Enough About You – CarsonWentz11

Money seems to have a big role in our society; you can’t do much or get far if you don’t have any. Money is valuable in different ways, even when you don’t see it physically. In today’s society you must have faith in the government and in the banking system that your money is being handled in the proper manner; if not, then you would have to hide all of your money under your mattress or around your house. I have no clue what happens in the banks, or how they take care of your money. I always thought money was simple; you either have some or you don’t—that’s it. However, being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. You don’t actually see your money being transferred. When you get paid, you aren’t handed cash, you don’t receive a physical check, the money’s all directly transferred to your bank account, and you just have to trust that you got more money.


Money seems to have a big role in our society; we can’t do much if we don’t have any. Money is valuable in different ways, even when we don’t see it physically.  With our money, we must have faith in the government and the banking system, or else we would have hide all our money.  It always seems money was simple, and being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts are all similar.  We don’t actually see our money being transferred.  When we get paid, we aren’t handed cash, we don’t receive a physical check, the money’s all directly transferred to our bank account, and we just have to trust that we got our money.

Rebuttal – CarsonWentz11

Gun Control Statistics are Too Broad

The topic of gun control is very controversial, in which people will go back and forth on whether there should be more restrictions on buying guns, and if these type of laws even lowers gun violence, especially homicide.  I have set out to find two very similar cities, by characteristics, in which they also are in states with different gun laws, and investigate the differences in gun violence, especially homicide.  I have discovered two cities, Houston, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which they are very similar.  Both of these cities have a very close population, a very similar percentage by race, but the states of Texas and Pennsylvania have different gun laws.  I found that the city of Philadelphia, yet being in the state of Pennsylvania with more strict gun laws than Texas, had no only more gun violence, but a higher homicide rate.  These findings are very narrow and only include two cities, and obviously can’t be correlated to the whole country.  On the other hand, statistics that have been done around the country, or even in other countries, on this gun control topic, can’t be correlated down to specific cities, like Philadelphia or Houston, because every city, state, and country has differences.

In German Lopez’s “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives,” he explains his reasoning on why he disagrees with those who say that gun control doesn’t actually reduce gun violence, especially homicides.  Lopez gathered plenty of research on this topic for his writing, but there are some flaws with the information.  One of the major pieces of evidence Lopez uses for his argument is a researched review of more than 130 studies on the effects of gun control from 10 different countries.  Lopez goes on to use these findings to support his argument stating, “The findings were clear: “The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths.””  Not only did he use this review for his his argument, but he also used statistics from the United Kingdom and Australia on how gun control is effective.  Both of these example Lopez uses is good for attacking an argument about gun control in a broad way, such as world wide here.  On the other hand, my argument is narrowed down far more than world wide statistics and looks into two particular cities.  Gun statistics can change from town to town, so why is Lopez comparing gun control effects from different countries.  Each country has there own characteristics and it is impossible to correlate from country to country.

More key pieces of evidence Lopez uses in his argumentative article are research done by Harvard researchers and by a Boston University researcher, about the correlation between gun ownership and gun homicide.  The Harvard researchers stated that there research “shows a correlation between statewide firearm homicide victimization rates and household gun ownership,” and in the Boston University research they found, “That each percentage point increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate.”  The major problem with this evidence that can reject my argument is that the areas where this research was done by these two Universities, was not in Philadelphia or Houston.  Since this information wasn’t gathered in the two cities of my argument, the information can’t reliably be correlated to everywhere else in the country expecting to have the same results.

Altogether, there isn’t that much empirical data on gun control effects on gun violence and homicide.  Unfortunately, for the data that is available for us, it is very broad and a lot of false correlations are made.   Data on effects of gun control from other countries can not necessarily be correlated to different countries, and that goes the same for data on certain parts of our country being correlated to the rest of the country.  Every city, state, and country is has different characteristics and laws which play big factors and correlating data to other places can sometimes be misleading.


Lopez, German. “The Research Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives.” Vox, Vox, 4 Oct. 2017, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post.


Robust Verbs – CarsonWentz11

There is a huge problem in Vancouver with heroin addicts committing crimes to support their habits. The “free heroin for addicts” program is doing everything they can to stop the addicts. The problem is that there is a large crime rate due to the addicts. It is obvious that addicts have a hard time getting through their day to day lives. Daily activities such as jobs, interactions, and relationships are hard to maintain because of the fact that they are using. By heroin users being addicted, they will do whatever they have to do to get their hands on the drug. The types of crimes committed are those of breaking and entering as well as stealing. There are no limits to where they will go to retrieve this drug so that they can feed their addiction. The problem with this program is that it won’t help to ween these addicts off using heroin. It is only trying to save the city from rising crime rates that they’re up to. By providing the drug, these addicts will be off the streets, which in turn will prevent them from committing minor street crimes. This will also keep the heroin users out of the hospital. It is pointless that the hospitals have to deal with people that want to use bad drugs or unsanitary needles and find themselves being unable to afford hospital bills and hard to cope without the drug. This program gives people free heroin in the cleanest way possible. This will in turn fix the city but not the addiction that these people face.

