1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C., 20500
Dear Mr. or Mrs. Future President,
I feel that gun control is a serious issue in the U.S. that needs to be addressed. I am bringing this topic to your attention because I feel that some changes need to be made on gun control to help limit gun violence and misuse. I feel that restrictions on guns are too loose, and as a result, it is causing more and more gun violence in the U.S. I think that there is a need for background checks when purchasing a gun, and also a need to limit the access that people have to guns.
People and groups like the NRA (National Rifle Association), who are against gun control have similar reasons why. First off, if there is any action taken to limit certain guns or gun rights, people who are against it will plead the second amendment which is their right to bear arms. This stops the government from limiting guns. Anyone who wants to purchase a gun is able to with the second amendment. People also say that there are gun murders in places where there are heavy restrictions on guns in places like Chicago. Another argument against gun control is that citizens with a gun would use it in a necessary situation to help stop or subdue a mass murderer, thus reducing the number of gun deaths. Many people against gun control think that having or owning a gun is safer than not having a gun because you are able to protect yourself.
Compared to other developed countries like Germany and Canada, the U.S. had by far the highest number of mass shootings, from 2000-2014 at 133. One reason for the cause of these mass shootings, is that the U.S. has the loosest restrictions on guns compared to any other developed country. This is due to the second amendment. People feel that if they are able to carry a gun, they should. People also tend to think that carrying a gun is safer than not having one, however, this is not true. There is a connection between gun ownership and gun violence in the U.S. Higher gun ownership means higher gun violence. As David Hemenway, a director at the Injury Control Research Center says, “Within the United States, a wide array of empirical evidence indicates that more guns in a community leads to more homicide, (Lopez)” And if people keep a gun with them to use as defense, there is a small chance of them stopping an intruder. In fact, they are more likely to accidentally hit an innocent person or get killed when trying to confront a killer, children can also get their hands on a gun in the home and think it is a toy, and not know what it really does, and the result is many accidental deaths in the home alone. Many people that shouldn't have access to guns do. There are important things to look at when someone is purchasing a gun, such as if they have a criminal record or a history of violence. While having background checks to prevent certain people from purchasing guns may be an infringement on the second amendment (for some people), it can really help in reducing the number of mass shootings and overall gun violence in the U.S.
Another problem in the U.S. with guns, is that they are too accessible. For instance, in 2011 American gun ownership was around 89 guns for every 100 people in the U.S. Americans comprise less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but make up 42 percent of domestically owned guns in the world. More guns mean more gun violence. Among developed countries, countries with high gun ownership have high gun deaths and the same goes for U.S. states. But nothing is being done to restrict them. When the argument comes up about gun violence in places where guns are outlawed like in chicago, the reason is that only Chicago restricts guns. The rest of Illinois and the surrounding states and cities have no restrictions. As Matthew Green form KQED news writes, “Chicago is not an island. We’re only as strong as the weakest gun law in surrounding states, (Green)” The gun violence that happens in Chicago is because guns are too accessible. There is no restriction on who is allowed to purchase guns, and there is no need to give a reason why you want to buy one. This needs to change, even if it will change the second amendment, the gun violence needs to stop.
In conclusion, the U.S. needs to limit guns in some way. Whether it is requiring background checks when someone wants to purchase a gun, or limiting access that Americans have to guns. I think either one will be effective. You also need to make sure that action is taken, because after the Umpqua Community College shooting, Obama said in German Lopez’s article that “our thoughts and prayers are not enough,(Lopez)” Obama is deeply troubled by the mass shooting and says that more action needs to be taken, however nothing happens. He still has to come out and address these mass shootings. Nobody in our federal government is taking any action in instituting any gun control. I hope, if you get a chance to read this, that you will strive to take action for gun control.
A Concerned Minnesotan