A Letter To My State Representative: The Matter of Gun Control | Teen Ink

A Letter To My State Representative: The Matter of Gun Control

November 1, 2018
By nataliedc12 PLATINUM, Crafton, Pennsylvania
nataliedc12 PLATINUM, Crafton, Pennsylvania
42 articles 7 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If nobody is listening, am I making any sound at all?" ~ Alice Oseman

To the Honorable Daniel Deasy,

Hello, my name is Natalie C. I am a 15-year-old girl, a sophomore in cyber high school  - as a Jew living in Pittsburgh, PA - I am deeply concerned on the matter of gun control. You may recall that I did write to you a few months ago on this exact same topic after the tragic event of yet another mass school shooting. Since then, instead of becoming more assured – more hopeful – that things are getting better, I have become more fearful for my life and the lives of my friends and family as well as more disappointed in how the government is handling this ever-pressing state-of-affairs. Instead of working towards a solution to the growing problem in this nation, I feel as if the government is merely sweeping all of these casualties and death tolls under the rug, as they happen. I feel that people are actually getting used to hearing news of another mass shooting when they wake up in the morning, and, to me, that is physically sickening. Hearing news of a massacre in your nation should not be an everyday occurrence. It should surprise you. It should make you want to do something. Instead, people aren’t surprised when they hear news of another shooting and, instead of wanting to rise up and speak out against these acts of gun violence, all they want to do is sink further and further into depression, despair and grief. The more shootings that happen, the less people feel they can do and the less hopeful they feel that anything will be solved. Of course, not everyone feels this way and some people, such as myself, are still trying to take matters into their own hands as they tell their state representatives and senators how they feel about this and what they think should be done. But, as I have stated, the more shootings that happen, the more disheartened people begin to feel and it may very well lead to nothing actually being solved, at the end of the day. To me, this is beyond awful and, to hear that another mass shooting happened in my own town to people of my own religion just this past weekend pains me even more.

However, I am not totally disheartened. Not yet. I still believe that things can get better, if only people active in the government, such as yourself, will listen to what I have to say and do something about these amounting tragedies. On the topic of the mass shooting at the Squirrel Hill Tree of Life Synagogue a few short days ago, eleven peoples’ lives were taken. Eleven people whose only desires that day were to come together and worship their God, to actively practice their religion. Instead, when they walked into that synagogue, they were met with feelings of dread and fear and the last thing they saw was the end of a gun before they collapsed to their knees, the last thing they heard being the loud profanities against their religion being screamed viciously by their killer. When I first heard the news of the shooting this past Saturday, I cried. I cried for the lives that were taken and I cried at the thought of “It could’ve been us”, as one can’t help but think when a shooting like that is ever-so-close to where you live, work and shop.


People are saying that the man who took those lives was a lunatic and that people shouldn’t be blaming the guns. Of course he was a lunatic! But do you know what gave that man the means to shoot and kill eleven people that day? Guns. If that man hadn’t had access to guns, I highly doubt he would’ve harmed or killed as many people as he did. The fact that all it takes to purchase a gun nowadays is the mere Google search and press of a button is unacceptable. And the fact that you can buy not just any gun using this ridiculously easy method but a military-grade gun is even more ludicrous. This is why we are hearing of mass shootings seemingly every other day. Not because there are hundreds of “lunatics” in this nation, but because there are hundreds of lunatics in this nation who own guns! If we restrict the use of – or even eliminate – this weapon from the hands of these people, than we will be creating a safer environment not only for the people who go to synagogue every Saturday, but for the people who go to church every Sunday, the teachers and children who go to school every weekday and the people who go to work every day. Gun control will not only help a specific group of people in this nation: it will be helping everyone. The fact that people are willing to put their money and their guns above the lives of innocent men, women and children alike is simply disgusting. People who claim that putting actual armed guards in schools, churches, synagogues, and temples, alike will alleviate this situation are simply wrong. “Fighting fire with fire”, as they put it, will not put out the fire, it will burn the house down. Instead, we must find the source of the fire – the match, the gun! - and eliminate it. Granted, this will not be a simple solution nor will it be a pretty one or a fast one. This process will take years and years to settle throughout the nation and it may very well take that much longer for the gun violence to lessen. Despite this, we need to start somewhere and I believe that fixing this problem at the source – in this case, the guns – will do wonders for this situation, as it will give people with vicious intents less of the means to go into any supposedly safe public place and start shooting.

At this point, I don’t apologize for the length of this letter because I have much to say about this matter, as it is a topic I feel strongly about, especially after Saturday’s tragic event. I felt personally attacked to see a mass shooting happen in my city where I have lived for twelve years and happen to the people who practice my religion. As a citizen of the city of Pittsburgh, the state of Pennsylvania and this nation, I beg you – I urge you – to do something, anything besides sending wishes and prayers. There are so many different ways to restrict the use of guns in this country and the fact that almost none of these precautions have come into play as of now (besides the raising of the minimum age for owning a gun to 21 years of age) is appalling. Again, on the behalf of the millions of people who are afraid for their lives right now, I beg you to act. Act for the innocent lives that have been taken these past couple of years and for the lives that were taken just this past Saturday.


Sincerely yours,

A girl who is tired of excuses.

The author's comments:

Gun violence is real and deadly and we need to take action against these violent hate crimes by urging our government representatives to do something, anything, to start restricting gun control. I belive we aren't doing enought to alleiviate these amount tradgedies and the time has come for us to stand up and fight for what we belive will help lessen these everyday-occuring deaths and casualties. Talk to your representative. Let's do this for the people whose lives have been taken away from us these past couple of years because of a person with a gun. 

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