Kylie Wisconsin

Gun Control

Issues that need to be resolved to make the United States a safer place

Dear Next President,

Over the past few years, the issue of gun control involving an individual's right to the Second Amendment have created a great deal of controversy. Everyone has their opinions based on personal experiences or beliefs. Whether they are gun fanatics and participate in hunting or use guns for sport or others may have been indirectly or directly effected by the consequences guns bring. I think that the gun control policies need to be revisited and changed to protect everyone and help prevent the mass shootings that have occurred.

Gun violence has increased dramatically over the years and has raised up in the ranks of reasons for all deaths in the United States. Between the years of 1999 and 2013, deaths caused by guns was 12th on the list with 464,033 deaths. Suicide deaths accounted for 270,237 deaths, homicides accounted for 174,773 deaths and 9,983 were accounted for unintentional deaths. However, despite these numbers, homicides due to guns topped the lists. All of the above numbers can be reduced with proper gun control and stricter restrictions. Background checks need to be stiffer and go further into a person's record before they even have a chance of touching a gun. These background checks need to be done prior to any gun sale, in public or private. Performing background checks in private can provide some added challenges, but with the requirement of registering firearms, I think that it could eliminate some of those challenges. So, I think that whenever someone purchases a firearm, they should have to register it with the government, and then checks after registration will occur and double check that a gun has not ended up in the wrong person's hand. With also implementing this registration process, it could eliminate the purchasing of guns online as every gun would need to be registered and assigned to someone once it is purchased. This could also be done with ammunition and other firearm accessories. With the careful watch of firearm sales, we could reduce the deaths by 50-80% according to studies which would make the United States a safer place.

The Second Amendment states that the right of the people have the right to bear arms. This has been the strongest argument in this issue. Supporters say that the government is unable to take that right away from them as it is stated in the Constitution. However, I personally think that you can limit what the amendment gives an individual the right to. For example, I do not think that an individual needs an assault weapon if they are not involved in a sport relating to guns or a registered hunter. Also, I don't think that high magazine count is necessary and often leads to using them negatively. For instance, the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 were all done with assault weapons and each had an excessive amount of ammunition on them. High magazine count and assault weapons should be banned, as 56% of adults approve assault weapon bans and 53% of adults approve of high magazine count bans. High magazine counts often create shootings into mass shootings as the shooter doesn't care so much about accuracy anymore, but how many people they can at least hit with a bullet. With high magazines, death rates rose 63% and injury rates rose 156%. With the advancements of guns since the Second Amendment was created, I think the rights within the amendment need to be revisited and changed to protect all individuals from the possible deadly consequences that guns can bring.

Many may say that they like to carry guns for self-defense it they are ever put into that type of situation. However, when a gun is present, the situation almost immediately becomes violent because the other person feels threatened when they see a gun. Shooting someone is not self-defense when they are being attacked. There are many others ways people could protect themselves without pulling a gun on the attacker and injuring or killing them. When people own a gun and are being attacked, they may pull the gun out which I think makes them feel more powerful. When people feel bigger than others, accidental things may happen more likely and turn a small dispute into a homicide. I don't think guns are necessary for self-defense as there are many other techniques and things you can do to protect yourself.

An individual's right to the Second Amendment has grown to become a huge issue with all the gun supporters there are and the mass shootings that have occurred. I think the issue will continue to be a problem until something is done to create a happy medium. It will be hard to find that happy medium, but I hope the points I have brought up will aid in even the slightest decision.