Giovanni C. Oregon

Gun Violence

Gun violence has taken the lives of many undeserving American citizens, and it needs to end.

Dear future President,

I am a student in Portland, Oregon and I would like to address a few things about why gun control is an absolute necessity.

The New York Times reported that in 2014, 8,124 US citizens died of gun violence. That’s about 23 people a day. When compared to a population of about 310 million, it doesn’t seem like much, but when you think of the families and friends also affected by them, the basis becomes much larger. Consider now that hundreds of thousands of people affected, and hundreds daily. This is in a big part due to the fact that we don’t have great gun control. Many American gun stores get away with selling people dangerous firearms without providing a background check, which in turn allows those people to sell those assault weapons on the black market. Criminals can get the dangerous weapons in order to commit large and small scale crimes, and the best way to limit this is by monitoring gun purchases and gun owners.

Gun control can save many lives. In 2014, May 24th, six people were killed in Santa Barbara (California) due to the fact that a mentally unhealthy man was able to get control of a gun. He stabbed and killed multiple people and then proceeded to get in his car. He then went to a nightclub and shot three more, in which only one survived. After that, he got back in his car and shot anybody that he saw as he drove down the very populous street, La Vista. He got the handgun through an easy purchase. The man didn’t need to show a background check even though by law he was unstable. This is one example of how being nonchalant about gun control can lead to drastic results.

When someone first reads this article, their thoughts could be about how the man was able to get the gun so easily. Another thought that we must consider though, is what would happen if instead of buying the gun, he had been given it. Research shows that it was only this year in which a law was put into effect. The law states that the owner of a firearm may need to take total responsibility for the shooting as well. I find it shameful to live in a country that has over 8,000 of its own citizens killed every year.

A question that you may be asking now is how? You can't just take away everybody's guns, but what other option is there? I have a few logical propositions that you could put into effect. One of them is involved with how easily people can get and control guns.

According to the New York Times, there are over 300 million guns in the U.S. That is nearly a gun per person. That means that most people in the U.S know where to get one if they ever feel like they need or want one. That makes it way too easy for a person with bad intentions to get a powerful firearm, resulting in high levels of gun violence. If it were harder to attain weapons like these, then less people would be able to get the dangerous weapons, so a change in the purchasing process is required. While a background check is necessary, they aren’t very thorough, so many people are able to get them even though they have issues. Another idea that could happen has to do with licenses and the people owning them.

Irregular check-ins with owners of gun licenses that include a psychological test and a thorough house inspection could also be a great idea in limiting gun control. If the person fails the “test”, then they are to be banned for an amount of time from controlling a gun. If that person is caught with a gun in possession during the prohibition, they are fined or put in jail/prison. Having this turned to a law would drastically decrease the amount of gun murders in the US by at least 20%, saving nearly 2,000 American lives. Also, the house inspection would check to see the amount of guns in a house. A proposed maximum is 2 per household. That would make the amount of guns per capita decrease majorly as well.

One of the reasons that this topic is so controversial, is because it would go against the second of the national amendments, stating that everyone is entitled to “the right to bear arms”. Going against the foundations of this country would make many citizens furious, and some people believe that maintaining the happiness of the living is more important than preserving some of them. I believe that you will make the right decision and may do it based off of all the statistics and propositions that I have displayed to you today. Remember that the decision you make should be formed off of one thing, and one thing alone: The common welfare of all citizens alike. 

Jefferson HS

Jefferson HS Students

10th,11th, and 12th grade students at Jefferson HS in Portland Oregon.

All letters from this group →