Opinion: Students’ articles should have been better researched

Your pullout section, “The Bird’s Eye View,” has articles that need a lot more research before printing.
I hope other students at Mount Abraham Union High School can fill in the gap.
One article was on gun control and it seems the only research done for it was borrowing only from the NRA.
We all know that the NRA is in the business of helping sell guns and is not concerned about deaths caused by them.
(Oh, yes, I hear they have some gun safety courses, for hunters, but what about having guns at home safely?)
Additional research can start with government statistics, which have a lot less bias.
A funny website for research is the website “GunFAIL” which has a lot of news reports of people shooting themselves and a funny one of a quick-draw attempt where the drawer shoots himself in the leg and looks a little pained. Then we find that it is safer not to have a gun at home for protection, since the accidents and a thief getting the gun and shooting the homeowner are many times greater than the very few examples the NRA likes to quote, where the homeowner actually defended himself without injury to innocent bystanders.
Research should include how much safer European countries are without guns, when the U.S. has a gun death rate thousands of times greater. Look it up. The gun problem is that millions of guns are privately owned, causing many accidents and thousands of deaths a year.
The old saw about Hitler taking guns from Jews is exploded by research on how many Jews owned guns before, and just what a few Jews with guns could do when attacked by Panzer tanks and storm troopers with machine guns.
And then the article on freedom and taxes. Was this taken from a Rush Limbaugh diatribe? Maybe Mt. Abe needs to do a better job teaching how our government was formed and how it operates. Try the first three articles of the Constitution, and then the rest of it. Why doesn’t the government operate the way the writer of this article wishes?
Maybe Mt. Abe could have a writing contest where students write about this after broad and careful research.
A lot of tax money goes to help the poor. This country had a lot of faith to follow the teachings about helping others.
Recently we have had politicians who want to help the rich and hurt the poor. They have spread ugly rumors about how the poor are really getting away with too much, where it is really the rich who get away with paying no taxes so the rest of us have to pay to help the rich with other kinds of welfare for the rich, who are not paying their fair share of taxes, to support the Army and highways and enforcing regulations and such things that their way of life depends on.
But we should urge our students to research and debate these things. They will soon be the ones to run our government by voting and taking political offices. We need to remind them that they should be our government (of the people, by the people and for the people) by researching it and discussing it and voting.
So, come on, students, let’s see a lively debate about “our” country.
Peter Grant
Editor’s note: “The Bird’s Eye View” is Mount Abraham Union High School’s student-written newspaper, which runs as an insert in the Addison Independent.

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