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Advocating with Policy Makers in Social Work

Letter to Congress Representative

The following letter is meant for Cory Booker, one of the two New Jersey senators, regarding the escalation of gun violence in New Jersey.

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Dear Senator, Cory Booker,

I am writing to draw your attention to the escalating incidences of gun violence in New Jersey. According to recent statistics, 44% of Americans indicate that they know someone who has been victimized by a firearm (Vargas, 2019). Another 23% report that a weapon has been used to intimidate and threaten them or a family member (Vargas, 2019). In New Jersey, police reports reveal a 19% spike in gun-related incidences compared to 2019 (Santana, 2020). For instance, in the first week of July, 39 shooting incidences were reported, resulting in the deaths of 13 people (Santana, 2020). Consequently, residents of New Jersey are increasingly becoming afraid of engaging in outdoor activities, which reflects the adverse social implication of the gun menace (Cook & Ludwig, 2019). Studies indicate that tighter gun laws are directly related to fewer firearm death rates (See fig. 1). Despite the implementation of policies concerning gun violence, the state requires your input and additional efforts through Congress to formulate and enact more progressive gun-control measures.

With gun-related deaths escalating by the day in New Jersey, the legislation and enforcement of sensible gun laws, which amplify the effectiveness of the existing framework, are the immediate short-term solutions. While the traditional approaches have focused on regulated gun purchases, the existing loopholes have been exploited and aggravated by the absence of a strategic ban of dangerous weaponry from the market. Additionally, individuals with questionable profiles identified through mundane crimes, such as altercations and intimidation, should be prohibited from purchasing guns. The approach taken by this legislation proposal is predicated on the statistical evidence, where the prevention of ordinary aggressions ultimately translates to the eventual decline in gun-related hostilities (Cook & Pollack, 2017). The subsequent law should focus on eradicating military-class firearms from the public, inculcating gun safety culture, and recognizing that firearm brutality is a preventable public health crisis. The formulation and enactment of these two elaborate laws can drastically reduce gun violence incidences in New Jersey and avert an impending crisis.

Please consider the challenge of gun violence as an emergency with devastating social, psychological, and financial implications on New Jersey residents. Look forward to your response on the matter.

Sincerely,

[Student’s Name]

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Explanation

The United States is the leading country with the most privately-held guns globally. Statistics reveal that for every 100 persons, there are 101 guns, resulting in the daily loss of approximately 32 lives (Jehan et al., 2018). Apart from the deaths and incurred injuries in gun-related incidences, the U.S. health system is under immense pressure, and the annual economic burden is high. Additionally, the psychological, economic, and social turmoil triggered by firearm hostilities weighs heavily on the affected communities. From this perspective, firearm hostility is a major public concern whose detrimental impacts are almost impossible to enumerate. Therefore, the government should exploit all avenues to address the gun issue effectively.

Gun-related incidences directly increase social workers’ burden, exacerbate the current shortage, and hamper efficient service delivery. Many people are affected by the shootings, and others are forced to live with the chronic impacts of the injuries, including mental health challenges or even permanent disabilities. Additionally, the victims’ families and the community suffer lasting effects, which cumulatively erode their overall health and increase their dependence on social workers. Moreover, the youths’ exposure to violent gun incidences compounds their adverse childhood experiences, enhances the likelihood of social risk factors, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and promotes the adoption of dangerous adult behaviors. The cyclic nature of these situations frustrates social workers’ efforts in supporting shooting victims and their families to heal from the traumatic and psychological experiences of shootings. Therefore, the growing prevalence of firearm-related hostilities results in declining mental health among Americans since they eternally live under the fear of violence and the associated ramifications.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, is an ardent believer in developing innovative and unconventional legislation to address the gun menace in the United States. During the Democratic Party presidential nomination campaigns, he revealed a 14-point plan, which was ranked as the most progressive gun-control intervention in the United States (Corasaniti, 2019). Booker’s fire-arm licensing recommendation, the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and the sealing of gun purchasing loopholes is a comprehensive suggestion that captures the gravity of gun violence. Cory lives in Newark, one of the worst-hit cities which struggles with daily firearm aggressions. Moreover, his recommendations do not intend to breach the American’s right to bear arms provided by the constitution but eliminate gaps in the existing laws and remove destructive weapons from civilians. Thus, Booker is the right candidate for the gun proposal.

Although previous gun control interventions have been considerably successful, firearm incidences are rampant across the United States. Comprehensive proposals which integrate law enforcement and minimize weapon availability would substantially reduce and prevent gun violence. By advancing the existing provisions to enhance their effectiveness, the proposed approach ensures that all aspects of the Second Amendment are preserved. Further, the strategy corresponds with New Jersey’s realities, where residents express their growing anxiety and fear of engaging in outdoor activities for fear of being shot. Booker’s robust proposals support the safe and responsible use and ownership of firearms, meaning that he is the right candidate to present this proposal to Congress.

References

Cook, P., & Ludwig, J. (2019). Understanding gun violence: The contribution of a public health framework. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 38(3), 787-787. Web.

Cook, P., & Pollack, H. (2017). Reducing access to guns by violent offenders. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 3(5), 2. Web.

Corasaniti, N. (2019). Cory Booker on gun control. The New York Times. Web.

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Jehan, F., Pandit, V., O’Keeffe, T., Azim, A., Jain, A., Tai, S.A., Tang, A., Khan, M., Kulvatunyou, N., Gries, L., & Joseph, B. (2018). The burden of firearm violence in the United States: Stricter laws result in safer states. Journal of Injury & Violence Research, 10(1), 11-16. Web.

Kriss, C., Mastro, D., & Mister, M. (2015). West Virginia’s lax gun laws contribute to violence statewide. Mountaineer News Service. Web.

Santana, R. (2020). Increase in gun violence seen throughout New Jersey. NJ Spotlight News. Web.

Vargas, E. W. (2019). Gun violence in America: A state-by-state analysis. Center for American Progress. Web.

Appendix

7 states have both

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Advocating with Policy Makers in Social Work'. 16 March.

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