Grades 9-12 Summit Learning

Gun Rights

This inquiry leads students through an investigation that examines the purpose and effects of gun legislation in the United States. In doing so, it provides students with the opportunity to critically examine the motives behind gun laws and the disproportionate impact of gun violence on Black and Latinx communities. Although this compelling question seems straightforward, the inquiry brings into focus the controversial nature of gun legislation and the continued public discourse on gun violence. The strategic use of sources is particularly useful in showing the ways that gun violence impacts communities of color.


Compelling Question:

Who Do Gun Laws Protect?

Staging the Question:

Generate a series of questions using the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) after observing a map of gun violence in the United States.

Supporting Question To what extent does the Second Amendment protect gun ownership?

Formative Task Create a statement that rewrites the Second Amendment in students’ own words using language that clarifies its protections.

Sources Source A: “Second Amendment of the United States Constitution”
Source B: “Not a Second Class Right”
Source C: “The Reasonable Right to Bear Arms”


Supporting Question What do gun laws protect against?

Formative Task Create a detailed list of things that gun laws protect against.

Sources Source A: “Policies on Guns”
Source B: “Annual Gun Law Scorecard”
Source C: “Stand Your Ground Laws”


Supporting Question Who does gun violence affect the most?

Formative Task Write an evidence-based claim that answers the supporting question.

Sources Source A: “Gun Violence in America”
Source B: “Homicide Rates by State”
Source C: “Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States”

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Who do gun laws protect? Construct an argument (e.g., detailed outline, poster, essay) that answers the compelling question using specific claims and relevant evidence from sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Participate in a fishbowl discussion that addresses the extent to which gun laws are effective.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Research gun laws in your state.
Assess: Identify state lawmakers who support and are opposed to increased restrictions on gun access.
Act: Write a letter expressing your views on gun violence and laws to a legislator whose views oppose your own.