Loquitur Dome: The Eternal Debate

By Lauren Norton
March 22, 2001

American children are at a greater risk of gun violence than the children of any other industrialized nation. In the past year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada and 5, 285 in the United States (statistics from www.handgun.org)

Young children die or are badly wounded because their parents or other gun owners do not store their firearms properly, and children find loaded guns and use them unintentionally on themselves or other children. Older children are more at risk from horseplay with available guns while teenagers use guns for impulse suicides and for crime. All are vulnerable to getting caught in the crossfire from guns used in domestic violence and in crime. Meanwhile, the gun lobby opposes every common-sense measure to reduce the accessibility of firearms from kids, especially the mandatory sale of trigger locks.

At the moment, the concept of a “smart gun” is under way. New technology allows changes to make firearms less likely to be fired accidentally or used by someone other than its owner. The design rang from trigger and combination locks to radio bracelets to fingerprint sensors that allow the gun to recognize its authorized user (information gathered at www.abcnews.go.com)

Granted the second amendment does state that we have “a right to keep and bear arms.” I also understand that there are many Americans who onw guns legally and use them lawfully. However, the overwhelming amount of gun-related injuries and deaths leads me to believe that serious measures need to be taken.

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Lauren Norton

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