New Paragraph

Heroin addicts committing crimes, such as breaking and entering as well as stealing, to support their habits, is major problem in Vancouver.  Addicts have a tough time in their day to day lives and in daily activities because they are using.  A “free heroin for addicts” program is trying help these heroin addicts use sanitary needles, stay out of the hospital, and most importantly, stop committing crimes.  This program will fix the cities problems of crimes for heroin use and crowded hospitals of heroin addicts, but will not solve the problem of heroin addiction that these people face.

Causal Argument – CarsonWentz11

The Motives for Murders

To actually commit a homicide is not an action most people do.  The crime of murdering another human is not something people do for enjoyment or a hobby, unless they are a psychopath, which is why one could question why there were still 17,184 murders in the United States last year.  Because committing murder is such a heinous act, something or someone really needs to motivate the killer to commit the crime.  Criminals have stated many reasons for murdering people, but motives such as, revenge, domestic arguments, money or drug incidences, and alcohol related arguments are the most common.  All these common motives, usually have something to do with the murderer and the victim knowing each other and that is quite common.  According to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States 2011,” “In 2011, in incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and offenders were known, 54.3 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members.”

There are a lot of murders that are committed by people who are very close to the victims, so something major must have really happened for those murders to take place.  When thinking about close relationships, the main one is marriage and family.  Domestic arguments that lead to domestic abuse is the reason for a big portion of female homicides.  The same FBI report states, “Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their offenders were known, 36.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.”  Domestic violence is a horrible thing to happen, but arguments in relationships and at home, that lead to violence, is sadly one of the largest causes for murder in our country.

Along with relationships and marriages, a common belief that revenge murder after relationship issues, like cheating, happens a lot is untrue.  Getting caught cheating on someone can make the other person in the relationship very angry and they might want to murder the person their girl or boy friend was cheating on, but not many actually act on their fantasies.  In fact, in 2009 only 89 murders were committed out of sexual jealously.

Another major cause for homicides is actually from actions from other crimes.  Two main crimes that leads to homicides, which also has to do with the motive of money, is robbery and burglaries.  A lot of stealing crimes go into those two similar crimes, and sometimes when events go wrong, or too much is at stake, that’s when things can take a turn for the worse.  Even a far more worse crime than stealing, rape, also leads to a percentage of homicides.  The FBI reports, “Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders.”   Robbery and burglary are two crimes in which the criminal is trying to steal something, mostly to gain off of it.  Either if its money, or if its valuable items that can be sold for money, some people will do a lot for money, especially if they desperately need it.

Drugs and alcohol also can play a huge role in motives for homicides.  First, drugs and alcohol can very well impair people’s thoughts and actions, in which then could lead to making someone more angry and possibly act on that anger.  Even though drugs and alcohol can both impair people’s though processes, alcohol is much more involved in homicides than drugs like cocaine and heroin.  A quote from the Alcohol Rehab Guide states, “In fact, about 40 percent of convicted murderers had used alcohol before or during the crime.”  When under the influence, it can make people do something, like commit a crime, that they wouldn’t do if they were sober.  Besides of drugs and alcohol making people impaired, the need for drugs can also make a motive for homicides.  When people are addicted to drugs, they might get to a point where they will do anything so they can receive the drugs.  This can lead to robbery, which could lead to a homicide, or they could have issues with their dealer, which could also lead to a homicide.  Drug addiction is very serious and dangerous, and can make those addicted do very bad actions just so they can get the high they need.

Another cause for homicides is gang-related violence.  Gang-related violence has had a horrible effect, mostly in large cities, in which they are responsible for a lot of crime.  Unfortunately, some of the crime involved with gangs, is homicide.  According to the National Gang Center, “The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States. These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”  This statistic is significant because for the small amount of people who involved in gangs, the percent of gang-related homicides is very high.

Out of all the bad homicides that are criminal, there are a few that are justified.  These justified homicides have motives for the safety of either themselves or for others.  Many police shootings fall under this category.  Also homicides by citizens who react in self defense are justified.  According to the FBI report from 2011, “Law enforcement reported 653 justifiable homicides in 2011.  Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 393 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 260 people during the commission of a crime.”

Altogether, most people are not just going out committing murder for the fun of it.  To do something so drastically violent, there is usually a very strong motivation.  There are many motives for people to commit a homicide, in which it might be because of anger, they might be to under the influence and act unexpectedly, the need to drugs, gang-related decisions, domestic problems, and self-defense.


“Alcohol Related Crimes – Statistics and Facts.” Alcohol Rehab Guide, http://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/crimes/.

Domonoske, Camila. “CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners.” NPR, NPR, 21 July 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/21/538518569/cdc-half-of-all-female-murder-victims-are-killed-by-intimate-partners.

“Expanded Homicide Data.” FBI, FBI, 20 Aug. 2012, ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data.

“National Youth Gang Survey Analysis.” Measuring the Extent of Gang Problems, http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems.


