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National Assault Weapons Ban Renewal Long Overdue

Colorado shootings more evidence for the need to ban assault weapons nationwide.

In many states, there is no limit on the number of guns, nor on the amount of ammunition, one can buy.

In New Jersey, however, you cannot purchase more than one gun each month and assault weapons are banned.

The state ranked second behind California on the national scorecard of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. According to the campaign, the six states with the toughest gun laws also had the lowest gun death rates in the nation last year.

Now that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Including Friday’s mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater that claimed the lives of a dozen people and wounded 70, including a 23-year-old Sussex County woman, 20 people have been killed and 95 wounded in 22 days.

A timeline by the Los Angeles Times of the deadliest mass shootings (at least five deaths) in the country shows that since the repeal of the assault weapons ban, 122 people have been killed in such shootings. The list includes the shootings at Fort Hood and in Binghamton, N.Y. The two 2009 shootings resulted in the deaths of 13, as well as the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech, where a student slaughtered 32.

While it is unclear what drove James Holmes to allegedly open fire in a crowded movie theater early Friday morning at the opening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., it is abundantly clear that he was able to do so much damage because he used a semi-automatic assault rifle, among other weapons. News reports indicate Holmes allegedly bought four guns and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the last two months.

He bought all that firepower legally.

Variants of one of the weapons Holmes allegedly used in the attack, an AR-15 rifle, was included in a federal ban on assault weapons enacted by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. However, the ban expired in 2004 and was not re-enacted.

Why does the average citizen need a semi-automatic weapon?

These reportedly can fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute. Why does anyone, except a police or military officer, need to shoot so many bullets so quickly?

Hunters argue they should be able to own guns in order to shoot at wild game.

Citizens argue they should be able to own a gun in order to shoot wild robbers who might break into their homes.

The National Rifle Association argues everyone should be able to own a gun because the Constitution says so.

The Constitution also says people have the right to assemble peacefully, but there are rules for protests and police were able to disperse Occupy Wall Street protesters in cities like New York for alleged unsanitary and hazardous conditions.

The Constitution also says Americans have free speech, but that doesn’t give one the right to slander another, or, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote, to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater and create a panic.

Yet, thanks to the demands of the NRA, the Constitution gave James Holmes the right to buy as many guns and as much ammo as he wanted. So armed, Holmes caused true panic when he brought his weapons into a crowded theater and opened fire, stealing the life from 12 people, the youngest a beautiful 6-year-old little girl.

Longer ago, and not so far away from Aurora, two students murdered a dozen others plus a teacher and wounded 24 others at Columbine High School.

These shooters always seem to exhibit either serious mental illness or psychopathy or rage or all of these. That won’t stop. But perhaps if such deadly weapons were not so readily available, there would be fewer victims.

Prentiss Gray December 14, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Not trying to stop situations like Columbine, mental health is not specifically a gun issue. This is about banning assault weapons and not letting irresponsible people have guns in the first place and getting them out of the hands of those who are unsuited to the responsibility. No law can stop someone who is determined to misbehave at all costs. But you still can and should make every effort to discourage it. Bubble wrap kids? I'd rather make their first cars out of rubber.
Ron Soussa December 16, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Prentiss, You wrote "This is about banning assault weapons..". Assault weapons are already banned. Since you don't know that basic fact - or that firearms ID cards don't have photos on them - it's clear that you don't know what you're talking about with respect to firearms or the laws that regulate them. Go invent the rubber car.
Diane Jones December 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Well, another mass shooting has happened with an assault weapon. 6 & 7 year olds killed in cold blood for nothing. They probably never knew the kid. Now if you go and do a search on guns laws like I did; You will find that the National Assault Weapon law ended in 2004 and has never been reinstated yet. This weapon this kid used is the same as what our soldiers are using in Afghanistan. There is no reason any regular citizen needs a weapon like that in a home esp. with a mentally handicapped son living there. She had to apply to the FBI and the state etc to get the permit to buy this rifle that shot off many rounds at one time killing all these little kids. WHAT MORE WILL IT TAKE TO WAKE FOLKS UP. the 2nd amendment was passed when we only had rifles and handguns of some sort. Now we have so many more guns of all kinds that shoot without having to refill the barrel. HOW MANY MORE NEED TO DIE. Gabby, VA tech, Columbine, Conn., I can't think of the others right now.
Maxim Sapozhnikov December 16, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Diane Jones, car accidents kill more people every year than any weapons. why don't we outlaw cars? Why don't you give up on YOUR car? It's a potential murder weapon! Oh, and while we're at that, why don't we outlaw public schools? They are deathtraps for kids, and we are MANDATED BY LAW to send our kids there.
Ron Soussa December 17, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Diane Jones, I can understand your emotion, but passing along false information does nothing to help. The weapon used by the shooter is completely different than that used by our soldiers, who use select fire (assault rifles) weapons capable of fully automatic fire. The better discussion should be about mental illness and how we deal with it as a society: thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/

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