I am writing to urge you to vote in favor of common sense gun reform. I am a 31-year-old teacher living in California who wants you to honor and respect the shifting public opinion on gun control in the United States. I choose to write to you at this time because I want my voice, the voice of an under-represented, often disengaged, and desensitized generation to be heard. I know you do not hear from us enough. We want change.
The fact is the United States has a serious problem with gun violence. Mass shootings in the United States, which people of my generation have grown up knowing as well as sporting events and elections, far outweigh those in any other country, even when adjusted for population. What’s worse is they are occurring in greater frequency. We seem to be going in the wrong direction. Since 2011, the US has faced a mass shooting every two months. Looking the other way, not passing common sense gun reform, is not only irresponsible, it is deadly.
Although our losses from mass shootings are catastrophic, mass shootings actually represent only a small fraction of deaths in the United States from guns. Significantly more people die from guns as a result of homicides and suicides each day. Our gun homicide rate, adjusted for population, pushes far beyond that of any other country. The number of gun deaths in the United States since 2000 exceeds the number of Americans killed by AIDS, drugs, wars and terrorism combined. This truly is an epidemic, and it is time for you to do something.
There are well over 300,000,000 guns in the US, and they are easy to obtain. The more guns in a country, the more gun deaths. Period. Let’s work to fix this problem and save some lives. Our gun death rate will not get better if we do not make changes. Crime in the US is so lethal because of our lax gun laws. Let’s get past the 2nd amendment debate and work on a solution to this fatal dilemma. I would like you to pass common sense gun reform. Considering our current state, restrictions on firearm ownership are sensible and reasonable.
Mass shootings shine light on our gun problem here in the United States, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. The problems that underlie, the 92 people killed daily with guns in the US on average, are massive. We don’t have a gun problem here in the United States; we have plenty of gun problems. You are in a position to save lives, to make our country a safer place, and I urge you to cast your vote in favor of progress and common sense. We want change, and we want to see progress. Please, do your part to pass reasonable restrictions on firearm ownership. Thank you.
When there is a problem, look for a solution, act, be the helper Mister Rogers describes. Have a problem with gun laws? Does it make you angry? Rather than kick the same complaint around, look into what you can actually do to help move things forward. Consider contacting your representative and make your voice heard.
On a related note, children are very aware of adult’s concerns, tone, demeanor, etc. In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, and in anticipation of the next one that is likely to follow in two months, keep this in mind. We should be mindful of what we watch and discuss in front of or around children. Children will fill in gaps to make sense of the world, perhaps even creating an understanding worse than reality. Here are some tips on talking to children about tragic events from The Fred Rogers Company.