On February 14th, a gunman armed with an assault rifle he legally purchased under the current system of American law opened fire on children, killing 17 of them in the worst school massacre since the Sandy Hook shooting. In the years since Columbine, hundreds of students have died in school shootings in the United States.
Despite this, the gun lobby and Republican leaders continue to insist that there is no solution, or worse, that the solution is more guns. It is not. We know this from the multiple examples that exist abroad that this is a problem that can be solved. We are the only industrialized nation in the world that suffers from this issue to this degree, and there are reasons for that.
According to a Black Lives Matter-associated twitter account and other sources, an Australian church posted the following message to a sign following what is the most recent in a string of preventable massacres:
Here are some of the responses to that:
It really is that simple. There are no good arguments for allowing this to continue to happen. The NRA and NRA-bought politicians talk about rights and tyranny, but it’s a fact that an AR-15 versus a bolt-action hunting rifle is really not much different when you’re talking about fighting drones and tanks. We already have restrictions on what arms may be owned by civilians. What we’re discussing is where to draw the line, because there has never been an open-ended right to own whatever weapon you want.
“Please! We are children. You guys are, like…the adults. Take action, work together, come over your politics, and get something done.” David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor. #GunControlNow #GunReformNow pic.twitter.com/4Y7C2fSTGl
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 15, 2018
There is no reason to own the types of rifles that are usually used in mass shootings. The only possible uses are collection, firing them at the range, or shooting a lot of people. Yes, you can get an AR-15 platform chambered for a .22 LR and use it as a varmint gun. You can also just get a varmint gun and take assault platforms off the market entirely. It comes down to gun fanatics really, really wanting a gun that makes them feel powerful. When they hold it, when they pull the trigger—weapons have a powerful psychological effect on the human brain.
A friend’s kindergartner saw her parents watching the news of the shooting and asked, “what happened, Mommy. Did they do the lockdown drill wrong?” A kindergartner. #GunControlNow
— Christopher Winfield (@IshtarMovie) February 16, 2018
That’s why they want them.
Just realized a deeply disturbing fact.
If you’re at least 36 years old, more Americans have been killed by Guns in your lifetime alone, than Americans killed in every war in America’s 242 year history—COMBINED.
That’s more than 1.1M deaths?#GunControlNow
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 16, 2018
And it’s not enough. It’s not enough when on the other side, we’re discussing the lives of innocent human beings, shot en masse because of somebody’s internal issues and easy access to high powered firearms. It’s not enough when year after year, we continue to be the only stable, industrialized nation in the world where dozens of people get gunned down at a time. At the core remains the fact that to conservatives, the right to purchase semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines, built as weapons of war, is more important than the lives and safety of our nation’s children. It’s sickening.
They say "it's not time to talk about it".
— Indivisible Network (@IndivisibleNet) February 16, 2018
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images