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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 to 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.

Nick August 05, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Maybe there's no reason someone needs to purchase more than one wrist-watch a month? One car a month? One hard-drive a month? One knife a month? What country do we live in? The United States of Let's Limit Everyone to One Thing a Month? Limiting people to one HANDGUN (there is no law for shotguns or rifles) a month is pointless feel-good legislation. It does nothing. On Thursday, I went to the gun shop and picked up the Glock I had purchased a month back because my permit had just come in on Wednesday. While I was there, I saw a cheap .22 S&W target pistol (Model 22a). So cheap, in fact, that it would have been foolish to not purchase it. However, if I had laid out another permit for it that day, I would have been charged as a Class IV felon. Does this law still make sense to you? What do YOU think this law accomplishes? Seriously, I want to know why you support such a policy. Is it because you blindly accept what your hot-winded legislators shove in your face? Tell me why.
Nick August 05, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Any why are we playing "slippery slope"? It's not a game. Gun control advocates will push and push until all guns are gone. I don't find that to be very funny. Anyway, what's wrong with owning an AR-15? I own an AR-15. I think it's a fantastic rifle. How do you put a rifle into the same category as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher or a tank? Your logic escapes me. On that note, RPGs explode. Tanks fire exploding rounds. AR-15s fire bullets more anemic than your grandpa's hunting rifle. They don't exactly belong in the same category. Also on that note, I'm fairly certain it's legal to own a tank in the US. I don't see why you not, either, because ammo for said tank would be what you might call "hard to come by". Maybe "it stops" at explosive devices, which is where it already stops? Last time I walked into the gun shop, they didn't have an RPG sales going on. From the US DoJ report on the impact of the 1994 "Assault Weapon Ban": Key issues: Although the weapons banned by this legislation were used only rarely in gun crimes before the ban, supporters felt that these weapons posed a threat to public safety because they are capable of firing many shots rapidly. Tell me again what banning these weapons would accomplish? The DoJ says it's all just feel-good nonsense.
Nick August 05, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Here's a good article on why (most of) you are overreacting: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120801/21294019913/why-tragedies-result-overreactions-our-brains-arent-very-good-risk-analysis.shtml Read it and become enlightened.
Nick August 05, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Here's an excerpt for those of you who don't click on links: All credit to the original author (not me) below this line: Lautenberg says his bill could help to prevent the sale of ammunition "to a terrorist or the next would-be mass murderer." "If someone wants to purchase deadly ammunition, they should have to come face-to-face with the seller,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “It's one thing to buy a pair of shoes online, but it should take more than a click of the mouse to amass thousands of rounds of ammunition." While it's a given that the bill won't actually keep ammunition out of the hands of "terrorists" or "mass murderers," one thing is certain: it will be heralded as a success by its supporters if another mass killing involving a gunman with thousands of rounds of internet-purchased, stockpiled ammo fails to materialize. This sort of post-hoc justification echoes the empty rationale surrounding post-9/11 legislation, as explained by Schneier: Our greatest recent overreaction to a rare event was our response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I remember then-Attorney General John Ashcroft giving a speech in Minnesota -- where I live -- in 2003 in which he claimed that the fact there were no new terrorist attacks since 9/11 was proof that his policies were working. I remember thinking: "There were no terrorist attacks in the two years preceding 9/11, and you didn't have any policies. What does that prove?"
.45StayAlive December 23, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Fact: More than twice as many people were murdered by bare hands and feet (beaten, kicked and/or stomped to death) in 2010 as were those killed by ALL types of rifles (lever action, single shot, semi-automatic, bolt action and pump action). Source: The FBI. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls Should we all have our arms and legs cut off for safety's sake? Another fact: While hundreds of (forced to be unarmed) innocent civilians have been killed in mass shootings during the past 100 years, more than 150 MILLION (forced to be unarmed) innocent civilians were killed by Governments during the 20th Century alone. Do the math. It adds up to: Unarmed citizens = dead citizens.

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