"Seeking Refuge" - Another Horrific Mass Shooting...and Another Tragically Prescient Essay by a High School Student

 

A Message from the President of Americans Against Gun Violence

 

It was just over a week ago - a few days after the horrific mass shooting in which an 18 year old white supremacist targeted African Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people and wounding three others - that I sent out a message concerning what had turned out to be a tragically prescient winning essay that a 9th grade high school student in Arizona had submitted more than a month earlier in our 2022 National High School Essay Contest. The student concluded her essay with the sentence:

We have to fight the deep-pocketed gun lobby, so our American future can be one where no one lives in fear of being gunned down at a supermarket.

And now, after yet another horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas at the Robb Elementary School, in which another 18 year old shooter killed 19 fourth grade students and two female teachers, all of Latin American ancestry, it turns out that another winning essay submitted by a tenth grade student was also tragically prescient. The student's essay was entitled, "Seeking Refuge," and in his introductory paragraph, he wrote:

“El sueño americano que me vendieron es una mentira.” “The American Dream they sold me is a lie,” I overheard my mother wearily mutter under her breath as she guided me through our vacant, dimly lit neighborhood streets. As we made our way to my elementary school for the first time, I could sense a lifetime’s worth of fear in the closeness with which she held me, not realizing she was protecting me from the gun violence that continues to ravage America today….

Read the full message

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

Revised February 17, 2019

 

Firearm related deaths and injuries are a serious public health problem in the United States of America, and the rate of gun related deaths in our country is currently at least ten times higher than the average rate for the other high income democratic countries of the world. 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 the rates in other economically advanced democratic countries.

Like other gun violence prevention organizations, we support common sense firearm regulations. We believe, however, that common sense dictates that in order to reduce rates of gun violence in the United States to levels comparable to other high income democratic countries, we must adopt comparably stringent gun control laws – laws that go far beyond the limited measures currently being advocated by other U.S. gun violence prevention organizations. Specifically, we believe that we should follow the examples of Australia and the United Kingdom, both of which reacted swiftly and definitively following mass shootings in their countries over two decades ago, by banning civilian ownership of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles, as in the case of Australia, and by banning civilian ownership of all handguns, as in the case of the United Kingdom. We also believe that we should follow the example of every other high income democratic country in requiring registration of all firearms and licensing of all firearm owners. Finally, we believe that in the United States, as in all other economically advanced democratic countries, the burden of proof  should be on any person seeking to acquire a gun to show convincing evidence that he or she needs one and can handle one safely, not on society to show evidence that he or she should not have a gun. And given the large body of evidence showing that there is no net protective value from owning or carrying a gun, “self defense” should not be automatically accepted as a reason for owning a gun in the United States, just as it is not accepted in most other high income democratic countries.

In the United States, like in other economically advanced democratic countries, stringent gun control laws need not prevent legitimate hunters and target shooters from pursuing their sports. As in those other countries, though, stringent regulation of civilian firearm ownership should be accompanied by stringent regulation of the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.
Exercises at home: stretching fitness routine reputable steroid sites shakira, pharrell williams and the beatles land on apple's fitness.
The Second Amendment, as it was interpreted repeatedly by the Supreme Court and almost every lower court for the first 217 years of our nation’s history, is no obstacle to the adoption of the stringent gun control laws advocated by Americans Against Gun Violence. The 2008 Heller decision, however, in which a narrow 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court ruled that the District of Columbia’s partial ban on handgun ownership violated the Second Amendment, is a significant obstacle. In the Heller decision, five justices endorsed an interpretation of the Second Amendment that the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger had called “…one of the biggest pieces of fraud – I repeat the word, ‘fraud’ - on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” It is the position of Americans Against Gun Violence that the Heller case was wrongly decided. In the short term, Heller should be overturned. In the long term, Americans Against Gun Violence advocates the adoption of a new constitutional amendment that clarifies the Second Amendment in a manner consistent with the following statement in the majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s 1980 Lewis decision:

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.”

We are confident that one day, the United States will adopt stringent gun control laws comparable to the laws that have long been in effect in every other high income democratic country of the world. The only question is how many more innocent Americans will be killed and injured by guns before that day arrives. It is our mission to make that day come sooner rather than later.

Click on this link for a fully referenced, downloadable version of this mission statement in PDF format.

' : ''; ?>