Causal Argument – CarsonWentz11

Help me professor.  I have been researching the statistics of factors in communities that effect gun violence, such as economics, location and population, gender and race.  I wrote my definition essay about the concept of how these factors can effect gun violence, in which I realize now, is sort of a causal argument also.  My main goal right now is to find a city or area that has certain gun control laws with no effects on decreasing gun violence, and then look into their community factors.  I am still researching, but am I heading in a good direction right now?  I am stuck on this causal argument now because I feel like my definition argument is very similar to what my causal argument should be.

Opening Strong – CarsonWentz11

1 . The United States is in an extraordinary crisis about whether guns in our country should be more regulated or not.  This immense debate will most likely never come to an end, and that’s why it is significant to begin looking at community factors and their effects on gun violence.  Factors such as, economy, population, location, gun ownership, and, gender and race, can help local government and law enforcement, to implement certain laws to decrease the gun violence in that particular area.

2. The never ending battle of the gun control debate in America to keep increasing the regulations on guns, has been happening for decades, but it is finally time to stop.  After years of making it harder for law-abiding citizens to buy guns, there has been no solid evidence that those laws effect gun violence.  In fact, some states that have the highest gun regulation laws in the country, have cities that gun violence is in the highest of the whole country.

Definition Essay – CarsonWentz11

Concept – How community factors can effect gun violence.

Gun control laws and their relation to the amount of gun violence is a significant issue in today’s political spectrum.  Gun laws are different for every state and the amount of gun violence varies all over the place throughout the country.  Therefore, it is very tough to discover hard evidence whether gun control laws do decrease gun violence or if they don’t.  Besides of gun control laws, one can look at factors in the community and see how they effect gun violence.  There are many community factors that could play a role, such as, economics, gender, and location.

The largest amount of gun deaths, in our nation, come from suicides.  The amount of suicides is already very high in our country, but during The Great Recession suicide amount increased drastically, according to a study from Oxford University.   Oxford University’s Dr. Aaron Reeves stated, “There has been a substantial rise in suicides during the recession, greater than we would have anticipated based on previous trends.”  The study from Oxford University discovered that about 10,000 suicides from North America and Europe were linked to the recession that started in 2007.  This time of troubling economics where people lost their jobs, lost their homes, and fell in deep debt, brought people to where they felt they didn’t want to suffer through it anymore.  The recession was a troubling economy for the whole country, but if we now discuss smaller communities that are having economic problems, the same results of suicides could happen.

Besides of suicides, community economics also play a role in gun violence.  Low income communities tend to have higher violent crime and gun deaths.  Inner cities across the country, unfortunately, have the lowest income rates, while also having the highest homicide rates.  Detroit Michigan, which was considered the poorest city in America in 2014 according to Bruce Kennedy, CBS News, also had the third highest homicides, at 295, in 2015.  Of course there are other factors that come into play, such as crowded population and gang violence, but this trend of low income inner cities having very high homicide rates continues in all major cities across the nation.  The inner cities of America have been struck with poverty for generations.  Causes for the poverty include, racial and gender discrimination, structure shifts in the economy, racial and income segregation, crowded migration, and simply not enough jobs.  Another main cause for high poverty rates is people not getting high enough education.  People who drop out of school before finishing high school, tend to struggle to find steady jobs that will pay enough standard living cost.  These are just a few causes of the high amounts of poverty in the inner cities.

Another factor that can effect gun violence is gender and race.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  “In 2010, the rate of firearm homicides for males was 6.2 per 100,000 compared to 1.1 for females.”  This is a very large margin between homicides by male and females and this can play a role in communities.  If one community is way more outnumbered by males to females, one can suspect that there will be a higher firearm homicide rate compared to a community that females outnumber the males.  Another stat from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics is, “In 2010, the rate of firearm homicides for blacks was 14.6 per 100,000, compared to 1.9 for whites, 2.7 for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 1.0 for Asians and Pacific Islanders.”

An important factor that can effect gun violence is gun ownership.  Gun ownership is highly correlated to gun violence and suicides.  When looking a specific area or community for the amount of gun violence, it should be taken in account how highly populated the area is with gun owners.  In a larger scale, one could even look at the different parts of America.  Parts like the southeast, south, and southwest have a higher gun ownership rate than the west coast and the northeast.  Location is very important because in different parts of the country people tend to have different views on guns.  In the Southern parts of America, where gun ownership rates are the highest, people don’t really care about people arming themselves, while in other parts, many people don’t believe gun ownership should be allowed.

With all these factors in different communities, it can allow one to look more into which community factors play a role ion gun violence, especially homicides and suicides.  There are many studies that are very broad in what they are looking for, in accordance to gun violence and gun control laws.  Some will say these gun laws are lowering gun violence, while other studies will show they don’t.  Instead of trying to comcould find what the economic situation of that community is like, whether it is a populated urban city or a rural area, the gender and race percentage, and the gun ownership rate.


Kennedy, Bruce. “America’s 11 Poorest Cities.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 18 Feb. 2015,

Dallas, Mary Elizabeth. “Recession Linked to More than 10,000 Suicides.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 12 June 2014

“Firearm Violence, 1993-2011.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), May. 2013