Target: John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Goal: Reject the National Rifle Association’s petition to allow those younger than 21 to buy handguns
The National Rifle Association has submitted a petition to the United States Supreme Court for the appeal of a federal law prohibiting individuals under twenty-one from purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed gun dealer. While those under twenty-one are allowed to buy rifles and shotguns, it is largely because those guns are used for hunting purposes. Handguns carry with them a different weight because of their nature to be used against other people. The law is in place to protect an age group that is particularly vulnerable to gun violence, which statistics show declines after the age of twenty five. If the Supreme Court decides to try the NRA’s case, we could be endangering this group of young people.
The NRA is joined by two petitioners of nineteen, who argue that their second amendment rights are being denied without the legal permission to buy a handgun, even though individuals between the ages of eighteen and twenty one are able to legally obtain a handgun from other sources, such as a family member or a private sale. However, despite the amendment, there is no law keeping the federal government from limiting the circumstances under which one has the right to bear arms, and with good reason. The second and third leading causes of death in the United States are homicide and suicide, respectively, most of which are caused by firearms. Furthermore, recent research suggests that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties. Until then, teenagers and young adults are still forming the part of the brain that recognizes consequence of action and insight.
Amid a hot debate on gun control and the role of mental health as a component of having the right to bear arms, this petition is a move in the wrong direction. If mental health is to be cited as a reason for not providing an individual with a gun, then developing minds should be addressed under that same umbrella. Help block the NRA’s petition from reaching the courtroom by signing the petition below.
Dear Chief Justice Roberts,
With the utmost respect, the National Rifle Association’s petition to appeal a federal law barring individuals between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one from buying a handgun from a licensed gun dealer cannot be tried in court. If it is, we will be putting a vulnerable age group at risk for unnecessary violence.
The NRA argues that this law deprives individuals of the specified age group of their second amendment rights. However, the federal government does have the right to restrain the conditions under which one has the right to bear arms. Especially in light of countless violent spectacles in the last few years, this is for a good reason. And with mental health entering the debate last year, it only follows that we need to consider research suggesting that teenagers and young adults are still developing certain parts of their brain. Until the age of about twenty five, full awareness of the consequences of one’s actions are not fully realized. Waiting until twenty-one is a perfectly acceptable compromise between the NRA and those who want to limit the scope of gun violence in a young age group.
The second and third leading causes of death in our country are homicide and suicide, respectively. Statistics show that gun violence significantly drops after the age of twenty-five. This is not a coincidence. Please do not allow the NRA’s petition to be tried in court.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sandstein via Wikimedia