Students all over this country have to fear that what happened at Umpqua Community College, and many other schools, could happen to them. The killing of nine students on October 1st in Oregon is a stark reminder of this reality for all of us. That is why we must act.
As an organization s******k of students who are incredibly saddened by what happened in Oregon, we think improving the background check system is simply common sense. While the national background check system has prevented millions of gun sales to prohibited purchasers, it has several flaws.
States do not have to submit information identifying people who would be ineligible to possess firearms, like those with a violent criminal record or mental illness, into the federal gun database and they have no incentive to do so.
This makes the information used by law enforcement during background checks incomplete.
We can fix this problem. Sen. Chuck Schumer has proposed legislation that would allow the Department of Justice to create rewards for states that submit these records into the background check system -- and penalties for those that do not -- with a particular focus on the records of people with mental illness.
From Charleston to Oregon, everyone is affected by these mass shootings. Whether you are black, white, Latino, Asian American, Indian American, the failure of Congress to pass legislation on simple gun control laws will eventually affect all of us. For some people, it already has. Every day, 88 Americans are killed with guns.
Let this be the last mass shooting where we say we could have done more.
Please sign our petition in support of Sen. Schumer's proposal that will fortify the national background check system so we can prevent more violence due to guns.
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