Read the winning essays in the 2018 Americans Against Gun Violence National High School Essay Contest

Open Carry Is Coming Soon...Unless We Act Now

A Message From the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

Unless we act now, open carry of loaded guns is coming soon to a theater near you – and to restaurants, grocery stores, parks, sidewalks, streets, and other public places as well.

If you live in a state like Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, or Texas that already allows open carry of loaded firearms in most public places, you may have become accustomed to bumping into someone with a loaded handgun on his or her hip as you’re pushing your grocery cart down the cereal aisle or standing in line for a cup of coffee. If you live in Hawaii, though, which has some of the toughest gun control laws and one of the lowest rates of gun related deaths in the country, you’d never expect to see someone openly carrying a gun in a public place – at least, not until a couple of days ago, when two of three judges on a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Young v. Hawaii that denying someone the right to openly carry a loaded firearm in public violates the Second Amendment. The judges didn’t specify, though, to which version of the Second Amendment they were referring - the original version, that begins with the phrase, "A well regulated militia," or the NRA rewrite, endorsed by a narrow 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court in the rogue 2008 Heller decision, which effectively deletes that phrase.....

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.