Andrew - Dowagiac, Michigan
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: morality

During a summer afternoon when I was 11 years old, I spent the day passing time shooting at pop cans with my brand new Air Soft Pellet Gun. I received the gun just three days earlier for my birthday. After thirty minutes of torturing cans, I noticed across the street a squirrels nest in my neighbor’s tree. I decided that squirrels would be a great target. It wasn’t until I had the barrel of my gun aimed at the neck of the squirrel that I was beginning to have second thoughts. For some stupid reason, I felt myself pull the trigger and witnessed the squirrel fall all the way down and smack into the pavement.

What gave me the right to kill an innocent animal? Furthermore, what gives anyone the right to kill another human being? As I sat and thought deeper, a few thoughts came to mind. I believe that killing any living thing is wrong. But then I began to think about capital punishment, or killing in self defense. A drive by shooting, killing innocent people. I realized that this was a much deeper subject than I had thought about before.

Capital Punishment is the killing of another human being. But it is in the form of a punishment for a horrible crime. Most of the time to an innocent person. I believe that capital punishment is an acceptable form of killing in this country. It has been practiced for centuries. It is the taking of a human life, but it is done as a consequence for a crime, or violent act against another.

Killing in self defense, on the other hand, is sometimes a way of survival. If you are in a situation where the only way to save your own life, is by pulling the trigger first. The soldiers in Iraq right now, I can’t imagine how they must feel, seeing the enemy pointing an AK47 at their face. The automatic reaction to shoot back, for fear of being killed first. To think about how that soldier will feel for the rest of their life, knowing that he killed another. Even though he was the enemy, the guilty conscience would come into place, that I killed another, even in self defense.

Drive By shootings are so different from a soldier killing, or capital punishment. They are simply the taking of an innocent life without just cause. A child playing on the sidewalk who is non threatening to anyone. A stray bullet from know where hitting those who did no wrong. I believe that killing for fun is the meanest thing anyone could ever do.

I also thought about hunting as a sport. I believe that it is ok for people to hunt. Usually, the animals are over populated. For example, deer, wild turkeys, and fish. They are hunted and used as a food source. In our history, survival from hunting as a means to eat is what was done. And today, although we have access to the local grocery stores, people continue to hunt for food, and for sport. I was not hunting the squirrel for food to eat that day. I do not like squirrel soup, (actually, I have never had it). My mom would have thought I was crazy for even thinking of bringing it home for dinner. But I still continue to feel bad that I killed that squirrel. I have begun to realize the different forms of killing. I do not agree with killing in any inhuman way. One thing I have learned from this is that this topic is a lot to think about. There are different reasons people kill.