Dear Mister or Madam President,
Our country was built on the Constitution and its amendments, which were formed to establish the value of freedom. Our 2nd Amendment right, the right to bear arms, is one of these key foundations. Some people may see gun violence prevention and meticulous background checks as an infringement upon their 2nd Amendment rights. In reality, that specific Amendment would not be taken away. Instead, the 2nd Amendment would be protected because it would be enforced in a more positive, safe way. Sadly, in the United States, gun violence and shootings are not few nor far between. In the year 2015 alone, there were 372 shootings with over 50 of these shootings taking place at schools all over the country. These mass shootings often involved people who had not been previously cleared with an easily conducted background check system. Even though the United States is considered to be one of the more progressive countries in the world, Gun Violence Prevention still has a great deal of progress to go. As dynamic and forward-looking of a country as the United States is, the rate of gun violence in the United States is up to 20 times more than in any other developed country. We are used to being leaders in the world community on the most important moral issues. When it comes to guns, we are beginning to trail behind.
Whenever I enter a public area, such as a restaurant, movie theater, or clothing store, I subconsciously predetermine a safety tactic in case of a shooting. I observe the region in search for sharp objects and nearby exits. This process has evolved in my head and become second nature to me. To be honest, until this moment, I had not really given this underlying fear of mine much thought. This paranoia stays with me every morning that I walk into school. My school, being one of the most prestigious schools in the Los Angeles area, makes it a priority to educate the students and faculty on gun safety regulations. Many full-day drills, like lockdowns, and assemblies are held, taking away precious time that could potentially further our students’ educations. During my first year at my current school, my school had to be completely shut down due to a threat regarding open fire. The fact that I spend over thirty hours a week in a location where I do not feel even slightly protected or safe is astonishing. I have never encountered an adult that was able to relate to this experience or fear. During their childhoods, the thought of gun violence was a foreign concept. I’d like you to think back to your high school days and imagine this embedded fear and anxiety that I, as well as most other students, feel every day. It’s time for a change.
The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015 (H.R 3411) is one of just a couple ways to continue progression on Gun Violence Prevention in our country. This act would expand Brady Background Checks to all gun sales, including those made at gun shows and online, in order to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people like felons, fugitives, and domestic abusers. It would also improve the reporting of prohibited purchasers to the National Instant Criminal Check System, and require gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours. As a resident in California’s 30th congressional district, I am proud to say that one of many co-sponsors to the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015 is Representative Brad Sherman. I believe that this act is a responsible and rightful step for the sake and safety of our country.