I am fifteen years old and I’ve been shooting for almost eight years. I’ve also been a part of the Maryland Rifle Club and Maryland State Rifle team since I was eleven.

We shoot semiautomatic AR-15’s and uh… my personal rifle is a Bushmaster. Because of this I’ve become eligible for various shooting scholarships around the country to a wide array of even the most prestigious colleges that have shooting teams.

Achieving stricter gun control laws would obliterate any opportunity I could have had to attend a decent college on a shooting scholarship.

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Ever since I first learned how to shoot the issue with gun violence around the nation became clear.

Guns are not the problem – people are.

Purging our society of violence and murder cannot be done through gun-control legislation. By signing this legislation, you are not signing away gun violence but instead liberating American citizens of our Constitutional rights.

You’re not eliminating guns from society but eliminating our ability to protect our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Chicago, Illinois has had some of the strictest gun control laws in America enacted for the past few years and it is currently more than twice as likely for you to be killed in Chicago as it is in the Afghani war.

For the past eleven years and four months in the Afghani war, two thousand one hundred sixty six people have been killed. Now in only eight years, in Chicago, four thousand two hundred and sixty five people have been killed and three thousand three hundred and seventy one of them were from being shot.

Is that really something we want to model our state laws after?

Now, even of those three thousand three hundred and seventy-one, only thirty-seven were killed with a rifle, which is barely one percent.

Ninety-eight percent were killed with handgun, so creating a gun control legislation that targets assault rifles has specifically proven to only weed out less than one percent of the problem, if you’re lucky.

I’d also like to point out that none of the guns used in the Chicago shootings were registered or licensed to the people who use them, thus further proving that simply restricting guns will not stop criminals from using them nor will restricting guns stop criminals from harming others in general.

On December fourteenth of 2012, the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting in central China a man stabbed twenty two children and one adult. Guns are not needed for mass murder and robbing American citizens of our rights to own them won’t solve anything.

You must also consider the fact that the majority of gun violence occurs in low-income neighborhoods. Raising the overall cost of owning a gun through higher licensing and registration fees denies the ability of low-income individuals to protect themselves against the crime focused in the areas they live in.

Passing this legislation would be discriminating against these lower income individuals who are actually at a higher risk of being victimized in crimes

To abolish or severely limit the right of the Maryland residence as a whole to bear arms which is the intent of the proposed legislation is to essentially defeat the purpose of our own US Constitution.

The entire foundation of the United States was formed on the principle that the government, our government; is a government of the people for the people by the people.

..and taking away the people’s right to bear arms is taking away people’s power in the government.

The second amendment which grants the citizens the right to secure their natural rights

is the backbone of our democratic society.

I hope you all will consider these points as you go to vote on this or any other gun control bills.