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Changing gun laws brings out youth opinions

Itzel Munoz and Lizeth Martinez

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The rise in school shootings has sparked debates on current US gun laws — at Morton East too.  But, most of the students here believe the age to purchase firearms should be raised.

In a random survey of 100 Morton East students, 78% of them say that the legal age to purchase a gun should be raised from 18 to 21. According to BBC.com, there were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015 , killing 475 people and wounding 1,870. Additionally, the gun murders per capita in the US in 2012 was nearly 30 times that in the UK at 2.9 per 100,000 compared with just 0.1. Of all the murders in the US in 2012, 60% were by firearm compared with 31% in Canada, 18.2% in Australia and just 10% in the UK. BBC.com also states that many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever  fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

Morton East students protesting their rights at the recent staged walkout.

Some Morton East students are familiar with guns and how easy it is to get your hands on one.

“My brother, who is 19 years old, owns a gun that he purchased off the black market,” an anonymous sophomore student said.

On the contrary, it is not so easy for other students.

“Since I was admitted into a mental hospital at the age of 17, I have to wait five years to legally purchase a gun (which I plan on doing),” one anonymous senior boy said.

One other student believes people between 18 and 21 aren’t mature enough to purchase a gun.

“I think being able to buy a gun at such a young age gives teenagers unnecessary responsibilities that they can’t uphold,” junior Elizabeth Santiago said


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The student news site of Morton East High School
Changing gun laws brings out youth opinions