AR-15s – preferred by murderers

To the editor,

I was looking forward to writing another rant about Trump. The 13 indictments Mueller’s team issued crushes Trump’s ridiculous claim that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a Democrat hoax. There clearly was an elaborate conspiracy to defraud the American people of a free and fair election, and Americans helped Russia do it.

Also, these indictments in no way whatsoever vindicate Trump. He’s still centered in Mueller’s sights.

So, since I’m not ranting about Trump, instead I’ll spew about gun violence and questioning the justification of owning an assault rifle like the AR-15. Predictably, I’ll be attacked, and liberals will be painted with a broad brush for doing so. Republicans will say this is a typical kneejerk reaction and “we need time to figure this all out” before we can even discuss why this latest murder rampage occurred.

Ironically, if an immigrant kills an American, there’s an actual “kneejerk reaction,” and Trump swiftly signs a poorly written, unconstitutional executive order. So fine, it’s too soon to talk about Florida. What about some of the other mass murders via an AR-15? June 20, 2012: 12 killed and 58 injured at a movie theater in Aurora. Dec. 14, 2012: 27 killed; the killer’s mother, 20 first-graders and six teachers in Newtown, Conn., (Sandy Hook Elementary School). June 12, 2016: 49 killed and 50 injured at an Orlando nightclub. Oct. 1, 2017: 58 killed and hundreds injured in Las Vegas. Nov. 5, 2017: 26 killed at a church in Texas. And just days ago an AR-15 was used to efficiently murder at least 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Sadly, that’s the edited-for-space list, the complete list takes a while to scroll down.

The Sandy Hook tragedy struck me as the most horrific, these were first-graders gunned down as a consequence of the right to own weapons of mass destruction. And that is  exactly what they are designed to do; quickly kill people on a massive scale. Apparently the trade off is (in America) I get to have a machine gun and your 5-year-old girl could

be murdered with one in exchange. This is not a false equivalence. This is the price families will pay for the right of some insecure, selfish American to have a deadly toy they should not have. No one wants your hunting rifles, shotguns or handguns used for self defense. This is not a “slippery slope” argument. It’s certainly reasonable to out-law average Americans from having a rocket launcher. What’s the difference? I mean c’mon, I can pass a background check. Air Force One ... nevermind.

So here’s my challenge to the NRA trolls out there, defend the right to own a semi-automated weapon but living with these tragedies is the price that must be paid. How would you defend your right to own this WMD to the grieving mom returning from the cemetery, her daughter killed with an AR-15? Seriously, you’re going to tell this devastated mom “it sucks that your daughter’s dead, but I have a Second Amendment right to have this weapon?” I know it sounds overly dramatic, but that is the choice that’s been made for us. Even though 80 percent of Dems and close to 60 percent of the GOP support the Assault Weapons Ban, Congress allowed it to expire.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (aka “Little Marco”) said that gun restrictions would not have prevented the mass shooting in his home state last week. By no coincidence, little Marco had received $3.3 million from the National Rifle Association as of October 2017. Other politicians have made similar statements and accordingly, receive similar cash from the NRA.

There was a time when Tommie guns and machine guns were illegal in this country. The cops were being slaughtered by the mob, and so Congress passed common sense legislation. But that was before the rise of the NRA. How many more first-graders have to die in exchange for the right to own a toy that average citizens simply should not have?

– Bill Vana, Durango