Pass Legislation for Gun Regulation

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From 1966 to 2012, almost 1/3 of all the world's mass shootings have occurred in the US. In 2015 alone, the US has seen 372 mass shootings (defined as one shooting incident that wounds or kills 4 or more individuals), killing 475 and wounding almost 2,000. Easy access to guns for those who use them for terrorist purposes is a plague upon America that cannot continue unfettered. We all remember Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High School, Pulse nightclub. And there are still hundreds of mass shootings that we have not heard of, hundreds of shooters that easily obtained a gun, and then hurt innocent people: mothers and daughters, sons and fathers, students and citizens. The whole world mourns for those that were lost to unrestrained gun violence. Of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US, 16 have occurred in the last 10 years. This problem is growing out of control and out of proportion. I petition the US Congress to pass three bills for gun regulation: 1) expand/regulate background check laws to require strict background checks for all prospective gun owners (gun shows, gun stores...), 2) pass federal law to require a license for gun owners and purchases, and 3) prohibit individuals on the terror watch list from obtaining a gun. (1) People don’t actually need background checks to buy guns from unlicensed sellers, as is the case with those who offer firearms at gun shows or online. At gun shows, no background check is required. In the Charleston church shooting, the killer, Dylann Roof, bought his Glock at a gun store, where he would have been required to pass a background check. Though he already had a criminal record of trespassing and drug possession, he "met the legal criteria" and was allowed to purchase a gun. (2) Right now, it is not federal law to require a license for anyone purchasing a gun or owning a gun; this is left to the states. Recently, in February of this year, a Ted talk was posted of the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. She said, "It was appallingly easy for a 17 year-old boy to buy guns, both legally and illegally, without my permission or knowledge. And somehow, 17 years and many school shootings later, it's still appallingly easy." (3) Individuals on the FBI's terror watch list are not prohibited from buying a gun. In fact, of the 2,477 prospective gun buyers monitored on the watch list from 2004 to 2015, 91 percent of the transactions were permitted. 

Yes, gun ownership is a right protected by the US Constitution. But murder is not a right. Gun regulation is not about taking guns away from well-meaning citizens who want a gun, feel safe with a gun, or just want to own a gun. Gun regulation is about protecting the lives of the innocent. It is not infringing upon the rights of American citizens. It has nothing to do with the second amendment. Gun control is about decreasing the amount of mass shootings in the US. I do not want to live in a country where 20 1st graders are brutally murdered and the government does nothing to prevent it from happening again. I hope you don't either. Whether you are liberal, conservative, or moderate; Democrat, Republican, or independent; own a gun, want a gun, or neither; I think we can all agree that gun regulation, when taken seriously and implemented correctly, will protect the well-being of all of America. Please, sign my petition, and together, we can make changes that will save lives.



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