Matthew CooleyLong Valley Middle School51 West Mill RoadLong Valley, New Jersey 07853 November 28, 2017The Honorable Cory BookerOne Gateway Center 23rd Floor Newark, NJ 07102 Dear Congressman Booker:In 2017 alone there has been 50,091 gun related incidents so far (Gun Violence Archive). The 8th graders from the Long Valley Middle School are researching important American issues and choosing one that needs change for the commonwealth of the country. Out of the 50,091 people injured by a weapon 13,999 were murderers. Many gun related deaths are from suicides, mistakes or dangerous people that happen when someone does not understand how to use weapons safely or should not be able to purchase a weapon. Creating a system to train people would benefit the people very much. States that have a looser form of gun control have a higher amount of violence than anywhere else. States with least strict weapon laws have show the highest amount of violence. Guns are the cause of violence in the United States and the laws should be modified, because gun laws are very loose, more and stricter background checks and mental health evaluations are needed, and it would save many lives in the United States.Gun laws in the United States are very loose and unsafe for the people. In the first place, many states have formed laws to protect the people such as Project Exile. Project Exile moved all gun possession offences in the state of Virginia to the federal court instead of the state court, this would cause more serious crimes to be enforced by a greater state of power, this also increased the minimum time that someone will be sentenced for a gun violation. This law would make the people thinking about committing the crime and taught the people their lesson. In Boston during the 1900’s people had created a law to make a community based program to teach weapons safety and has been proven to be a very effective method to help people understand what the real dangers of weapons. “Project Exile moved all gun possession offence in Virginia to federal court instead of state” (Stray). This was to ensure that the people would have their rightful punishments. “While gun ownership has been rising, mental health services across the country have been slashed. We must face this challenge head on, reduce the stigma associated with mental health needs, and support our children, friends, family members and neighbors in seeking and obtaining a high quality treatment” (Gun Violence Must Stop Here’s What We Can Do to Prevent More Deaths). Gun laws need to be more strict to ensure the safety of the American people.Background and mental illness checks in the United States of America are nonexistent when buying a weapon in thirty two of the states. In addition, not having strict background checks can cause criminals that were or are currently dangerous to purchase weapons that could hurt many citizens. Many of the crimes that are committed by people with weapons are because they are not secure with their mind and need mental help. “Eighteen out of the fifty states have some type of background checks but the others you do not need to be checked even a dangerous criminal may be able to buy a weapon” (DiLascio). People with mental illness committed less that 5% of crimes from 2001-2010 (4) (Rosen). Many of the mentally ill are allowed buy weapons, many become aggravated and act violently and injure people (Ewing). “A mentally ill loads a weapon in a bathroom, he shot 11 and killed 5” (Ewing). A pearson had loaded a weapon that was aggravated because of their condition and they shot 11 and killed 5 of them. The background checks in the United States not strict making innocent people getting injured from people with a bad or unhealthy background. Making stricter gun laws will protect and save the people. As a matter of fact, weapons that are used in gun violence are handguns. Jonathan Stray said “Of all the weapons that investigators had found for their investigations after shooting that 72% of them shootings were caused by handguns” (Stray). This tells the people that handgun laws need to be more strict because they cause most of the violence in America. One-third of all affected by a type of gun violence were under the age of 20 (Gun Violence Archive). The younger age of people are more vulnerable to attacks than adults because we are less protected. In 2011 there were 8,583 homicides out of the 12,664 in total (Stray). The Largest mass murder happened in 1982, and at the end of the shooting a total of 62 civilians were dead (Stray). “Those countries all also enjoy low rates of gun violence, but the US has the 31st highest rate in the world: 3.85 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016” (Aizenman). This means that for every 100,000 people in the world 3.85 of them are caused by guns. Two hundred ninety three mass shootings in 2017 and 249 officers were killed (Gun Violence Archive). Gun violence has shown the people of America to stand up against these acts and protect the future of the nation.Some sources state that over the past 20 years the purchasing of guns has increased and the amount of homicides decreased (18 Little-Known Gun Facts That Prove That Guns Make Us Safer). As many gun enthusiasts say that guns will keep this nation protected. First, “The usage of guns in the United States are used 80 times more often to prevent crime than they are to take lives” (18 Little-Known Gun Facts That Prove That Guns Make Us Safer). The United States has the most guns owned in the world yet it is only 28th in gun violence. The nine European nations with the lowest number of gun ownership rate have a combined murder percentage that is three times greater than the nine European nation with the highest rate of gun ownership. (18 Little-Known Gun Facts That Prove That Guns Make Us Safer). Almost every mass shooting that has occurred in America since 1950 has taken place in a state with strict gun control laws (18 Little-Known Gun Facts That Prove That Guns Make Us Safer). A study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy discovered that nations that have more guns tend to have less crime. Although many people say having less gun control actually protects people there is a compelling about of evidence against it. America’s homicide rate is 4.7 murders per every 100,000 people (Stray). The age of 12-17 year olds 2,634 are injured or killed just this year. With some people saying that having less gun control will protect the country better, but there is more facts and evidence to show that it will help. More Strict gun laws will protect and save many lives in the future, in the paragraphs stated above it shows that gun control in the United States are unreasonably loose and that background and mental illness checks need to be more enforced. Thus, this point has been proven to say that guns are not the way to keep this country safe. Assault weapon were originally banned in the US but now 40% of all crime are caused by assault weapons. (Stray) To reinstate the laws that have been proven to help this country with the utmost serenity will be very ideal. Most of all the crimes the civilians do not shoot back to protect themselves. Any consideration to this matter that must be fixed would greatly aid this country. Ultimately the Students and Staff of LVMS would be gratified to see something changed about this matter. All in all, guns are the cause of the violence in the United States, the laws should be modified to protect the people of this country.Sincerely,Matthew CooleyEnclosure
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