Opinion: One thousand paper cranes

One, two, three, four…Crane after crane went from one pile to another. My classmates and I were determined to finish our project, and we would continue skipping class and lunch until we finished making one thousand paper cranes. Tears and headaches were the theme of the week before the December holidays in our town. Even though we worked hard on our project, nothing could possibly be enough.

On Dec. 14, 2012, just 11 days before Christmas, a man named Adam Lanza shot his mother, then shortly after killed 26 students and staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Sadly, there is a long list of examples I could use to talk about gun control. But being from a town just half an hour away from Newtown, this is the most personal to me. Along with everyone else in this country, I was greatly affected by this tragedy, which quickly lit the flame for the focus on gun control.

In 2010, guns took the lives of  31,076  people through homicide, suicide, and unintentional shooting. In the seven years of the war in Iraq, over 4,400 people were killed. This is equivalent to the number of gun deaths in our country every seven weeks.

When you argue that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” consider the fact that in 2010, unintentional firearm injuries killed 608 people. Although it is true that guns do not fire themselves, technically, a person was responsible for the accident. Without the involvement of the gun, the accident might not have been fatal.

With the threat of stricter gun ownership laws looming in the future, gun sales rocketed. This left me to wonder why people dislike the idea of having to undergo a background check. The only people who, after being checked, would be denied a gun would be the certifiably insane. So, why does the American public dislike this idea? There should not be a problem for anyone who does not have anything to hide.

I am deeply aware that stricter gun ownership laws would not solve all of this country’s problems involving violence and crime. There will still be guns on the street, and there will still be terrible human beings that wish to do evil to others. But I think that if putting new laws in place could decrease the number of gun deaths next year by only a small amount, it would be worth it.

It is promised in an ancient Japanese legend that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes is either granted a wish by the crane or is granted eternal good luck and recover from injury and illness. One thousand paper cranes strung together with yarn was the biggest contribution my grade could pull together for the elementary school in Newtown, CT. My wish that I would like to ask the cranes would be that no one ever needs to grieve the deaths of anyone, especially children, killed in a shooting ever again.