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Jessica Hansen

United Kingdom

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Please give constructive criticism including grammatical improvements etc. so that I can make it competition-ready.

America Is Breaking Its Own Constitution... But It's Not How You Think

March 13, 2018

In light of the recent tragedy in Florida, American politics has once again been put under the spotlight. Here in England, it seems inconceivable that they still have the same problems, that nothing has changed since Sandy Hook more than fifteen years ago. But to Americans, who seem so afraid of change, it is more a question of ‘when’ than ‘why’ this particular kind of massacre occurs.
The Parklands shooting has produced a monumental response. As the deadliest school shooting in recent history (perhaps ever) it is natural that everyone and their uncle would get some backlash. In the wake of the horror, and the funerals that followed, however, it is the President who is receiving the most criticism. It is not for lack of trying on his part. School Officer, Scott Peterson was branded a coward by Trump for not immediately rushing in to confront the shooter, for not killing a disturbed teenager in cold blood. He will no doubt become the scapegoat behind which the government will hide. Nothing will get done. The cycle will continue.
But the victims are not backing down. Already there are plans for multiple protests, fundraising campaigns, organized walk-outs, all perpetrated by students. Trump’s Twitter battles, so infamous for their animosity towards opposition, are now against teens with an agenda. There is blood in the water and they are going in for the kill. Trump’s administration will not emerge unscathed. This is the Sandy Hook generation. They watched their fellow students die in agony. They watched the devastated parents talk. And talk. And talk. And they watched as nothing changed. Now, the same thing has happened again. They are furious.
It is something like a long-running, international joke (though not a particularly funny one) that America cares more about its constitution than its people. The USA, the land of the free, maintains that the right to own a gun is more important than the life of a child. Any argument for gun control is countered by the argument “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” as if it is set in stone and not an amendment. How do you respond to that?
The truth of the matter is that glaring faults in the education system has resulted in a nation of radical patriots who don’t know their own constitution. Many are unaware that the second amendment is not a part of the Constitution, but the Bill of Rights. In its entirety, it reads “the maintenance of a well regulated Militia, when necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Did anyone notice the tiny little problem with what the people consider the amendment to be? There is a comma, a tiny little comma, and the common manipulation of the amendment makes no sense. It goes further than this though. Eagle-eyed readers will notice one word (split into two because the founding fathers couldn’t seem to understand grammar) that changes everything. “Well regulated.”
What part of ‘well regulated’ is so hard for politicians and gun lobbyists, the main source of the constitutional ‘issues’ behind gun control, to understand? Look, here’s a definition for you from the Oxford Dictionary: "(adj) properly governed or directed; especially strictly controlled by rules or regulations." In a state such as Florida, ‘well regulated’ apparently means no licensing or regulation at all. Under Florida state law, it is illegal to keep a register of who owns a gun, a license is required to buy one but it is alarmingly easy to get, and there is no age restriction (minors can buy a gun with parental consent). This is not ‘well regulated.’ The founding fathers would be turning in their graves.
The tragedy that is the recent Florida school shooting, the eighteenth just this year, didn’t need to happen. The lives that were lost could have grown to do great things - cure cancer, end world hunger, solve the endless stream of issues in the Middle East – but now, due to the negligence and corruption of US government, they will not, cannot, do what they were destined to do. They were children. Children died. Children with the world at their feet and love in their hearts. Their blood is on Trump’s hands. But he will do nothing. So it goes.
Transcript of 'The Bill of Rights' -
Definition of 'well-regulated' - The Oxford English Dictionary
Florida Gun Legislation -


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  • March 13, 2018 - 3:49pm (Now Viewing)

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1 Comment
  • LyraLynne

    If you put my brain on paper, it would be this essay. I have no words for how this affected me. Everyone needs to read this. (I especially love that you are from the UK. Thank you for seeing the truth about my country.)

    4 days ago