Gun Violence

By: Charles W. Bell, VI
Second Place Winner, 2013
Grades 4 to 6 Division
Stuart Hobson Middle School, 6th grade

Gun violence in United States is out of control. You are twenty times more likely to be killed in the U.S. by a gun than in the other 31 developed Countries. Between 2006 and 2010, 47,856 people in the United States were killed by guns. One of those people was my dad Charles W. Bell V.

June 27th, 2010, my mom seemed really upset. She was crying, but she was calm, and spoke in a monotone voice. She sat me on her lap and handed me a news article. I saw a picture of my dad, and as I read further, I was in complete shock. “Gunned down” was the term the article used. That’s what hurt me the most. Now it’s just us. He won’t be there to see me graduate, play football, or go to prom. At 7 years old, how am I supposed to be the man of the house? Why am I being hurt this way, how is this fair? Didn’t the person who killed him know that he had children? Did they care? I can’t help but wonder, if there were stricter gun laws, just maybe my dad would still be here.

My mom was almost taken away from me too. In 2003, she was shot by a man who had been to jail before for possession of a firearm. In that same incident, my cousin was murdered. How did this man get a hold of a gun? What if it was my mom who died from her wounds? Where would I be? They say the children are the future but at this rate, the future is not promised.

People are dying at the hands of guns all over, even children. The recent murders in Aurora and at Sandy Hook elementary school make me wonder if I’m safe. I should be safe at school. I understand the Constitutional Right to bear arms, but shouldn’t we have the right to be safe as well. Why can’t everyone go through a background check, how are criminals and mentally ill people allowed to purchase weapons? Only 5 out of every 100 people are actually hunters, so why do we need assault weapons? 65% of Americans agree that the U.S. Senate should have passed the gun control measure that expanded background checks to gun shows and online sales. In President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address he said that we are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. “The people” want to be safe, “The people” don’t want criminals and mentally ill people carrying weapons, “The people” are tired of the violence and want to end it now.

For the Government, its business…for people like me, it’s personal.