Dear Future President,
A big problem in America right now is the misuse of firearms, both legally and illegally obtained. 31 people are killed in gun related homicide and 56 people commit suicide with a firearm,everyday, in the U.S. alone. One big problem with our current system for purchasing a gun is the gun show loophole which lets people buy a deadly weapon without having a background check. A person with a mental illness, a criminal or a minor can easily acquire a gun because of this legal loophole. This loophole allows anyone, including those with violence in mind, to purchase a firearm and kill innocent people.
One example of problems with the gun show loophole is the shooting at Columbine high school in 1999. According to the Riversong Wordpress the two high school students purchased a Hi-Point 9959 carbine with 13,10 round magazines, a sawed off savage 67h 12-gauge pump shotgun and a sawed of Stevens 311D double barreled shotgun. According to the Violence Policy Center the boys obtained their weapons through a straw buyer, a person who buys guns for people who aren't allowed to. One of the boys friends bought them guns from an unlicensed dealer at a gun show. However this isn’t even the most horrifying thing about Columbine. Most of the killings in the school were done by a Intratec DC9 9mm submachine pistol, a piece of military grade weaponry that could fire through walls and came with magazines holding up to 52 bullets. The 3 main reasons to own a gun in America are defense, target shooting and hunting. I think it’s safe to say that no one needs a military grade submachine gun for any of these reasons.
The fact that anyone can buy such a dangerous weapon, including a high school student is horrifying. However, closing the gun show loophole will not be easy. The NRA or National Rifle Association has over 5 million members and wields incredible political power. When the shooting at Columbine happened the NRA immediately started to blame everything but the easy access to guns for the death. They even blamed Marilyn Manson because the 2 shooters apparently listened to his music. According to the NRA all deaths in shootings are the fault of America’s violent culture not the fault of the people that oppose stopping open access to firearms. Their frequent argument is that more guns means that more people can defend themselves, ignoring that if no one has a gun there would be nothing for people to defend themselves from. I believe that it will be the job of the next president to stand up to the NRA, close the gun show loophole, enforce gun control and, in turn, save the lives of innocent people.
"Columbine High School Shooting Fast Facts." CNN. N.p., 26 May 2016. Web.
Riversong, Robert. "The Guns of Columbine." Riversong Wordpress. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Where'd They Get Their Guns?" The Violence Policy Center. N.p., n.d. Web.