Target: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Goal: Pass “common-sense” gun safety laws.
After the most recent mass shooting, which took nine lives at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the president is once again stressing the urgency for gun safety laws. Since his inauguration, President Obama has given public condolences on nine mass shootings in America. Despite this, Congress has yet to pass any legislation regarding gun safety. Obama stated his frustration of powerlessness in preventing these tragedies and pleaded for the American people to force change themselves, by urging Congress to enact “common-sense” gun laws.
In recent years, America has seen mass shootings occur in a myriad of places, including a Baptist Church in South Carolina, a movie theater in Colorado, and an elementary school in Connecticut, in which 20 children’s lives were claimed. It’s no coincidence that the United States is the only advanced nation to have continuous mass shootings and lack sufficient gun-safety laws. Australia enacted strict gun laws in 1996, in the immediate aftermath of their worst mass shooting. There hasn’t been a single mass shooting there since.
Gun control has turned into a political debate instead of a common sense solution to a national threat. Gun advocates preach the same rhetoric, that good guys with guns are the only way to prevent bad guys with guns. There are many flaws with this logic, one being that over the last 30 years not one mass shooting has been averted by an armed citizen. Obama tried passing measures aimed at preventing more mass shootings in 2013, but lawmakers rejected them.
Some “common-sense approaches” to minimizing gun violence that certain Democrats have come up with are banning the sale of assault weapons, creating a national gun-sale database, tightening internet gun sales and closing the “Charleston loophole,” which allows gun sales to go forward despite the background check not clearing. This loophole is what allowed the alleged Charleston church shooter to obtain his guns. They’ve also proposed closing the “gun-show loophole,” which refers to the sale of firearms by private sellers, who can disregard current gun laws.
These “common-sense approaches” aren’t a government attempt to take individual freedoms away, but rather a calculated approach to protecting citizens from mass shootings. Urge Congress to stop sticking to its same rhetoric in the midst of these repeated shooting tragedies and to allow legislation on gun safety to pass.
Dear Mr. Boehner,
Mass shootings in America are going to keep occurring unless we modify our gun laws. Congress, showing that their stubbornness outweighs their concern for the nation’s safety, forbids even modest regulations of deadly weapons. Other developed countries have effective gun safety laws that prevent these mass killings but Congress has instilled a false idealism in America’s head that inhibits it from producing common sense reform.
Republicans have shifted the attention following the Umpqua Community College shooting from gun safety to mental health. However, a 2011 study by economist Richard Florida showed states in America with tighter gun control laws had fewer gun related deaths, while states with higher populations of mental illness showed no correlation with deaths from gun violence.
I’m not asking you for anything drastic, but rather for certain modifications of our inefficient gun control laws, including the banning of assault weapons and closing of the “Charleston” and “gun-show” loopholes. I have the interest of every citizen’s safety in mind, unlike the individual interests held by the NRA and the politicians they buy out. I urge you to please implement “common-sense approaches” to minimizing gun violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michael Saechang