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The Relation Of Gun Ownership And Violence

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If indeed guns do not kill, then why do mass killers have to arm themselves with guns? As a mother and concerned citizen, I feel that the government ought to take action to end the unnecessary loss of innocent lives we tragically lose every day. Gun ownership and violence has been a controversial issue in the US for centuries. Approximately 40% of Americans own guns or live in households with deadly weapons (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). The US is the leading country globally in civilian gun ownership. The number Americans who own guns is twice the number of Yemenis who own firearms, yet Yemen comes second globally in the list of countries with the most civilian-owned guns (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). Although almost half the number of homesteads in the US have access to firearms most of them buy weapons for protection. Cases of manslaughter and murder by firearms are highest in the country. Currently, 73% of gun-related killings in the US are homicides and since 1982, there have been more than 110 mass shootings in the US (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). The issue of gun violence is no longer an ordinary discussion but an epidemic we must put a stop to.

Gun violence and ownership has been one of the greatest challenges in the US (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). In 2015, there were 36,252 gun related deaths in the US (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). In 2016, the number increased to 37,200 while in 2017, 39,773 people lost their lives from gun related injuries (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). The number of firearm deaths has been increasing gradually in the US. Texans comprise millions of Americans who suffer greatly from gun violence. Two-thirds of the total number of homicides in the state are committed with guns (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). In 2016, Texas ranked twenty seventh in the US regarding gun related deaths (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). The state recorded 3,353 firearm deaths. Unfortunately, 85% of the guns which were used to commit the crimes came from within the state. In 2017, the number of firearm deaths in the state increased to 3,513 (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). Of course, there are other states like Alaska, Louisiana, and Alabama with higher rates of firearm violence than Texas. Nevertheless, every American life matters.

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Honorable Vela, everyone is tired of watching too many people dying in Texas. The status quo in the state is a despicable one. Unfortunately, the situation continues to deteriorate, and the government ought to act. I believe the deadly shooting rampage which occurred on September 1st, 2019 ought to be an eye opener to the seriousness of gun violence in the state of Texas. The mass shooting in Midland-Odessa in which a man in his 30s shot dead seven people and left 21 others with serious injuries has raised a lot of questions (Newman and Hartman, 2019). Texans feel that the state and the local government have failed in their task to protect the people of Texas from harm. What disheartens even more is the fact that the September 1st shooting came exactly one month after another deadlier shooting. The August 3rd mass shooting inside Walmart in El Paso Texas in which 20 people died while 26 others survived with serious injuries remains one of the most fatal in the history of Texas and the US (Newman and Hartman, 2019). For how long will the state and local government continue watching irresponsible gun handlers end Texans’ lives so immaturely?

I understand that the Second Amendment of the US constitution constitutes the nation’s Bill of Rights which protects every American right to hold and bear arms (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). Of course, nothing cements the unity of any country’s citizens like the laws which protect their rights (Newman and Hartman, 2019). Even so, the open-ended nature of Amendment II makes it one of the most contested ordinances in the US Bill of Rights. What makes Americans situation even more unfortunate is that even the Fifth Amendment to the US constitution which also constitutes the Bill of Rights has failed to curb the menace of gun violence in the US. The bill which enumerates key personal liberties protects people from answering for capital or other forms of infamous crimes, unless in an accusation of a Grand Jury (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). The two bills which ought to protect American lives from harm have exposed them to more danger. Surprisingly, most legislators contribute to the failure of constituents’ security. They show strange laxity in enacting laws that can protect Texans for such unnecessary deaths. For instance, Texan legislators passed Senate Bill 535 which allows residents of the state to carry protective guns to places of worship like churches and synagogues almost two years after the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs Church on November 5th, 2017 (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). Texan legislators showed negligence even though 26 people died, and 20 others survived with wounds. Besides, there are occasions when Texan legislators have passed bills which subtly promote gun violence instead of curbing the menace. The Texan Senate Bill 741 which prohibits associations of property owners from banning the storage of guns in rental houses is such an example.

Congressman Vela, I have been one of your greatest supporters since 2013. I believe in your potential and your willingness to work for the people of Texas, for the betterment of the state. There is a need for you to push for the review of gun control laws in Texas. I humbly request that you advocate for the enactment of the Universal Background Checks law. I hope you understand that there is a dangerous loophole in the federal laws which still pardons unlicensed gun sellers from running background checks on potential gun buyers before issuing firearms (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). It is as a result of such laws that the number of homicide cases have dramatically increased in our state. Therefore, I feel it would be unthoughtful for us to seek solution from the federal government. Maybe we could begin by passing the Universal Background Check bill or come up with another bill which approximates it. I believe the federal government would join us in bettering the situation after they see our efforts. Moreover, elections are nearing, and I believe that if you make a move to pass laws which can end gun violence in Texas, your efforts will no doubt work in your favor. Already, 90% of Americans, support the Universal Background Checks bill (Legault, Hendrix, and Lizotte, 2019). It is your time to show your potential by advocating for the enactment of the bill in Texas. I feel it is one of the most reliable approaches which if implemented, can keep firearms away from dangerous hands? Yes, we can. Majority of Republican legislators have been skeptical about the bill (Luca, Malhotra and Poliquin, 2019). Nevertheless, be your people’s mouthpiece. Make the legislators who oppose the matter understand that the issue is not about politics but the safety of Texans.


  1. Legault, R. L., Hendrix, N., & Lizotte, A. J. (2019). Caught in a crossfire: Legal and illegal gun ownership in America. In Handbook on crime and deviance (pp. 533-554). Springer, Cham.
  2. Luca, M., Malhotra, D., & Poliquin, C. (2019). The impact of mass shootings on gun policy (No. w26187). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  3. Newman, B. J., & Hartman, T. K. (2019). Mass shootings and public support for gun control. British Journal of Political Science, 49(4), 1527-1553.

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