Katerina J. California

Gun Control and its Importance in American Society

This letter serves to question our government and their role in promoting a safe environment. It questions whether our government's job is to protect United States' citizens or to protect the second amendment.

Dear Future President,

As you step into office, I urge you to consider the following issue and ask yourself who is more important: the people, who voted you to the highest political position in the United States, or the Constitution, written in 1789 with amendments that fit the needs of people living during that time. The right to bear arms has always been a controversial amendment as we question to what degree and to whom this amendment is applicable. I ask, that as you step into office, you consider the tragedies; Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Pulse nightclub; that have crushed the American public over the past ten years, and use these grievances to take action and ban American use of guns.

Having lived in Tokyo for three years, I feel a strong connection to this issue. During the postwar period, Japan created a series of laws heavily regulating police gun-use and outlawing firearms for citizens. Like the United States, Japan also had a violent past relying on frequent weapon use and violence. Unlike the United States, however, Japan has found a way to manage this violence and has created a weapon-free state. The effects of this are unbelievable. According to government statistics in 2014, the whole of Japan had only 6 gun related deaths. In the United States in 2014, there were 1,599 “accidental shootings” and 12,596 deaths.

If the numbers don't speak to you, maybe experience will. Living in Tokyo, I felt safe. I was never afraid of home invasions, drive by shootings, school massacres. After moving back to Los Angeles, I often feel afraid walking home at night, I feel uncomfortable in large crowds, and I fear going to my local movie theater. I beg you to take my individual fears, and the fears of many others living in a gun focused and violent society, into consideration.

To conclude, the fight against gun violence and the right to bear arms is not going to be easy. It will take time, experience, openness, devastation. Please, however, consider the affects gun use has on the public and consider alternative laws that will more strictly regulate use and the ability to purchase firearms or fight for the removal of the second amendment for the safety of your people.


Katerina Johnson

Marlborough School

AP World History Period B

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