Rory Fitzgerald California

Gun-Control and Mass Shootings

This letter is about gun-control and what I propose to help solve our mass shooting issues.

September 1, 2016

Dear Ms./Mr. President,

Do you remember Edward Sotomayor, a 34-year old man who was killed during the Orlando night club shooting? Do you remember Olivia Engel, a 6-year old girl who’s only crime was going to school? Do you remember Jonathan Blunk, a 26-year old Navy vet who died while shielding his girlfriend from the bullets? According to Time, in the past 34 years, we have lost 610 lives to mass shootings, and nearly all of those forgotten to the general public, lost in a sea of hundreds of shootings. Imagine a world where innocent lives are not taken mercilessly. This natural and seemingly simple natural right of safety does exist; but just outside our so called great country.

Gun Control Australia shows that Australia’s famously effective gun restriction law was passed in 1996 after a single mass shooting. This law does not allow personal protection as a legitimate reason to own a gun. Australia’s gun law has been extremely effective. Since the law was passed Australia hit a record low homicide rate of 1.1 victims per 100,000 people. Much like America, Australia also had a gun ownership tradition. We have taken steps in the right direction, although not for long. Since the ban on assault weapons expired in 2004, the number of mass shootings has skyrocketed. According to Washington Post in 2015 alone there was 372 mass shootings. 475 people killed and 1,870 wounded. So why has nothing been done? Many American citizens feel the need to own a gun for protection reasons, because they live in rural areas where police are scarce. This is a reasonable right, which is why I propose you compromise with our people. I propose that you, as the President of the United States, declare an executive order to reinstate the assault weapons ban. To quote Washington Post, “One common denominator behind these and other high-casualty mass shootings in recent years is the use of assault style rifles, capable of firing many rounds of ammunition in a relatively short period of time, with high accuracy.” High-magazine assault rifles have become mass shooters weapon of choice, and by outlawing them we could take a step towards a safer country. People would still have the right to bear arms and defend themselves, so the second amendment would not be compromised. With a low profile gun that does not have the capacity to quickly and effectively kill more than one person, we could lower our number of mass shootings. Another factor to why mass shootings are such an issue in the United States, is how easy it is to acquire a gun.

To quote Christopher Ingraham from Washington Post, “Most states don't require background checks for firearms purchased via private sales at gun shows. And most states don't require showing ID to purchase a firearm from a private seller.” Gregory Korte, from USA TODAY found that 98 % of the US lives within 10 miles of a gun shop, and at private gun shows, no federal license is required. Naples News reported that “the Department of Justice estimates that there are 2,000 to 5,200 gun shows held in the United States each year. That's as many as 100 gun shows every week.” As my second proposition towards making our country safer, I suggest that as future president, you advocate for a law that requires an extensive background check behind gun sellers and people who would like to purchase guns. As well as it to take at least 30 days to acquire a gun. A problem with gun shops is that it takes up to a minimum of 3 days to buy a gun, and Smart Gun Laws found that there is no federal waiting period, which makes it so purchasing a gun can be impulsive and take very little consideration. Not only is purchasing a gun an easy and simple task, it is also supported openly by the NRA. The Republican party relies on the support of the NRA for funding and as voters. According to NRA-ILA, the NRA endorses certain republican candidates, and millions of dollars are spent on their candidates. The NRA has changed politics in a sense that they are controlling the view on gun control of their endorsed candidates. Across the country, there has been an increase in pro-gun ads nationwide. The acts of the NRA to protect their association and their national power in the election is one of the main reasons we do not have gun-control.

I propose that you, as the President of the United States, declare an executive order to reinstate the assault weapons ban, and advocate and sign a law that requires extensive background checks on gun sellers and buyers as well as a lengthy waiting period. I also strongly encourage you to turn away from what the NRA says and supports, because they are only in it for the personal benefit of their association; not the safety of our country. The more time that passes without something being done, the more likely innocent people will lose their lives. Let’s take a step towards creating a safer and better country.


Rory Fitzgerald