Dear Future President:
Congratulations on winning the election. The statistics and facts around gun control are concrete, and there really is not any room for debate. There is a large percentage of our population that is simply misinformed about the facts. The Second Amendment has been grossly misinterpreted by recent Supreme Court decisions, and the best way to fix gun control is for you to nominate a justice that will correctly address this issue.
Many people will cite the Second Amendment when gun control is brought up, but they don’t consider that the constitution is an ever changing document. The constitution was ratified during a time when muskets were the most efficient form of firearm. The purpose of the Second Amendment was for citizen-militias to use these muskets in order to protect themselves against a hypothetical tyrannical US government. Our founders did not intend for every untrained citizen to have access to semi-automatic assault rifles. It will be 2017 when you are inaugurated; does anyone really think that a well regulated militia is still necessary to the security of a free state? Citizen militias are clearly not an effective way of keeping a tyrant from power. We have much safer methods keeping the United States safe, such as checks and balances and term limits.
People often say they need a gun to protect themselves or their family, but the statistics are pretty clear that households with guns are actually less safe. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology households with firearms are at much greater risk for homicide and/or suicide. For someone to claim that they own a gun to protect themselves is an absurdity that belongs in Alice in Wonderland.
Interest groups such as the National Rifle Association try to twist facts and muddy the waters but are willfully ignoring the elephant in the room. We believe ourselves to be the best country on earth, but according to the American Journal of Medicine, the overall firearm death rate is 10.2 per 100,000. This number is higher than any other developed country; for comparison, Canada’s is 1.97.
We have a gun culture in this country that needs to change. According to the Congressional Research Service there are 112 guns per 100 people in the United States. There are more guns than there are people. We lead the world in gun ownership, and it is not even close. In many other countries, such as Britain and Norway, the police don’t even carry firearms. In our country a basic traffic stop is a high risk situation since the officer is armed and can safely assume that the driver is armed as well. Jamiles Lartey of The Guardian points out, “US police kill more in days than other countries do in years.”
Unprecedentedly, you are inheriting the job of filling an already vacant seat on the Supreme Court. The damage done by previous Supreme Court rulings cannot be fixed overnight by the executive branch; however, the job of appointing judges falls to you. Please take care in choosing a justice that will change this nation for the better.