Caity Z. Michigan

Gun Control in America

Gun violence in America is currently a huge problem. There are many implementations that can be put in place in order to reduce the large number of gun issues. It's up to the next president of the United States to decide to take this under their control and change the way this country treats gun violence.

To the Next President of the United States,

Currently, gun control is a growing problem in America. Lacking policies in gun control are leading to an immense loss of innocent life. Since the beginning of 2016 until present day (September 27th, 2016) there have been 361 mass shootings in America. Some resulted in casualties, some did not. But the need for tighter and more enforced gun control laws is clearly long overdue.

I believe that in order to improve the numbers of mass shootings in general, we should restrict the purchasing of guns. According to CNN, in order to purchase a gun in the average store you must pass a very short and shallow background check. Age, previous criminal and suspicious activity, drug use, social security number (optional), and a short background check done by the FBI are all that is required in order to legally purchase a gun in the United States. However, to purchase a gun at a gun show (which can occur as frequently in America as every weekend in countless cities) one does not have to meet any qualifications except being able to match the price of the gun. In 2013, Obama attempted to make the background checks more thorough on gun purchasing but the bill was rejected by Congress. According to this article, it seems incredibly easy to buy a gun as an individual, a system that is endlessly flawed. As the next president, more extensive background checks could be put in place and urged indefinitely until put into effect. Having to pass mental tests proving sanity, health exams, more extensive criminal record checks, inputting an age limit, and more extensive background checks for suspicious activities could be a way to decrease the purchasing of guns by harmful hands. Guns have the power to end someone’s life at the press of a button. Is it really humane to give just anyone that power?

In an article by Patrik Jonsson on The Christian Science Monitor, five examples are given to try and limit gun violence. Even though they are small actions that don’t necessarily involve the law, they could still possibly make a difference. At this point in time, the country can use any band aid it can get. Here are some ways to limit gun violence: making sure the shooters get minimal publicity, having trustworthy and innocent bystanders holding guns in cases of emergency, and possibly threat assessment checks all are ways to decrease the amount of mass shootings even by a little bit. I personally really like the idea of threat assessments. Obviously, a system would have to be closely monitored and perfected, but looking at every aspect of a person’s life and determining if they’re a possible threat to society could be very beneficial to everyone. I also think that giving the shooter minimal publicity would be a good way to focus on the victims and pay the respect to the loss of life that’s very deserved. If the shooter gets attention, that’s exactly what they were going for. There are smaller ways to try and minimize the mass shootings in America but they can still be effective.

Even though individuals might argue that they have a right to their privacy when purchasing a gun, I believe it's more crucial to input these laws and systems to limit the loss of life due to gun violence. Unless an individual is trying to hide something, why would a more extensive background check harm them? Certain aspects should be monitored when purchasing a weapon that could easily end someone's life. Everyone should have a right to their own privacy, but there should be certain standards that each person must reach in order to be let in possession of a weapon as deadly and unsafe as a gun. This, I believe, is an effective way to limit gun violence in America.

According to the Constitution itself, it was created a living document to be altered to fit the society that has formed. In that aspect, what is more needed currently than tighter gun control laws to try and save innocent American lives? I believe it is up to the next president of the United States of America to consider specific actions to try and reduce the amount of mass shootings in America; the number has simply gotten out of hand. The Constitution can be altered and I would greatly recommend some sort of drastic action I mentioned above to try and create a safer environment for all Americans. People in our country should not ever have to think of, “What will I do if a shooter walks in?” scenario. It happens, but it shouldn’t. And that itself is a rude awakening that something needs to be done about the gun restrictions in this country.

Avondale High School

AP Lang

Rick Kreinbring's 2016-17 AP Language and Composition students

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