Teen’s Speech against Gun Control Becomes Popular

May 12, 2013

【Unlocking Word Meanings】

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. legislation
[lej-is-LEY-shuh n] (n.) – laws enforced by a government
Example: The new legislation was made to protect the citizens from harm.
2. curb [kurb] (v.) – to control, limit, or check
Example: He enrolled his boys in swimming classes to curb their curiosity with firearms.

3. obliterate [uh-BLIT-uh-reyt] (v.) – to completely remove or destroy until nothing is left.
Example: Terrorists threatened to obliterate the city capitol.

4. expansive [ik-SPAN-siv] (adj.) – covering many things
Example: The senators spent a whole week discussing the very expansive bill.

5. magazine [mag-uh-ZEENMAG-uh-zeen] (n.) – a gun part that stores bullets
Example: The soldier made sure his gun magazine was fully loaded before the attack.


Read the text below.

A 15-year-old girl from Maryland, USA became the center of a gun control debate after the video of her speech reached more than 2.3 million hits in YouTube.

Sarah Merkle, a member of the Maryland Rifle club and Maryland State Rifle Club, has been shooting guns for about eight years now. In her three-minute speech, she said that signing the anti-gun legislation would not curb gun violence but would just take away the citizens' constitutional rights.

She also mentioned in her speech that applying the law would make gun-shooting practice impossible. Stricter gun laws would then obliterate her chances of getting in a good college on a shooting scholarship.

In her argument, Merkle added that people and not guns are the problem, saying that gun control legislation will not free the society from violence and murder. Eliminating guns from ordinary citizens will only remove people's capability to protect their lives and to do what makes them happy, Merkle stressed.

Despite Merkle’s strong arguments, Maryland officials still signed and approved the bill which sets an expansive restriction on firearms earlier this April. The senate passed this bill, acquiring a vote of 28-19.

Many people are expecting Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to sign the bill. If he does, the legislation would require people to submit fingerprints and license before buying firearms. The bill also bans the selling of magazines with more than ten rounds and high-capacity rifles.

【Viewpoint Discussion】

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Is gun violence a problem in your country? Why do you think so?
·         Are you in favor of or against gun-control? Please provide support for your answer.

Discussion B

·         What can the government do to ensure the safety of its citizens?
·         How can ordinary citizens ensure their safety within the neighborhood?


May 12, 2013