Olivia D. New Jersey

Pro Gun Control

This letter addresses the argument of gun control, and how we should enforce stricter laws, and more safety measures during the process of purchasing guns.

Dear Mr/Mrs. President,

According to the Centers of Disease Control, guns are listed as the 12th major cause of death in the United States, and 307 mass shootings in the US alone this year. More than 80% of the guns used in these shootings are owned legally, which is one of the many reasons why we should enforce pro gun control laws. Gun control is an argument about the set of laws that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, and use of firearms by citizens. I believe that there should be stricter laws against these actions, and more restrictions and safety measures during the process of purchasing guns.

Between 1999 and 2013, firearms have been the culprit of 464,033 fatalities, representing 1.3% of total deaths in the United States. Of the 434,033 deaths, about 270,000 of them were firearms suicides by legal gun owners. About 200 Americans go to the emergency room a day with gunshot wounds, 50% of them resulting in death. With more restrictions and stricter laws against gun violence, these deaths can be decreased.

If gun owners are given more access to firearms, it can turn a daily argument into something more violent. According to Newsela, a professor at the University of Texas stated that “...allowing guns in classrooms creates a threatening atmosphere and stifle free speech in academics. Access to firearms is not only affecting the safety of others but their education and open opinion as well. Also, according to ProCon.Org, the FBI found that in 2013, arguments fueled by romantic problems, alcohol, drugs, and money resulted in 1,962 gun deaths. Five people each day were murdered because of arguments that could have been solved in a more peaceful manner.

The process of buying and selling guns should also be more protected and have more restrictions. This would prevent the purchase and obtainment of illegally owned firearms. The purchase of many illegally owned firearms take place at gun shows, which are events where promoters rent large public venues, and display guns and other related items for customers to buy. The estimated number of gun shows is 2,000 - 5,000 a year, and the HCI (Handgun Control, Inc) claims that “25-50 percent of the vendors at most gun shows are unlicensed dealers.” According to Justice.org, 39.2% of firearms are bought of the streets, and 39.6% are obtained through strawman purchases. Strawman purchases occur when the buyer of a firearm uses another person to execute the paperwork needed to purchase a firearm. According to the June 2013 Institute of Medicine report, between 2005 and 2010, 1.4 million guns were stolen from US homes during crimes such as burglary and car theft. The number of illegally owned guns can be decreased if there were more restrictions and safety measures during the process of obtainment.

Others argue that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual’s right to own a gun. It 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.” Yet, the Second Amendment is not an unlimited right to own a firearm. US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules 7-4 that “the right of the general public to carry a concealed firearm in public is not, and never has been, protected by the Second Amendment” Also, many people believe that gun control laws will infringe upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety in public. 61% of men and 56% of women surveyed by Pew Research said that the stricter gun laws would “make it more difficult for people to protect their homes and families.” Yet, of the 30,000,000 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.79% of victims protected themselves protected themselves with a firearm.

Now when will we attempt to fix this worldwide problem? Will we be too late to turn this situation around? Are we just to accept the deaths and suicides that have firearms as the culprit? The legal gun owners who abuse their given power? The illegal purchases, trades, and possession? What will become of our world if we don’t enforce pro gun laws? What will become of our world if we don’t take action?

Sincerely, Olivia D

Brielle Elementary

Eighth Grade Citizens

The students in the eighth grade who wished to post their letters are featured here. Students worked for several weeks in both Social Studies and Language Arts classes, crafting their arguments. They participated in Penpal Schools Decision 2016 as well as Media Literacy Week.

All letters from this group →