Target: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, President Barack Obama
Goal: Express support for the assault rifles ban Senator Feinstein plans to introduce as soon as Congress is back in session.
2012 has been one of the deadliest years on record for mass gun violence in the United States, and many Americans, including President Obama, feel it is time to “take meaningful action” to prevent future shootings. You can help by expressing support for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed ban on assault rifles, which she plans to introduce as soon as Congress reconvenes.
After the most recent mass shooting, in which twenty children and seven adults lost their lives, calls for legislation surrounding gun control have become louder and more insistent. A petition on the White House website calling for serious attention to the issue of firearms regulation garnered nearly 140,000 signatures in just three days.
Gun control is, of course, a controversial and nuanced issue. However, a ban on assault rifles should not be a matter of debate; it should be a clear path toward the “meaningful action” President Obama discussed. Assault rifles were prohibited in the United States from 1994 until the legislation expired in 2004, so there is clear precedent for such a ban. In addition, news reports indicate that semi-automatic weapons played roles in the shootings this year in Aurora, Tuscon, and Newtown, and they figured prominently at Virginia Tech, America’s deadliest mass shooting.
The right to own firearms is defended in the Constitution, but the muskets of the eighteenth century were not nearly as accurate or deadly as modern semi-automatic weapons. Many gun advocates argue that most people use weapons for hunting or self-defense. Even so, a ban on assault rifles will not interfere with either of these activities. Assault rifles are not practical for hunting or self-defense; they are only practical for killing many people as quickly as possible.
With that in mind, the “meaningful action” we must take is clear: ban assault rifles immediately. Sign this petition to express your support.
Dear President Obama and Senator Feinstein,
It has been well established by now that many Americans feel the need for “meaningful action” to prevent mass shootings like the ones that have plagued the United States in 2012. While it will not address the entire problem of violence in our society, a ban on assault rifles will constitute a significant step in the right direction.
Semi-automatic weapons have played significant roles in many recent shootings in America, and with good reason: the purpose of an assault rifle is to kill large numbers of people as quickly and accurately as possible. An assault rifle is not a logical choice of weapon for self-defense, and it is even less necessary for use in hunting. It is tailor-made for massacres, and to allow it to be imported, sold, and owned freely sends a confusing and violent message to gun owners and would-be gun owners. Allowing the open sale of a weapon clearly intended for warfare makes as much sense as selling tanks and fighter jets to civilians: they will never need them for any reason other than violence.
The United States’ ban on assault rifles from 1994-2004 clearly demonstrates that there is a precedent for prohibiting the sale of assault rifles. With that in mind, I ask you to please do all in your power to make sure assault weapons are taken off the shelves as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: brian.ch via Flickr