November 4, 2016
Dear Next President,
My name is Owen, and I am an 8th grader in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been doing research about the Second Amendment and gun control. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States 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." While I agree with the right for many to bear arms, I have realized that gun control is an important issue in the United States. One thing that we can do to make it better is to have stricter background checks before someone purchases a gun. Without thorough background checks, dangerous people can cause shootings and other serious threats towards citizens. According to a Business Insider article, “In 2013, more than 33,000 people died from gun-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (September 24, 2016). This past summer, there was a horrible shooting at an Orlando nightclub, where a gunman motivated by terrorism killed 49 individuals (CNN.com report). Future terrible actions must be prevented because they are harming innocent people.
I side with the Democrats and not the Republicans on this issue, and I urge you to do the same. The Democrats think that banning assault weapons is a good idea, and I agree because I don't think that anyone needs to be carrying around semi-automatic guns or even own one. Furthermore, according to a Washington Post report, there was a ban on assault weapons during 1994-2004, but Congress did not renew it (June 13, 2016). We need your help, to ensure this ban gets reinstated for the protection of the American people. Additionally, on September 24, 2016, Business Insider stated, “Hillary Clinton asserts that 20% to 40% of all gun purchases in America are conducted with no background check because of loopholes in federal law.” Specifically, only gun dealers are held to background check regulations, while checks aren’t required at gun shows or for online purchases. This should not be happening; every time someone buys a gun, they should have a background check. Wouldn't you want to know if a terrorist was buying a gun? Wouldn’t you want to prevent a criminal from buying a gun? The Brady Campaign reports that the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015 would expand the background checks to all gun purchases (bradycampaign.org). Also, there should be a law or tighter restrictions made for people with mental illnesses. I don’t want them buying guns, roaming the streets, and possibly entering my school. While I’m in school, we have school lock-down drills in case a shooter comes into our school. There are so many other things we should be learning in school, not how to protect ourselves from the use of an assault weapon. CNN.com reported a frightening example of this scenario, describing when 26 students and teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary (October 31, 2016). Additionally, The Daily Dot reported that the Republicans wants to get rid of gun free zones at schools and military bases (May 21, 2016). I don’t agree, and do not want my teachers carrying a gun because it could get in the wrong hands at school. Please help to enforce serious background checks, eliminate the ability for anyone to buy assault weapons, and create new laws to help protect students in schools.