One of the biggest problems that I feel our country, and especially our city, has is guns. Almost any person who is a teen-ager or older is able to get a gun with just a little bit of determination. Guns have helped crime, especially drug and gang-related, to soar above the level of almost any other country in the world.
Homicides have climbed into the thousands every year as opposed to countries such as Canada or Great Britain that rarely have 100 in a year. I could go on and on with examples of how guns are tearing our cities apart, but I will only give you one more example.
Try to imagine standing in the hall in our school, talking to someone you know. Suddenly next to you a student drops to the floor, probably wanting to scream with pain, but not being able to because he was just shot in the chest by another student, because he was in a rival gang. The victim, to be dead within the hour, has just been robbed of his entire life because a stupid 15-year-old kid was not stopped from carrying a gun to school. Now simply move this scene to another school, and you have the true story of what happened at Reseda High School where my stepfather is a dean and basketball coach.
You can call me extreme, but I think that we need to follow other countries and put an end to the lax laws for using guns.
ROBERT SHMERLING, Age 13