How Can We Reduce Gun Violence in The United States?
Considering new gun laws and regulations will decrease firearm deaths in America.
October 22, 2016
Dear Future President,
Congratulations on winning the election. I am not allowed to vote due to my age, but I would appreciate your consideration of my opinion. Gun violence is an overwhelming problem in our nation right now. According to the Brady Campaign, 306 people in America are shot every day for varying reasons and over 111,000 Americans are shot per year. I do not believe all firearm deaths can be prevented in America, but there are ways we can work together to reduce them. Every life is precious and we should take any action possible to minimize gun violence.
The Second Amendment states “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."The argument that all firearms in the United States should be banned is not realistic because it would infringe upon this right. Rights come with responsibilities and some people are not able to uphold the responsibility so therefore the argument that everyone should be allowed to own a gun is not practical either. Politicians must find a balance to determine who can own a gun. There are already some guidelines in place under the Gun Control Act of 1968. I appreciate these restrictions, but they are obviously not enough because more than 80% of guns used in mass murders were obtained legally according to a 2015 NBC article by Elizabeth Chuck. I encourage you to influence congress to pass a law making who can possess a gun more strict while keeping in mind the freedom of the people. Restrictions on firearms may inconvenience some people who would like to purchase guns and have no intentions of violence, but increased restrictions will save lives which is more important. These actions will not prevent the purchase of guns illegally, but it will reduce the amount of legal weapons used for dangerous purposes.
A great number of firearm deaths are intentional, but some murders from guns are accidental. Adam Liddget writes in a January 2016 International Business Times article “By the end of 2015, about 265 children under 18 picked up a firearm and shot someone by accident, and 83 of those shootings were fatal.” Accidental shootings are extremely easy to prevent in comparison to purposeful murders. According to the San Francisco- based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Nearly 1.7 million children live in households where guns are stored either loaded or not locked away.” Gun-owning adults need to be educated on how to properly store their weapon to make responsible choices. If it was required for every gun-buying adult to go through a handling of firearms class or training, they would understand the importance of keeping their gun locked away and unloaded. After completing the training, adults should have to sign a document agreeing to carry out the practices they learned. If adults had a child-proof lock and a loading indicator, the U.S. General Accounting Office predicts 31% of accidental deaths caused by firearms would be prevented. In case an adult forgets the correct practice or breaks the promise they signed in the waiver, children should also be trained in school on firearm safety. Just as kids are taught on stranger, fire, and poisoning safety, firearm safety should be mandatory for all public schools to teach. Even if a child’s parents do not own a gun, a child should be educated about what to do if they come across a gun in a friend or family member’s home. NCVS estimates 341,000 incidents of gun theft annually from 1987 to 1992. Learning how to store a gun would also reduce the amount of guns that are stolen.
Another way we can reduce gun shootings is by limiting which guns can be purchased. Firearms have different purposes based on how many bullets they can hold at once, how fast the bullets are fired, how many bullets are fired at the pull of a single trigger, etc. Banning all firearm ownership would restrict our Second Amendment right but certain guns that aren’t “necessary to the security of a free state” as the Second Amendment states should be illegal. According to an article about gun control facts by James Agresti and Reid Smith, firearms are generally sorted into three different categories: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. There are also semi-automatic and fully-automatic weapons. If fully automatic firearms, which shoot several bullets with one trigger, are banned, criminals wouldn’t be able to shoot as many people simultaneously. They would have to take time to reload another bullet and by then, a victim could escape. Semi-automatic weapons, which shoot one bullet per trigger, would not be as effective in a mass shooting.The public should never have access to weapons that were designed for the military to use in killing large groups of people.
Overall, we can reduce the amount of people that die from guns in the United States by considering who can own a gun, training adults on how to properly store their gun, and deciding which guns should be legal. There is a way we can reduce gun violence while letting citizens exercise their Second Amendment right. These solutions will not prevent all deaths in America because people who want to kill will find a way to kill despite government regulations, but creating new laws will make it more difficult to murder using firearms. Thank you for considering my suggestions and leading our country to the best of your ability. Good luck for the rest of your presidency.
Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy