The issue of gun safety and arguments over interpretations of the Second Amendment are currently at the forefront of American politics. At this time, violence wrought at the hands of individuals with guns, particularly assault rifles, occurs in the United States with terrifying frequency.
In 2018 alone, there were more than 340 mass shootings (four or more victims involved) in the United States. Over 40,000 people were killed last year by guns. Gun-related deaths are the second leading cause of death for children in the U.S., and 54% of women killed by their partners died because of a gun. With those numbers, America joins five other countries that make up more than half of all gun-related deaths in the world.
In actual fact, the argument over gun rights is less about the Second Amendment and more about profit maximization for gun manufacturers. Their lobbying arm, the National Rifle Association, has shrewdly used the Second Amendment as a cover for their greed. More and more Americans, however, are unwilling to sacrifice the safety of our children so gun manufacturers can make more money. I am among them. While the Second Amendment, just like every other Amendment in our Bill of Rights, must remain sacrosanct, our right to bear arms does not come without rules, regulations, human decency, or common sense. The second and third words in the Second Amendment, after all, are “well-regulated.”
Gun licenses should involve more complete coursework, training, and requirements – including age restrictions and periodic renewal -- along the same lines as licenses to drive a car. This, to me, is common sense. A car is not intended as an instrument of death, and yet because death is possible, we train drivers extensively. A gun is an instrument of death, yet we do not train gun owners. Furthermore, more people died from gun deaths than car deaths in 2017. Proper licensing isn’t just common sense – it’s common decency.
As your president, I would also encourage research into the relationship between pharmaceutical use and suicidal/homicidal behavior, especially among youth.
More than anything else, I feel that as president, I could make a moral argument for the cultivation of greater respect for life, in our lives. The cultivation of love and respect for others is perhaps the most powerful gun safety measure, and I would pursue it with all my heart.