By editorial board • 

Sensible gun control action is long overdue

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza used a rapid-fire semi-automatic rifle to kill his mother, then gun down 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen used a rapid-fire semi-automatic rifle to slaughter 49 revelers at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida.

On Oct. 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock used multiple rapid-fire semi-automatic rifles to rain thousands of bullets onto concert-goers in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 and wounding more than 500.

Next week, next month and next year, new madmen will no doubt commit new massacres here in gun-crazed America. Such incidents have been recurring in almost clock-like fashion, and each new maniac seems hell-bent the top the previous kill count.

We can’t prevent the bumper crop of psychopaths that the frantic pace of modern society seems to produce. However, we can reduce the incredible lethality by establishing reasonable limits on the weaponry of choice.

Paddock mounted a pair of assault-style rifles on tripods, fitted them with high capacity magazines and equipped them with bump stocks that boost their effective fire rates, normally 45 to 60 rounds per minute, more than 10-fold. Taken together, that enabled him to unleash a torrent of lead onto his killing field 32 floors below.

Modifying an assault-style rifle for automatic fire is illegal, though conversion kits are readily available. Achieving a like effect by fitting one with a bump stock is legal, as is employing a massive magazine, because that’s classified as adding an external accessory rather than making an internal modification.

America, home to 300 million people armed with 300 million firearms, has the laxest gun laws on the planet. As a result: In an average day, 93 Americans die of gun violence. In an average month, 50 American women are shot to death by domestic partners. In an average year, 12,000 Americans fall victim to gunshot homicide.
Our incidence of homicides leads the world, and two-thirds of them stem from gunfire. Our gun homicide rate runs 25 times that of the rest of the civilized world.

No one is advocating repeal of the Second Amendment, which establishes our constitutional right to bear arms. However, it’s possible to significantly limit the lethality of civilian weaponry without crimping the ability of armed citizens to protect their persons and property or engage in hunting and target-shooting.

A good place to start would be banning rapid-fire assault-style rifles like the AR-15, which the industry and its NRA front euphemistically term “modern sporting rifles.” Their manufacture and sale for civilian use was banned in the United States from 1994 to 2004, but before and since the industry has pumped millions into the market, fostering much mayhem.

We might also profitably ban devices helping ganglords, druglords, terrorists and psychotics to rain almost unimaginable firepower on innocent victims and their police department protectors. We owe it to ourselves — and our children — to demand sensible action.

Comments

Rotwang

Never let a tragedy go to waste. That's the motto of gun-grabbers like you. It isn't the right to keep and bear sporting goods. It's the individual right to protect ourselves should our government become unbearable and ridden with tyranny.

The problem with giving them anything is that they will never stop at the point that you prefer. They will build each victory upon the last, until at last we are all disarmed slaves.

tagup

I don’t think anyone is trying to take away firearms....but there are few justifications for assault type weapons, silencers, and large capacity magazines. Universal background checks including gun shows, mandatory training and insurance should be the minimum requirements for gun ownership.

Rotwang

To everyone here who don't think people are trying to turn us into disarmed slaves, watch this and STFU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCRKv-szJlo

tagup

Diane Feinstein.....That’s who you are afraid of?........hahaha..

Airman

Couple things:

1) Most anti gunners could not come up with an agreeable description of what sensible gun control should be. That in itself is scary.
2) Most anti gunners could not describe the functional differences between a semi automatic sporting rifle and a AR-15, if any.
3) Most anti gunners would not understand the daunting task and cost to this state, or country to confiscate AR-15 weapons from a mandatory ban. We are already broke! It is the most popular owned firearm in this country!
4) Lastly, will Mister Law Enforcement Officer, who probably owns his own personal AR-15, go next door and take his neighbors AR-15 from him? Probably not.

tagup

I agree that confiscation is not a viable option, but there are quite a few common sense options that could help reduce the number of gun related deaths.... Having "moments of silence" and putting victims in our prayers doesn't seem to be working....

Airman

There really is not much left that is not already on the books. Most are just not enforced. Mental health really needs to be looked at more seriously. Democrats, and even some Republicans will not like what I'm about to say but, the HIPPA laws need to be loosened. Any mental issue should keep you from owning a firearm with some recourse options available. You will never stop black market availability, so we will always have to depend on law enforcement, personal self defense, and yes, like it or not, a good guy with a gun definitely needs to be part of the picture.

tagup

While I don't disagree with your thoughts on mental health, I believe there are still plenty of ways to curb the current level gun violence. Sure, there is no perfect solution, but doing nothing and actually blocking reasonable ideas only guarantees that these mass events will keep happening. Where did the conversation about bump stocks go?..That is a classic example of common sense being overlooked. There is no hunting scenario that requires a bump stock, or a drum magazine, or a silencer, or green tip ammo....I fail to see any justifiable reasons from a sporting or self defense point of view, to have this type of equipment available to the general public.

Airman

I believe the ATF has been instructed to review the bump stock and congress will probably act upon them, too. Drum magazines are rarely seen around groups that I shoot with, but could go away, as far I'm concerned. Green tip ammo? If you are referring to M855 AP ammo, or the current military M855A1 AP ammo, that is already banned from civilian use. Silencers? I think you need to do some honest reading up on them before you stake judgement on the modern day use of them. They do not quite work in the sense that their name would make you think. Law abiding shooters use them for safety and health reasons.

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