Americans Against Gun Violence Announces the Opening of the

2018 National High School Essay Contest

A Total of $15,000 will be Awarded

Click on these links for a flyer, full contest details, and the online entry form. The deadline for students to enter the contest is Sunday, May 6.

An Open Letter to Student Gun Control Activists

From the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

Dear Student Activists,

I’m writing to you on behalf of Americans Against Gun Violence to express our full support for your demands for definitive action to prevent future tragedies like the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. Your outrage is reasonable and appropriate, and we applaud you for your activism.

Like most Americans, we were horrified as the news unfolded on February 14 about yet another mass shooting on a U.S. school campus – but we weren’t surprised. Despite repeated mass shootings on school campuses over the past five decades, our country has failed to take the obvious steps necessary to prevent such tragedies from recurring on a regular basis.

What has surprised and inspired us following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the number of you who have stepped forward to demand that definitive gun control laws be enacted, and the passion and eloquence with which you’ve expressed your demands. We look forward to working with you toward our shared goal of stopping the epidemic of gun violence in our country. You’ve earned the attention of the American public and our elected officials. We’d like to offer you some suggestions, based on our own experience, concerning how you might use your platform to best advantage....

Read the full message

Preventing Firearm Related Deaths and Injuries in the United States of America
Mission Statement of Americans Against Gun Violence

Firearm related deaths and injuries are a serious public health problem in the United States of America, and the rate of gun violence in the USA is much higher than in all other economically advanced democratic countries. It is the position of Americans Against Gun Violence that we have not only the ability, but also the moral responsibility, to reduce rates of firearm related deaths and injuries in our country to levels that are at or below those in the other economically advanced democratic countries of the world.

We support incremental steps toward reducing gun violence in the United States such as expanding background checks. At the same time, we believe that it is critically important to make the American people aware that in order to reduce rates of firearm related deaths and injuries in the United States to levels comparable to those in other economically advanced democratic countries, we must adopt comparable gun control laws. Such laws include stringent regulations, if not complete bans, on civilian ownership of handguns and all automatic and semi-automatic rifles. Such laws need not prevent responsible hunters and target shooters from practicing their sports with traditional sporting rifles and shotguns. In order to stringently regulate or ban handguns, the Supreme Court's radical reinterpretation of the Second Amendment in the 2008 Heller decision must be overturned. We further believe that stringent regulation of civilian firearm ownership should be accompanied by stringent regulation of the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

In addition to educating the American people regarding the need for the adoption of definitive gun control laws, it is our mission to debunk the myths promoted by the gun industry and its associated lobby, including the myth that honest, law-abiding people should own or carry guns “for protection;” the myth that the Second Amendment was intended to confer an individual right to own guns; and, the most insidious myth of all, that the gun lobby is more powerful than the rest of the American people.

We are confident that one day the United States will adopt stringent gun control laws comparable to the laws already in place in every other economically advanced democratic country of the world. The only question is how many more innocent Americans will be killed and injured by preventable gunshot wounds before that day arrives. It is our mission to work to make that day come sooner rather than later.

Click on this link for downloadable version of this mission statement in PDF format.