‘America’s Rifle,’ American Carnage

'America's Rifle,' American Carnage

In the February 14th school shooting in Parkland Florida, 17 people were killed with an AR-15 type rifle, legally purchased by an 18-year-old American citizen too young to legally buy beer. It has long been known that the assault-style AR-15, which the NRA calls “America’s Rifle,” is the mass killer’s weapon of choice. After an assault-style weapon killed 5 children at a school in Stockton California in 1994, Congress passed a ban on the civilian sale of semi-automatic assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines, but the law was allowed to expire in 2004. Since then, such massacres have increased 183 percent with a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.

After 2004, U.S. gun manufacturers re-branded variants of the military-derived AR-15 as the “Modern Sporting Rifle” even though the gun is terrible for hunting. It was designed to do maximum damage to the human body. Just ask Dean L. Winslow, MD.

It’s not just this Florida school shooting. Assault-style rifles have been used in recent mass killings in Aurora Colorado (22 dead), Newtown Connecticut (26 dead), Santa Monica California (6 dead), Colorado Springs (3 dead), San Bernardino (14 dead), Orlando (49 dead), Las Vegas Nevada (58 dead), Roseburg Oregon (9 dead), and Sutherland Springs Texas (26 dead).

Is it time to bring back the assault weapon ban? The surviving students at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School seem to think so. The Second Amendment shouldn’t be a suicide pact. The Founding Fathers never saw an AR-15.

More:

“The AR-15: ‘America’s rifle’ or illegitimate killing machine?” Marc Fisher, Washington Post

“Mass shootings are getting deadlier. And the latest ones all have something new in common: The AR-15,” Matt Pearce, Lost Angeles Times

“Nothing in the Constitution Prevents Sensible Gun Rules,” Cass R. Sunstein, Bloomberg

“Laws we used to have on the books could have prevented the Florida school shooting,” Robert J. Spitzer, Washington Post

“No one becomes a mass shooter without a mass-shooting gun,” George Skelton, Los Angeles Times

“Top GOP Donor Cuts Off Opponents of Assault Weapon Ban,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Shooting survivors to press for gun control,” AP via ABC News

“Florida school shooting: Students demand tighter gun controls,” BBC News

“Florida high school superintendent shares calls for ‘commonsense gun laws,’” Josh Delk, The Hill

“Florida massacre: Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s plea for gun control,” Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Ex-CIA chief: Congress must act now to block access to semiautomatic weapons,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“A Republican Governor Just Called for a Ban on Assault Weapons,” Dan Friedman, Mother Jones

“At vigil for Florida shooting victims, students who survived the attack chant, ‘No more guns!'” Catherine Garcia, The Week

“Stoneman Douglas survivors are emerging as the sanest voices on gun control,” Karen Hao, Quartz

“Murdoch’s New York Post shifts on assault-weapons ban, after Florida school shooting,” Callum Borchers, Washington Post

“All the things Fox News blamed the Parkland shooting on other than the gun,” Adam Epstein, Quartz

“Florida students protest Trump, NRA,” Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“Surviving Teens of Parkland Massacre Tell NRA to Shove Its ‘Thoughts and Prayers,’ and Plan March on Washington,” Angela Helm, The Root

“Shooting survivor to NRA: ‘Don’t you dare come back here,’” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“Shooting suspect was on school rifle team that got NRA grant,” Michael Biesecker and Collin Binkley, Associated Press

“Outside NRA headquarters, hundreds gather in vigil and protest,” Clarence Williams, Washington Post

“NRA Goes Quiet on Twitter, Just Like After Previous Mass Shootings,” Matt Novak, Gismodo

“FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump,” Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, McClatchy News

“NRA contributions: how much money is spent on lawmakers?” Lauren Gambino, The Guardian

“Have your representatives in Congress received donations from the NRA?” Aaron Williams, Washington Post

“Lawmakers use campaign funds for NRA dues,” Ben Wieder, McClatchy News

“The NRA’s step-by-step playbook for responding to a mass shooting,” Heather Timmons, Quartz

Updates:

“Five types of gun laws the Founding Fathers loved,” Saul Cornell, The Conversation

“Florida shooting survivor: We should call AR-15s ‘Marco Rubio’ because they’re both easy to buy,” Brandon Carter, The Hill

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Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-rfo

Image (“Old Glory”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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