Dear Future President,
Every year in the U.S. there is an average of 100,000 people shot. How can a nation that is phenomenal in technology and modernization let such a tragedy occur?
I believe that we need comprehensive background checks, and stronger laws against guns to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands. We also need to stop providing people with weapons only capable of mass destruction, such as assault rifles. We can’t get rid of the 2nd amendment, but we can stop a violent situation from escalating in the first place.
These days, people are walking into guns stores and legally buying guns. Some of these people include criminals, terrorists, and outlaws. People are buying guns to be used in murder, and it’s going unnoticed. People are buying assault rifles without any legitimate reason. As a result, an average of 100,000 people are shot each year. There are many ways that this number can be shortened.
Let me begin by addressing a primary argument in the field of gun violence-the ownership of guns. The second amendment says, "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." This is saying that every U.S. citizen has the right to keep and bear arms, and that right is not to be interfered with. Many people make an argument saying guns in general should be banned and they don’t realize what they are saying. Something that causes so much controversy has such a simple solution. According to the Washington Post, in 2009, the number of guns in circulation surpassed the United States population with 40 million more guns than people. Think about it. How would be ban guns in the first place? How would we get rid of guns if there are more guns than people? Wouldn’t only the good people turn in their guns? The law-abiding gun owners are left helpless against armed criminals? It would be a disaster. It’s simply a ridiculous idea. Yet the ownership of guns is still one of the most argued topics in America.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 11,208 homicides involving a firearm in 2013. The people who committed these murders include criminals, people with mental disorders, and outlaws. Lots of these people had criminal backgrounds. They obtained their guns because the background check system is corrupt. I believe that we need to reinforce our background check system. We should not give guns to people who have committed multiple violent crimes. The same should apply to people with extreme mental disorders. It’s simply too risky to supply these people with guns.
Terrorists are also walking into guns stores and legally buying guns. Even if they are on the terrorist watch list. This was the case for Omar Mateen, who was the convict in the Orlando shooting. According to the New York Times, he was already on a terrorist watch list, but later got removed. But that would not have stopped him from purchasing an assault rifle and a pistol which he used to kill 49 people and wound 53 others. We need to stop giving people on the terrorist watch list guns. But we would also have to make getting on the terrorist watch list harder.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there were 505 deaths due to accidental/negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms-use with "undetermined intent". This means that there are a lot of accidental shootings. There are many irresponsible gun owners who don’t properly store their guns. They are not locked up and then their children get to them. Their children end up pulling the trigger somehow, and you know what happens next. Gun owners need to lock their guns in places that are not accessible to their children. Children should be taught proper gun safety when they are young. This should be something we can easily do, but they are just some people who lack the responsibility needed to own a gun. Currently, you only have to take a firearm safety and responsibility test for a pistol. I believe we should have the same test for any firearm. I think people who fail the test should be denied firearms.
Different types of guns should have different restrictions. The most firearm-related deaths involve pistols. Pistols are reliable for criminals because they are concealable, easy to carry around, and efficient, which is why they are mostly a weapon of choice for a criminal. According to the FBI, there were 6,371 deaths caused by pistols. There should be more restrictions on pistols and people should have a good reason for having them. We also need to monitor the sales of assault rifles. We should either ban them or strictly monitor their sales. Assault rifles are meant to efficiently kill as many people as possible in as less time as possible. They don’t serve a purpose for self-defense and I don’t really see any reason for owning them.
So who should have guns and who should not? I believe that if you’re too dangerous to fly, or if you’re on a terrorist watch list, you’re too dangerous to possess a gun. But how dangerous are you really if you are on any of these lists? Reasons of being on any of these lists include having relations or direct relationships with terrorist activity, frequent travel to foreign countries with active military activities going on in them, things posted on social media, and people who are suspected of terrorism. All these reasons have some sort of link to terrorism. But parts of this system are unfair. For example, some people got put on the no-fly list because of a tweet or something they said on social media because of criticizing TSA. I believe that there should be a more fair process for deciding who goes on the no-fly list or the terrorist watch list. People who travel frequently should not go on the list. What they post on social media should not go into account. I think that only serious terrorism relationships should go into account. After these changes to what gets you on a terrorist watch list or a no fly list, we should not allow people on these lists to purchase guns.
In conclusion, we need stricter gun control, but we can’t get rid of the 2nd amendment. We need to reinforce our background check system to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands. We also need to strictly monitor or ban the sales of weapons of mass destruction such as assault rifles and stop giving guns to irresponsible gun owners. With these new restrictions, I believe we can shorten the 100,000 deaths caused by guns each year. Sincerely, Nameer Javed