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English Comp. CLEP essay - "guns outnumber the population"


SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 22, 2009   #1
I wrote this essay to practice for my upcoming English Comp CLEP. The essay question had to do with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's statement that guns outnumber the population, so it is pointless to attempt to ban them; ammo should be banned instead-- basically I had to state whether I agreed with that or not... etc. I decided to argue the opposite side for exercise. Any feedback on what I should pay attention to during the actual test is greatly appreciated! This is the essay:

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan is absolutely right. The current arguments over gun control are completely absurd; we can no longer limit the amount of guns that are in the possession of both criminals and law-abiding citizens. And so, his proposal is an adept way of limiting the damage done to society through guns and firearms: a difficult task, but a necessary one. Without some sort of regulation on the amounts of ammo sold in the U.S., it will be very difficult to stem the tide of crime in notorious cities such as New York City and Los Angeles. With a license system, it will be harder for criminals to get ammo, especially if police are allowed to confiscate ammo found in the possession of non-licensed individuals. And best of all, it will be harder for under-aged people to buy ammo, and the likelihood of school shootings will decrease.

Walk the streets of New York City or Los Angeles at night, and you're bound to see a gun or two. And even if you're a cop, you have no legal right to take them from their owners, unless you can prove they have them illegally. Gun control in cities like this is nigh impossible. That is why an ammo control system would limit crime. By limiting ammo to people with responsible backgrounds and making it harder for criminals to obtain it, you limit crime. Criminals already have guns, but they would be limited in their use of them if it was especially hard to obtain ammo.

Another positive result of ammo restriction is that enforcement is easier- the ammo can be confiscated if the possessor does not have a license. Such a law could also have a positive effect of lightening restrictions on when and where people can carry a gun. Those licensed to buy ammo would be free to carry small arms, so that when necessary, they can defend themselves, or assist police. An ammo license could be much like a driver's license; police could ask to see it in potentially dangerous situations.

Possibly the greatest benefit of ammo regulations would be the added difficulty minors would have obtaining ammo. The fear and pain I experienced during the highschool massacre at my school in Colorado is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone. Perhaps if ammo had been harder for the two killers to get, they would not have killed 12 people and injured so many others. The number of bombs they threw would have been less, and the havoc shorter lived. Having an age limit on who can buy ammo would help to curb highschool massacres like the one at my school.

This world will never be perfect: there will always be fighting. But at least we could curb the amount of violence in our own country by limiting criminal's access to the ammunition they need for their weapons. By restraining the boundaries on who can purchase ammo, tragedies will be less likely to occur. Senator Moynihan's idea is one we should implement as soon as possible.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 22, 2009   #2
Decent grammar and solid style. Content-wise your arguments could use a bit of strengthening:

"even if you're a cop, you have no legal right to take them from their owners, unless you can prove they have them illegally." Couldn't this same argument be made for ammunition? The police would have no legal right to confiscate ammunition, even under the proposed law, unless they could prove it had been purchased without a license.

"Those licensed to buy ammo would be free to carry small arms, so that when necessary, they can defend themselves, or assist police." Again, you could substitute guns for ammo in this sentence, and have an equally valid point.

"Perhaps if ammo had been harder for the two killers to get, they would not have killed 12 people and injured so many others. " And again, the same problem.

Essentially, this reads like a pro-gun control essay, only with "ammo" substituted for guns throughout. Whereas, the point of the essay is to argue that ammo control would be more effective than gun control.

So, you might point out that ammunition is something that gets used up, in a way that guns don't. Trying to limit access to guns in a country where so many exist is a Herculean task; even if it could be done, it would take decades. Ammunition control could start working after a year or so (or so you can claim -- I'm guessing there is already a lot of ammo floating about, too, and, for people who are sports shooters, it rarely gets used up, since most people, even criminals, don't actually fire their guns that often.)

I'm not sure what other arguments you could make -- this seems like a fairly foolish proposal to me, a way to attempt to get around the second amendment by those who are vehemently opposed to gun ownership -- but I'm sure if you did some research on ammunition types, sales' rates, etc, you could figure out a couple of additional points to include.
OP SairaTasartir 5 / 37  
Apr 22, 2009   #3
Thanks for helping! I really appreciate it. However, I don't really care what the content is! (you probably can tell I don't really support either gun control or ammo control!) Honestly, as long as it's a well-written and correct essay, the comp graders will give it a good score. So I needed to know if it was well-written rather than a valid argument. From what I understand, I could completely make up historical facts and still pass! Could you give me some input on my use of English, etc? Thanks!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Apr 23, 2009   #4
Therefore , his proposal is an adept way of limiting the damage done to society through..

(Above) Technically, you are not supposed to start sentences with "and" "but" or "or."

And Best of all, it will be harder for under-aged people...

You have great grammar! Just sometimes, little bit of awkwardness:
Criminals already have guns, but they would be limited in their use of those guns if it was especially harder to obtain ammo.

You'll do great!


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