Let’s start with a few numbers:
500: Considered a ‘good’ price for a Glock 19, one of America’s most prevalent personal firearms.
82: The average number of days that elapses between someone being shot and killed in an American place of education.
42: The percentage of US households that owned a firearm in 2012.
34: The number of US states where it is legal to open carry a handgun without any sort of license or permit.
17: The age of the youngest victim in Sunday’s spree killings in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
To be honest, I could just write an entire blog of one line statistics about firearms in the United States. But I know that the lawmakers and politicians don’t care about statistics. They’re just numbers and numbers can’t kick you out of office. So let me try a more personal approach.
To Mr Trump: Gun-free zones would not become “target practice for sickos”. In a nation where kids no longer bat an eyelid when they have to participate in a mass shooting preparedness drill, gun-free zones would provide an area of security and relief for many Americans. ‘Hey! I can do my shopping and not have to worry about being gunned down by a stranger.’ Furthermore, I would like to remind you that nearly all Trump-branded hotels and resorts enforce a no-gun policy and my research could turn up no evidence of a mass shooting at any establishment you own so I think that’s evidence that gun-free zones work.
To Senator Cruz: In 2013, you signed a letter to President Obama, voicing your opposition to the UN Arms Trade Treaty. You claim that the ratification of this would place pressure on the United States to reform its gun law. Uh no. Sorry sweetie but that’s just bullshit. The Arms Trade Treaty actually allows member states to more easily impose regulations on the export of firearms. Essentially, it was a measure to battle the illegal global arms trade. The United States actually has some very similar legislation that passed prior to the introduction of the treaty.
To Senator Rubio: As well as signing the same letter as Mr Cruz in 2013, you also claim that “Criminals by definition ignore the law. The criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals.” and so there is no point implementing new gun control. Funny thing, that’s why we have laws (you might not know that, which would explain how you missed 14.5% of votes in your senate tenure). Gun control laws would make it harder for everyone to get guns, including criminals. If you pass the right sort of gun control, it’s harder for the criminals to ignore it.
On a related topic, there is much talk about a reform of the mental health services in the United States. Yes, this is a thing that needs to happen. However, I am sorry to disappoint you Republicans but reforming the mental health services will not magically solve the gun crisis. And this is because, amazingly, not everyone who commits a mass shooting is suffering from mental illness, shocking I know. Mental health reforms are thing that need to happen in the United States but please, don’t do it because you think it is going to solve the issue of guns. Reviews and analysis have found that only 3% to 5% of all US crime is committed by someone with mental illness so if you want to do something with guns, do something about guns.
Now for my personal plea:
I am a US citizen. I have friends and family all over the United States and every day, I wake up and go about my life with a worry in the back of my mind that I am going to come home and find out that the people I care about deeply in the United States have been killed or injured by someone with a gun. I shouldn’t have to live with that hanging over me every day and the people of America shouldn’t have to live with that fear either. No-one should have to live out their life with a baseline expectation that they may get shot or shot at.
So please, do something about guns because the longer you go without doing something, more people will die and the situation will only get worse.