Our 2019 High School Essay Contest is Now Open

A total of $15,000 will be awarded to 12 winners

Click on these links for details concerning our 2019 contest and to read the winning essays in the 2018 Americans Against Gun Violence National High School Essay Contest

A Message from the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

The Second Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.””

I’m pleased to announce that the 2019 Americans Against Gun Violence High School Essay Contest is now open for submissions from high school students in the United States and its territories. The prompt for this year’s contest is the quotation above, which is an excerpt from the majority opinion written by the late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in the 1980 case of Lewis v. United States.

Most people I talk with about the Second Amendment, other than our Americans Against Gun Violence members, are not only unaware of the 1980 Lewis decision, they’re unaware of the fact that the Second Amendment begins with the phrase, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state….” They’re also unaware that the Supreme Court ruled on three other occasions (United States v. Cruikshank in 1876, Presser v. Illinois in 1886, and United States v. Miller in 1939) that the Second Amendment did not confer an individual right to own a gun....


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.