Dear Future President,
Do you remember? Do you remember the 26 lives that were taken from the world? Do you know the date of this horrific tragedy? Do you even know the shooters name? Well, it started December 14, 2012. A man named Adam Lanza went to an elementary school after shooting his mother and killing her. He claimed the lives of 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old and killed 6 adults leaving mothers and fathers without their children and leaving sons and daughters without their mothers and fathers. In the U.S. in 2016, there were 11,663 deaths from mass shootings alone and even more were injured from the shootings. There are so many deaths right now that the lines are being blurred between the different deaths of individuals and the ones that are killed in numbers. Just by the simple use of a gun. If we had some way of keeping guns from people who are willing to pull the trigger on someone innocent, we could keep the people of America safe.
A few months ago, I sat down at the dinner table waiting to eat my mother's wonderfully cooked meal. The mash potatoes steaming and carrots seasoned my plate. A little-shriveled piece of pork garnishing the sides. My father sat down with his iPad ready to read about some news reporting happening today or yesterday in society. He said to my brother, who sat right next to him mindlessly staring at his plate of food and playing with his fork and twirling it about, “There was another shooting.” My brother did not respond with even a slight twitch of his face. No sound slipped from his mouth in anguish or despair but he would say the words, “Not surprising.” I thought about how so many people had died that not an expression would come up on someone's face when they heard the words there was a shooting? I would think that it could have been me or that could’ve been my friends or family sitting somewhere waiting to die because of a gun. How it would enter their body and break it down from the outside in.
The exact idea of one of my friends getting hurt or my sister or brother. It had me consider everything that was even connected to guns. When I was researching this topic, I never thought I would come across anything like what I found. Americans own more guns than any other place in the world and those guns attribute to over 300,000 deaths in America alone imagine combined with other countries what that would be like. Most of the deaths that occur involve firearms, and from all those firearms killings ⅔ of those deaths were suicides. When America is giving out guns to people, they give the power to kill and to hurt. And out of all of the countries in the world, only three of them were allowing people to own guns. How is it even possible that out of those three countries more than 300,000 deaths occurred. And we the people of America are doing nothing to stop it, the background checks that are supposed to be required only appeal to a few store owners and clerks. Around 40% of all guns that are bought were not background checked they were given as gifts and some were sold in private transactions and it is considered legal. If you don’t get a background check for your gun you’re going against the law and yet when you have a private transaction it is okay? You say that we do our best to keep guns away from bad people but if you never check their background to see if they are eligible to own a gun, how would you know if they were dangerous or not. I take back what I said before I know why these deaths happen, it happens because we allow people to have the right to own guns. People say that guns save people lives, but they really only leave them on death's door waiting to have the life drain out from their bodies.
When the deaths pile up in mass shootings or shootings in general, parents and people who loved the victims hope to God and back that their child or friend hasn’t been hurt or worse, and when they find out that their worst fears have come true, their lives fall apart. When the deaths of the 26 people occurred back in 2012, the former president or soon to be former president made a speech and he said, “When I think of those kids, it makes me mad.” If the President found it so important that he needed to make a speech about it, what do you think the parents and the ones that actually felt? Some even went to the extent of sending letters and emails to Congress about the legislation proposal towards the control of the guns. A woman named Erica Lafferty, whose mother died from the 2012 tragedy, has since pushed and rallied behind getting a background check for gun users and she continues her crusade today.
Are you willing to make a change? To make the world an even better place? It’s up to you, Mr. or Mrs. President. Make a bill or a law preventing people from owning a gun or at least try harder to make background checks extensive and mandatory. I dream one day to see the world fresh and new without guns and violence. It's your choices that can make the dream happen. Keep the place that I love safe and free.
Abbigail K., Pennsylvania