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Friday, April 12, 2013

Gun Control: Issues and Perspectives Lesson

If there is one issue that stirs passion in these days, it is gun control.  It seems like a simple problem to solve, but looking at different perspectives reveals that it is a complex issue full of emotion and passion.  Looking critically at the many perspectives, facts and cultural differences in gun control issues is a great way to get our students to look at the issues and determine what the best course of action is as history unfolds.  Opinions differ widely.  Some legislators are pushing for stricter gun control laws and bans on the sales of certain types of firearms and ammunition.  Others are pushing to loosen gun laws to that American citizens can step in and help deter crime themselves.  What do your students think should be done?
Just the Facts
I found a great site which gives statistics and facts, Gun Control- Just Facts regarding gun control with an unbiased point of view.   Students can use this site and the scenario below to develop their own opinions.  This is the newest free SCAN lesson from TregoED that guides students through the SCAN process:   See the issues, Clarify (and support) the issues, Ask what’s important, Now, what should be done?   You can register and log in to have your students discuss this lesson online using the SCAN tool at TregoEd and see the different points of view provided.  You can also use the scenario below as an argumentative writing prompt, lesson on statistics, civics discussion topic or current event.
Gun Control Scenario
Since the Newtown Connecticut school shootings of 20 kindergartners and 6 teachers, the call for stricter gun control laws has increased.  This is a very complicated and emotional issue with very strong opinions on both sides of the argument.  Many Americans who have been affected by violent crimes have taken up the fight for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.  They would like to see stricter background checks on all sales of guns.  Law enforcement officers agree and would like to see guns taken off the street to help decrease crime and make their jobs less dangerous.  The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a long standing and powerful organization that supports American’s rights to own guns for both sport and protection.   Many people think that criminals will get their hands on guns no matter what and stricter laws will only inconvenience law abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and their families.   You have been asked to join in the debate.  Choose and read your point of view (or that assigned by your teacher) and enter the issues that concern you.  You can use to find statistics and data to support your point of view.
Try it out and Share your Feedback
The lesson in the SCAN tool provides information on four different perspectives so students can discuss this from different points of view.  I would love any feedback that you or your students have on the issues or the activity.


  1. Gun Control will only take guns away from the law abiding citizens.
    One of the greatest catastophies this country ever experienced that killed many civilians and did not include guns but only boxcutters.
    The terrible consequences of 911 may have been thwarted had a civilian been on board to stop the boxcutter yielding murderers.
    It's not guns that are killing people, it's the person behind that gun.
    I hate to use 911 as an example but had one law abiding person with a gun been on board, the incident would have barely made the 6 oclock news.

  2. My objective is to get students to look at different perspectives and develop their own with the support of facts and information. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I am sure it will add to the conversation.