The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Arianna Moriarty:
2013 Winner
FDNY Engine 260

Arianna Moriarty

Winning Essay

When our founding fathers wrote that we have the right to bear arms, did they mean that our power was limited or unlimited? In a country with an epidemic of violence and crime I believe that gun control restrictions are necessary in order maintain structure and order. The Newtown Elementary School was a tragedy that opened up the discussion for gun control. I see both sides of owning or bearing your own gun. The United States is a free country and you should be able to own a gun but at the same time I believe it should be limited. The 2nd amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The literal meaning of this is that to be considered a secure, free state, it needs an organized militia. The next sentence means that the people, or the citizens have the right to own weapons and the last piece means that the government cannot take away this right. It was a different time and culture when the 2nd amendment was added, there should be limits on gun control and ownership and the government should be involved in gun control to an extent.

When the 2nd amendment was added to the constitution, the United States was a frontier country, meaning that people were still in situations where they needed to protect their land. There is different theories as to what exactly the 2nd amendment meant but the one I believe is known as the “individual right theory”. This theory states that the government cannot restrict gun possession of individuals and it, at the very least, declares such actions by the legislative body unconstitutional. On the other hand there is the “collective rights theory”. This theory basically says the opposite, that the government can completely control weapons possession based on the line “a well regulated militia”. They interpret that as saying the congress cannot take away the states right to self defense. That theory is based on the states right and not the individuals right even though the 2nd amendment clearly states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. Our founding fathers wrote a constitution that was meant to work for all times, the present and the future. The only problem is that they couldn’t predict or foresee how our nation would evolve and change. In 1791, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. The anti- federalists had fought for there to be a constitution that was for individual and states rights. They never won that fight, instead they compromised and had wrote the Bill of Rights and had that added. They wanted that to be the individual freedoms that all citizens were able to follow. In the 1700’s, the United States was a very young country. People were using slavery and they needed their weapons to control the slaves. The United States still only consisted of colonies and almost 2/3rds of the country was ruled by Native Americans. The citizens no longer need to protect themselves from animals or Native Americans or slaves. Back in the 1700’s and 1800’s they had ri fles for hunting. Now we have automatic assault rifles and overpowered guns for wars.

The average citizen should have limits on the 2nd amendment. These limits should include training for any weapon you wish to buy. There should be some sort of training program that every person who owns a weapon must attend. It should be for a certain period of time and include how to use the weapon and safety measures you should take while using it. It should also include how to safely lock it away at home. Anyone who wants to own a gun should be subjected to mental testing every 6 months to ensure they are capable of owning and handling a weapon. Certain guns, average citizens should not be able to own because there simply is no necessity for them in everyday life. For example, an automatic assault rifle or any kind of machine gun. Some sort of hand gun or even shotgun should suffice. The government should be very involved in forcing the regulations and limits that were previously occurs when there are no limits or too many limits. We need to regulate and educate these laws .

There were many factors to the tragedy in Newtown besides guns, especially Adam Lanza’s mental capacity. If the government were to involve themselves more with the 2nd amendment, I believe that would be very beneficial to the nation as a whole. They should put limits and regulations on gun control. As I said before the united states has evolved and we are far more advanced, technology wise, then we were before.


We would like to wish Arianna Moriarty the best of luck moving on to Suffolk Community College. Congratulations!

My name is Arianna Moriarty and I am 18 years old. I’m a senior at Miller Place High School. My best and favorite subjects are history and science. Biology in particular. All of my science classes for as long as I can remember have intrigued me and made me think about how living things work. I remember thinking that mechanical objects and man made objects weren’t a mystery to people because we created them but living things such as trees and animals and humans are mostly a mystery to us. We, as a race have yet to explore all of this planet. We havent seen the deepest seas and the darkest caves. I remember thinking as a small child that I want to discover things that no one else has. Going through and completing the courses Living Environment and AP Biology have really made me passionate for living things and how they work. I play the violin. I have played this instrument since 4th grade and I enjoy it. I love sports. I played varsity girls soccer and badminton. I am currently 4th in the county for girls singles. I volunteered for the NYSSMA Music Festival held at Miller Place High School. I also volunteer at my local children’s church every other Sunday. I have 3 brothers, 1 being older and 2 younger. Their names are Michael, Tyler and Justin. My parents are Tina and Mike Moriarty. My mom works for the Mount Sinai School district and my dad is a firefighter for Engine 260 in Long Island City. I love my family. My parents have always been there to support my decisions and guide me through life. I work part time at a small restaurant called Savino’s Hideaway.

I grew up in Breezy Point. It is a small town right on the ocean. I loved it there. I loved the ocean and being able to wake up to it every morning. I love surfing and swimming. I believe this has made a crucial impact on my decision to become a Marine Biologist. The teachers throughout my grade school life have really inspired me to go into a career with science. They taught me to take care of the planet and the animals on it. I believe I can achieve this through Marine Biology.

I am looking forward to attending Suffolk Community College this September. After I complete the two year program I would like to attend Stony Brook University. In college I plan on studying biology and other various sciences. I am also considering pharmacology.

I am very grateful for being chosen to receive this award. I want to thank Christopher Santora and his loving, supportive family for making this scholarship fund. I feel truly blessed and honored and my heart goes out to Christopher and his family.

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