Jenna L. Michigan

Gun Control

The need to control the gun usage in America is a vital issue that continues to be ignored.

Dear Mr./Mrs. Future President,

I am writing to voice my concerns with the gun usage in America. Take a moment to reflect on all the lives that have been lost. Remember the 21 people who died in the San Ysidro shooting in 1984? What about the 20 innocent Sandyhook Elementary children who went to school one day not knowing they’d never go home again or see their parents? They were shot along with six of their teachers in a place we all used to believe was so safe it was almost holy ground. And who can forget the 50 lives that were lost at a club in Orlando just three months ago? And it’s not just mass shootings. It’s also accidental gun injuries, road rage, drive-by bullet sprays, and murder. Based on these acts, which make improper use of such a deadly weapon, I believe that you, Future President, should fight to ban assault weapons and make it much harder to buy a gun in America.

Instead of asking, “How hard is it to buy a gun?” We should really ask, “How easy is it?” To answer this question, CNN did a segment on seeing how easy it really is to buy a gun. They asked a thirteen-year-old boy to go into stores and try to buy beer, cigarettes, racy magazines, and a lottery ticket. He was denied each time. However, when he got to a gun show, this young boy bought a gun in minutes. It came from a private seller, a type of sale which requires little documentation. This is just one of the ways people can buy guns now. The fact that the boy was denied all those items at the store but easily bought a gun speaks volumes about the inconsistent regulations that are contributing to escalating gun violence. It’s not possible to buy beer from a store without being 21, but a deadly weapon can be bought by a child. This is how guns get into the wrong hands. A person could have a history of mental illness, yet he has little problem buying a gun. There needs to be a more extensive background check on each person who tries to buy a gun. I think this has to be enforced in every type of gun sale.

I think that banning handguns and semi-automatic weapons would significantly impact the number of gun deaths and injuries annually. According to “The Nation,” each year there is an average of 30,000 deaths, 70,000 injuries, and 20 instances of mass murder by guns. These statistics are shattering. Support for handguns has decreased significantly from 60 percent in 1959 to just 26 percent. If the deadliest types of guns were banned, you would indirectly save thousands of lives.

Although I believe handguns and semi-automatics should be outlawed, the National Rifle Association is adamantly against gun control, according to They believe that the second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms in almost any form. At a time when they could not envision an AK-47, our founding fathers wrote this to make sure a militia had guns. The NRA exists so they can protect everyone’s rights to own a gun. They make it so difficult to initiate gun reforms because they are a powerful lobbying force. The NRA thinks that making more severe laws may not actually lower gun violence at all. They believe more guns make America safer. If that were true, then why are there so many deaths from guns annually? This is what must be asked when debating gun laws. The NRA forgets that this world is quickly going in a downward spiral of people who own guns who are out of control.

I am writing this as a cry for help for me and the nation. I want to stop hearing about the shooter who killed six random students on a college campus or a four-year-old who accidentally shot and killed himself because he found his parent’s gun. My heart longs for the day when laws require extensive background checks and for a day when handguns are banned altogether. With your help, I believe that one day it will be possible.


Jenna Larson

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

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