The Fundamental Truth Behind Guns

The Fundamental Truth Behind Guns

The reason is not the guns, but ourselves.

My first and last real experience with firearms occurred when I was six. It was a hot, dry summer in Las Vegas, and a desperate man came through our front door, wielding this shining piece of metal that reflected the glow of the afternoon sun blasting in from behind his dark and grave figure. This moment painted a beautiful image in my mind, and it became one of the first memories I truly own. However, what the man did was far from beautiful. He hurt me, and he hurt my family, and he is spending 37 years in a federal penitentiary for what he did.

However, I am not here to talk about how this day and this memory changed my life or shaped who I am. I am here to talk about the fact that, even as I laid on the ground tied up next to my father, watching this piece of metal transform into this omnipotent figure that determined my fate, not once did I thought about hurting this man. Perhaps it was my childish innocence, or perhaps it was fear, but I’d like to think that I knew deep down, this man and his actions on that day was just a result of his own circumstances and experiences, and that the shining piece of metal that controlled my fate in his hands is but another result of the messed up world we live in.

The fundamental argument that exists behind the pro-guns movement is simple. Gun ownership is engrained in this nation’s history and culture, as evidenced and embodied by the very Second Amendment of our Constitution. The ownership of a gun for many is a symbol of their American pride and freedom, and on the political spectrum, one can see this battle between almost our safety and our pride. However, there is a key point that we have been ignoring: the very fact that a gun is a tool, a powerful mindless tool. Just as a we wouldn't trust a child running around with sharp scissors, how are we any different when in the face of power greater than our potential control? Yes, one can kill another in countless ways without ever using a firearm, but the key lays in its simplicity.

I often think about that day back when I was six, and what would have happened had my family owned a gun, and used it against that man. Yet, no matter how many times I imagine the different scenarios and their different possible outcomes, the results were very simple. Either we would have been successful in defending our home, and perhaps injured or killed the man, or we would have been seriously hurt, perhaps even more than what had truly happened. Nonetheless, the endings are all tragic, and it doesn’t change the fact that that man was just a product of our society who was given too much power, and because of that power, he forever damaged me, my family, and himself to a greater extent.

I personally like guns, even after all that had happened. To me, they are incredible, gorgeous mechanical masterpieces that represent the pinnacle of modern technology. To some others, they are just fun to be used at a range or to hunt with. Nonetheless, in the face of the great dangers that challenge our nation, evidenced by the mass murders and shooting of police officers, amongst the many more dead American bodies filled with pieces of copper, I ask, can we truly allow ourselves as a society, this power greater than our control?

Cover Image Credit: The Daily Dot

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.


Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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