Sam L. Michigan

Gun Ban on the "No-Fly" List

Those on the "no-fly" list are prohibited from boarding planes because of their potential threat. In order to prevent future terrorist attacks, gun sales should be banned from the individuals on this list.

Dear Mr. President,

Our country has been faced with a growing issue that puts citizens at risk with their lives. The use of guns and firearms by terrorists residing in our country has been evident in recent years. In an effort to look after potential terrorists, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center created the terrorist watch list. Part of this list is the “no-fly” list, in which those on this list are prohibited from boarding planes because of their potential threat. I believe that gun sales should be banned from the people on this list. People posing enough risk to be unable to board a plane certainly should not have access to a gun.

This proposal first showed up during 2007 when the Bush administration urged the passage of a law related to this issue. The law gave the government authority to block suspected terrorists from buying guns. Recently, Senators have been pushing for a bill that will ban gun sales to those on the list, notify law enforcement agencies if someone who was on the list in the previous 5 years tries to buy a gun, and is flexible in the case that an investigation needs to be safeguarded. I think this should be enforced as a way to limit the danger people face in their daily lives and allow them to feel more safe.

Terrorism is a very scary threat to our country, because not only does it have the potential of affecting any person, but it can happen anywhere at any time. In our country, people go about their lives, commuting to their destinations and visiting acquaintances. Citizens may not realize that they are passing by people who have different thoughts on their minds--more dangerous and negative thoughts. Watching the news every so often makes us aware of some of these people, but what most people don't notice is that these dangerous people look just the same as anyone else. People automatically feel fear when they see anyone with a gun in hand. To see a man walking down the sidewalk with a straight face, gripping a gun in hand will make people fear for their safety, even though he is just another human being. It brings up the fact that anyone is capable of being a terrorist, even if it doesn’t seem like it. This fear is a direct result of the risks we face when allowing anyone to purchase weapons, especially those that are blocked from boarding a plane because of their potential threat already.

In the US, it is fairly easy to gain possession of a gun or firearm, and that is what is truly scary. President Obama stated, “‘Right now, people on the ‘no fly’ list can walk into a store and buy a gun,’ he said after the San Bernardino attacks. ‘That is insane’”(LA Times). Anyone could be a terrorist and it would be hard to know for sure until they attacked. That is why even though many people on the list don’t actually have terrorist group affiliation, they still shouldn’t be able to buy guns. From a constitutional standpoint, people have many concerns with second amendment rights for the wrongly accused. But why should someone who has a questionable background be able to purchase a gun anyway? It’s not safe for people to have guns in their possession, unless they have government permission for a specific task. Most of the time, nothing good comes from guns. People are hurt or killed with a simple pull of a trigger, even when claiming it was only self-defense.

People on the "no-fly" list are put on there because someone sees them as a person who has the potential to disrupt the safety of US citizens. Safety is something our country strives to guarantee to it's people. The FBI is concerned with this proposal harming the secrecy of their investigations, but ​they also must notice that safety tops secrecy. James B. Comey, FBI director, shares his concern stating that the proposal may blow certain investigations. However, how can the safety of our citizens be preserved when we allow dangerous people to gain possession of a weapon? Dena Iverson of the Justice Department says that the proposal will ensure “protection of the department’s operational and investigative strategies”(Washington Times). And if necessary, the proposal provides flexibility in the case of absolutely needing to safeguard an investigation.

Limited control over gun sales may cause potential threats to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a weapon to use. In a 2011 video from Al Qaeda to followers online, it says, “‘America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms...So what are you waiting for?’”(LA Times). Al Qaeda was the one responsible behind our nation’s tragic 9/11 attack that has made a lasting impact on so many lives to this this day. It’s hard to understand what goes on in the minds of these people, and what is their motivation for this destruction.

Regardless of the motivations behind terrorism, it is critical that we protect the citizens of the United States and allow our nation to be remembered for its glory--not its tragedy. Please consider these reasons and remember the importance of keeping our country safe from terrorism.


Sam L.

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

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