through this spree, Eric killed as many jocks as he could and even said, “Everyone with a white cap, stand up! All jocks stand up! We’ll get the guys in white hats! Anybody with a white hat on is dead.” In that school, the white cap was a symbol of a jock or anyone that supported the football sport. When nobody stood up, they went around shooting everyone. At one point, they said, “This is our revenge!” they shouted. “For the four messed-up years you put us through. For four years of bullying and giving us hell. Hey, jocks, this is our revenge for making us outcasts. We’ve been waiting for this moment our whole lives. We’re gonna blow this library up!” Eric Harris banged on a table and said “Peek-a-boo” to a girl before shooting her in the head, instantly killing her.

The important thing is, these two boys were exhibiting signs of mental issues to their teachers and families. Harris wrote an essay about death and killing people, and his teacher congratulated him on how it was written. Klebold and his partner made a video for their class about walking around the halls and shooting kids and screaming into the camera, but no one paid attention. They were still able to get guns and murder innocent children and students who they grew up with. Where was their humanity or their conscience? Recently, two girls dressed up as the shooters for Halloween. These boys are not idealistic whatsoever, yet these girls believed that they were.

In conclusion, America needs to seek out those who need help and treat them because we do not want this to continue happening. Over and over again, children are dying, people are dying, yet no one is doing anything. Let’s take a stand against guns, against death and against those who try to harm our country. Please, let us fix our mistakes because this is so much more than just gun laws. This is our past. This is our present. This is our future.

A Literary Analysis Of The Short Story Victory Lap By George Saunders

The series of events that take place in George Saunders’ short story, “Victory Lap,” could happen in any suburban neighborhood. Saunders presents the story of fifteen-year old Alison Pope, an unnamed parishioner of a Russian church disguised as a meter-reader, and Kyle Boot, Alison’s neighbor who thwarts the meter-reader from assaulting Alison. Through alternating sections that focus on each of the three characters involved, this story structure gives importance to each moment before, during, and after the main characters’ interaction, making it a threefold issue and forcing readers to care about the outcomes of each character on an intimate level. Shifts between limited omniscient third-person narration and internal monologues relayed in the first person convey what may otherwise be a cliché plot of high-school-age children in an exhilarating tone. Passages that reveal the inner workings of each respective character’s mind reveal how the victim of violence, the bystander turned unlikely hero, and the perpetrator experience victory laps of their own sort and are equally deserving of attention.

A third-person narrator refers to each character either by name or gendered pronouns, keeping the authorial distance somewhere between complete identification with the author and complete separation from the author. After introducing a character’s physical situation, the narrator adopts the character’s diction and alternates between the first and third-person voice. The first scene focuses in on Alison pausing at the top of the stairs before her ballet recital, imagining conversations with princes at a party.

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Instead of filtering the daydream through Alison, the narrator transitions readers into her thoughts with the suggestion, “Say the staircase was marble. Say she descended and all heads turned. Where was {special one)?” (Saunders 293). Repeatedly, Saunders uses rhetorical questions as a means to disclose a character’s perspective on the events that unfold around them as well as their personality and individual history. The narrator’s questions to themselves or other characters’ speech reflects actual sensory phenomena that result from how brains process dialogue, since people neither speak in the third person nor insert dialogue tags when speaking in real time.

Adherence to logical sentence structure does not hinder Saunders’ ability to distinguish a voice for each character. In fact, instead of focusing on trying to comprehend absurd imagery and breaks in reasoning, readers are free to concentrate on the content of a character’s thoughts. There exist peculiarities in each character’s internal dialogue. For example, when recounting Alison’s point of view, the narrator interrupts her actions with French ballet terms that Alison is reciting in her head. The narrator also uses brackets around words that are particular to Alison’s vocabulary, as in “(special someone)” (Saunders 293) and “she froze, smiled, did (eyebrow raise)” (Saunders 296). The peripheral characters in the story – the Boot and Pope parents, Melvin, and the police – are entirely portrayed through the main characters’ thoughts. From these subjective accounts, readers can see how two sets of parents with contrasting child-rearing styles affect the behaviors of two teenagers and how a man from the meter-reader’s past motivated his sadistic tendencies.

In the final paragraphs of “Victory Lap,” Saunders highlights how, months after the cops came to dismantle the scene at her house, Alison continues to have nightmares that Kyle blew the meter-reader’s head off with his geode. If it were not for the empathy for the meter-reader that Saunders had established through internal dialogues throughout the story, Alison’s feeling that the criminal should have a second chance would seem unforgivable. The use of rhetorical questions and dialects distinct from the expository portions told by a distant, third-person narrator create an easy transition into characters’ heads. Such devices become a cornerstone of the story that keeps readers hungry to know about the internal quarrels of each main character from a first-person perspective. The complex histories and thought processes of three complementary main characters, revealed through close-up episodes, transform a single event in a small town into an illuminating psychological study.

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