Dear future President,
I am positive you already know all the information I include in this letter, but I would like to have it in so that you can see where my views are coming from.
Many countries have put a ban on firearms to the public and exclusively leave them to law enforcement and military. England is an example of this. On first hearing this, many citizens think England would have one of the lowest levels of gun related crime, but this is not true. The idea of less guns equals less crime is false. After the handgun ban in England, their homicide rate quadrupled in six years. In 1982 a survey of male prisoners at 11 prisons showed that 34% of the criminals that had attempted to commit a crime had been scared off, shot at or captured by an armed victim, 40% had been scared off because they felt or knew their victim had a gun, and 69% knew personally criminals who had been scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim. Those statistics show that armed civilians, or the idea that they would be armed, deter would be criminals from committing a crime against them. But a ban on guns, especially handguns would make criminals feel safer about committing a crime since law abiding citizens would not have a firearm. This is without taking into account that criminals would still be able to access guns and other weapons on the black market. Not to mention that since 2009, 92% of mass shootings (4 or more victims are killed, not counting the gunman) have occurred in gun free zones.
Remember the pulse shooting in Florida? Now imagine a situation exactly like that except an individual in the club had a handgun on them and shot the gunman before anyone could be killed. This happened on June 26 2016 at a nightclub in South Carolina where a man armed with the intent to kill as many people as possible walked out of the nightclub, drew his handgun aimed it at a group of people outside and fired off multiple rounds hitting 4 people, when he was shot by an individual outside the club (who was shot) with a handgun he legally acquired and had a concealed carry permit, stopping the would be mass shooting with only four injured not counting the gunman, who was shot in the leg. This is just one example of many where a law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit ended a mass shooting before police could arrive, where in the pulse shooting in Florida two weeks prior to this, all the people inside the club had to be disarmed according to Florida state law to be in a nightclub or bar and ended with 49 dead. Both of these occurred in a similar setting at nearly the same time, the only difference being that South Carolina allows concealed carry in bars and nightclubs.
Although Australia's full gun ban has eliminated all mass shootings in recent years, it has many flaws in it that would make it incompatible with the United States, primarily cost. Australia had less guns in the first place and their gun buyback program cost them a considerable amount of money, and there was resistance, but if done in the United States, compared to Australia's 640,000 firearms, we would have to collect and buy back around 300 million weapons. This program would add to the debt tremendously, and would meet resistance. I want to eliminate mass shootings as much as opponents of my view, but statistically, gun free zones and banning guns are a bad idea. Lowering restrictions would deter criminals and allow citizens to protect themselves and those around them. I am not saying eliminate background checks, because those would deter some criminals, but I do propose we eliminate gun free zones and lower restrictions on what guns/weapons citizens can own with proper training and safety courses.
I hope this letter can be used to see where a 16 year old’s viewpoint on guns are coming from and reasons why I feel we should lower restrictions on guns.
Respectfully Aiden O