Vanessa T. California

What Gun Control?

The immense tragedy that has been caused by the leniency of America's gun control. Especially events of the past few years should be a wake up call. Guns need to be banned once and for all.

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

Why is it that thousands of deaths later that would not have occurred without the help of a gun, that people are still trying to say that guns aren’t the problem? The United States of America has more firearms per capita than any other country and they are constantly being misused. Guns are much too easy to obtain and are falling into the hands of the wrong people everyday, causing irreversible damage to our country. There are police officers “accidentally” killing civilians, suicidal people succeeding on their first attempt, children getting a hold of their parents’ lethal weapons, and mass murders are taking place more frequently than ever. The only way to truly fix this problem is to stop the sale of firearms to civilians once and for all.   

After fourteen people were shot dead at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino in December of 2015, Obama stated "The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world. And there are some steps we could take not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don't happen as frequently: common-sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks”. Six months later, the deadliest mass shooting to date happened in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine adults were killed at a nightclub, with a gun that was bought legally a few days prior. According to Mother Jones and the Harvard Institute of Health, the frequency of these events has tripled since 2011. A gun permit means nothing these days. In most states any law-abiding citizen can get their hands on one According to CNN and multiple other sources, Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the bloodbath in Orlando, had a history of domestic violence and had previously been investigated by the FBI multiple times for terror-related cases. It should not have been so easy for him to buy himself a gun. He shouldn’t have been able to buy one at all. The popular saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is absolute nonsense. The likelihood of these people killing all of these other people without a gun is close to nothing.

The presence of a firearm makes it so much easier for small tussles to escalate into something lethal. Domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, road rage, and related incidents are much more dangerous with a gun than without. People who are unable to control their anger are hazardous when in possession of something as lethal as a legally owned firearm. A man or woman may get into a dispute with their significant other that ends with gunshot wounds, as opposed to bruises. A car accident that didn’t injure anyone may still result in death if someone has enough road rage to go further than getting in a fist fight with the other driver. Concerns such as these would not even be relevant if guns were not in the hands of such unstable people, but they are, and there are consequences.

“...gun violence at its most virulent — Berettas and Glock 17s crystallizing passing impulses into something horrifically permanent. ..."- writer Mike Mariani. Suicide attempts often stem from temporary crises and according to Harvard’s School of Public Health, 70% of those who survive a suicide attempt do not attempt a second time. In essence, guns eliminate the possibility of failing and getting that second chance at life. I have known too many people who’ve committed suicide, one of them being with a gun, and I will never stop wondering why he even owned that gun in the first place, and how things might have turned out if he didn’t. I’ve also known people who’ve failed suicide attempts, and imagining how things would have gone if they could have gotten their hands on anything to shoot themselves makes my heart drop. People often argue that if someone really wants to end their life, that they will find a way to do it, whether that involves a bullet through the head or not. This argument is completely invalid, as shown in the previous statistic from Harvard.

Without even mentioning the unacceptable amount of police brutality that resulted in death this year, or the number of heart breaking incidents in which young children accidentally killed themselves and others whilst playing with a firearm they found in their home, you should understand that the problem here is the lax gun laws in the United States. Please use your time in office wisely and take the necessary steps to solve this uniquely American problem.

Vanessa T. 


Newbury Park High School

Lilly - English 12CP

English 12CP class, led by Robin Lilly, Room B21 at Newbury Park High School. Panthers Rock!

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