By Staci Sarkin (Contact)
To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama
NOTE: The above statements about my personal gun ownership refer SPECIFICALLY to me. They are neither intended NOR to be interpreted as the circumstances of all who sign. I implore people on BOTH SIDES to join in the battle for better gun ownership safety and control measures, whether you own a gun or do not.
On December 14, 2012, a gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and opened fire, killing 26 people, 20 of whom were children. Completely innocent unarmed victims.
Columbine. Red Lake Minnesota. Essex Vermont. Lancaster. Aurora. Virginia Tech. To name a few. How many more innocents must die at the hands of an antiquated and oft-misinterpreted amendment? Enough.
It's time to stop the violence.
Gun Control doesn't have to mean no guns. I'm not suggesting we take guns away. I'm suggesting we put tighter controls on acquiring and owning them. Gun show loopholes must be stopped. Ammunition should not be sold online. Mandatory wait periods should be enforced during which time a thorough background check, psychological and medical evaluation and character references should be completed. More accountability should be placed in the hands of retailers. When patrons refuse wait periods, authorities should be notified. Training and testing should be mandatory, as should a renewal process that includes many of the above-mentioned evaluation terms.
Gun owners and non-gun owners need to come together and agree on regulations that protect the right to own a firearm for sane, responsible adults and keep them out of the hands of the mentally unstable.
I would hope that we could all agree to submit ourselves to these terms when it's easier to go to a gun show and pick up a firearm than it is to go to the local pharmacy and buy cold medication. Acquiring and owning a gun should be at least as controlled as getting a learner's permit, license and privilege to drive a car.
Gun control alone is not the whole of the solution, but it's a start. And if it keeps guns out of the hands of even one mentally unstable person and saves one sweet life, it's worth it.
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