Prohibit Semi-Automatic Rifles in the US

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Now, when gun violence is running rampant in our country, when 96 innocent Americans are fatally shot every day, when countless citizens are forced to live their lives in fear - we know that it is not the time to stay silent, it is the time to act.

The ten deadliest shootings in US history - Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Killeen, San Ysidro, Parkland, Edmond and San Bernardino - were all committed using a semi-automatic rifle. Just imagine the countless innocent lives that would have been saved ... and now will be once this ban is enacted.

During the original ban on these weapons beginning in 1994, school shooting victims were reduced by 54.4%, and the number of overall mass shootings decreased sharply. When the ban expired, however, the number of mass shootings in the US nearly tripled.

Semi-automatic rifles were designed to kill as quickly and efficiently as possible. They were made for use in the military, and not for civilian life. They are not suited or designed for hunting, but rather to deliver as many fatal wounds as possible in a short amount of time. They cause immense tissue destruction, when compared to other guns, and have the capability to easily pulverize large organs on impact with only a single bullet. Ernest Moore, an award-winning trauma surgeon and avid hunter for over 40 years stated that these rifles were, "designed to deliver fatal wounds to multiple individuals within a short time period; having no other purpose."

The only possible argument for keeping these weapons would be the constitutionality of the issue. However, federal courts have ruled twice that semi-automatic weapons were in no way protected by the Second Amendment, or any other part of the Constitution for that matter.

Now, we as a country must make a choice. We can choose a safer future for our children, a future where we have the right to feel secure in our schools and communities, and a future where dozens of innocents are not slaughtered daily. Or, we can choose to do nothing. We can choose to sit back and watch our children shot down, and mass shootings become only more pervasive. But I have faith in our country's people. I believe that we, the citizens of the United States, will make the right choice, the choice for survival. I believe that we will stand together and against all odds, prevail. With this in mind, I strongly urge you to stand with us, to stand on the right side of history and to support this petition to prohibit semi-automatic rifles in our country.

Sincerely, a student concerned about our nation's future,
Lela Tolajian

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