Dear Future President,
The issue of gun control and gun reform laws has peaked as a topic of discussion among citizens of the United States. The time is nigh to act on this issue that has haunted us for decades, as the number of mass shootings has spiked due to the extensive amount of guns in circulation. This necessitates the need for more extensive background checks and limitations on guns. The number of deaths because of guns is unacceptably high, and over half of those deaths are suicides. The NRA says that the people are to blame for the number of gun deaths, not the firearms used.
According to CNN, the United States has the highest number of guns per capita in the world, at 88.8 firearms per 100 people. Yemen is second at about 55 per 100 people. With 265 millions guns in 2015, per NY Times, the real question should be why. According to Cornell University Law School, back when the Second Amendment was created, the US did not have an army or police force, they had a militia. We no longer have a militia, and the need for for a militia is frivolous, because we have an army and police force, so this means gun ownership is just as pointless as owning a solid gold toilet. Research by CNN shows that after significant shootings, like in Newtown, Connecticut, and San Bernardino, California, the number of gun background checks by the FBI skyrocketed. People say that they feel safer with a gun, but the truth is, that keeping a gun in your home increases the risk of homicide by 2.7 times, and the risk of suicide by 4.8 times according to the NY Times (October 14, 2016). Also, if a gun is present in a dispute with a woman, the woman’s risk of being killed goes up 500%, procon.org states. So what can we do to limit the number of firearms, and possible deaths in the US? Guns should be withdrawn from people with more than one gun, so that every firearm owner only bears a single firearm.
CNN statistics show that 59.5% of 406,496 deaths due to firearms in the US, are suicides, 38.4% are homicides, and 2.1% are accidental. These percentages translate to 241,865 suicides, 156,094 homicides, and 8,537 accidental deaths due to firearms. These numbers show that the number of deaths are out of control, and there needs to be more restrictions on who owns these firearms. About 4% of homicides are committed by a shooter with a mental illness, CNN research shows, and that 1 in 10 adults who carry firearms also have an anger problem. More extensive background checks, looking more into the buyer’s mental health, and criminal records (for obvious reasons) are necessary. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz wrote that they would oppose any legislation that infringes “on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or the ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance”(procon.org). On the contrary, I would say that if a person wants to buy a gun, they are buying the ability to end someone’s life, and the background check is 100% worth any embarrassment or surveillance the buyer might have to endure.
The NRA is pro firearms in every way imaginable. They even came up with a slogan to defend firearms. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is their defense for the inexcusable number of shootings that have recently happened. This quote and their idealism is absurd; what if we switched out a gun for a knife in all of the mass shootings in the past 10 years? Now, I’m not saying that a knife is good, but guns are easier to kill with. Guns give people the power to kill from long distances, and it’s just wrong. CNN statistics show that homicide rates involving firearms are below 50% in countries with gun control laws, such as Canada, the UK, Australia, and Switzerland (which ranks third in number of guns per capita), where the homicides in the US involving firearms were at about 60%. The US has had 51 mass shootings (at least 4 people killed) since 1997, whereas Germany, Switzerland, and the UK have had 3 or less, and Australia and Japan have had 0. At this point, I don’t think the second amendment will be abolished, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit it. Perhaps the right to bear arms should only be true to those who hunt, or work in law enforcement, that way people who shouldn’t have a gun won’t have them, and then the rest of the population won’t have to worry about their safety, resulting in those people not needing guns.
Future President, don’t you think it’s time to end this chaos? Don’t you think that it is time for a new era of non-violence? The number of deaths because of terrorism from 2001-2013 is 3,380. The number of deaths because of firearms on US soil from 2001-2013 is 406,496, per CNN. This number is way too high. There are campaigns such as the “If you see something, say something” campaign that help prevent terrorism, when terrorism is a small percentage of the deaths. We must not ponder on this issue any longer, for it is time to take action. Thousands of lives can be saved if there were to be stronger laws, and more limitations on firearms in the United States. Please let this linger in your mind, so that we may see change.
St. Paul, Minnesota