Andrew G. California

Gun Violence

Curbing access to guns will help bring peace to American streets.

Dear Next President,

My name is Andrew Gailey and I am currently in the 11th grade, attending New Tech High in Napa, California. I am writing this letter because I have some concerns regarding gun violence. In my American Studies class we were asked to find out what we believe the most important challenge facing the United States today. Out of all the United States shortcomings, I’ve come to a conclusion, gun violence.

In the year 2016, according to the national gun violence website, there is a record of 36,147 incidents and 9,272 deaths, and 19,310 injuries in this year up to August. Not to mention that 1, 189 were “subject-suspects” shot and killed by police. This is a huge problem and it's causing America to live in chaos hoping they won't become apart of one of those statistics. No one talks these days, they shoot first before talking. I suggest you, the president, to start with the little things that’ll make the difference. Those that are on “terrorist watch” are able to buy guns just like an average citizen. This leads to 29 year old Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. According to The Trace reports FBI had previous investigations into his potential terror acts and was put on the terrorist list in 2013 to 2014 according to FBI. If he was not allowed to buy or have a gun, this mass killing may have been prevented.

The Trace reports, “95% of terrorism deaths to the United States since 2001 attacks were from gunfire. The Government Accountability Office found that people on the terror list bought guns 2,043 times between February 2004 and December 2014. In 190 instances, about 10 percent of the total, a person on the list was barred from buying a gun due to some other disqualifying record.” In the future we can help prevent more mass killings by not taking guns away completely but restrict those that have a record that says they might use these guns for the wrong reason. Doing this will be a start of bringing back peace back to the United States.

On the other hand, citizens in the US argue that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun because it’s our second amendment “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 completely understandable, however not all citizens like those on the terrorist list should be able to have the same freedom to own firearms. NRA-ILA states “Criminals could easily get around a limit on newly-manufactured magazines. As noted, Americans already own tens of millions of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. If the manufacture of new such magazines were banned, the cost of pre-ban magazines would rise (as it did when the 1994 ban was imposed), but any criminal determined to have them would always be able to get them, including by theft from law-abiding owners. A criminal could carry multiple limited-capacity magazines and use them to reload a firearm quickly. The official report on the worst mass shooting in American history concluded that a limit on magazine capacity would not have changed the outcome of that crime. A criminal could also carry multiple guns. A criminal could also resort to a method other than a firearm.”

Overall, terrorist or those that are on terrorist watch have the opportunity to buy or own guns is a problem in today's world. Starting here and creating a way to help prevent that will make your job and the United States a much better place to live. We lack peace in America and this is a great start out of all the shortcomings we have to bring that back. Thank you for reading this letter and I hope you consider the memorial to induce peace and change. 

New Technology High School

American Studies

New Tech High's Junior class. This is a team taught US History and Literature class.

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