A Fair Consideration of Weapons in America

As the United States struggles to deal with yet another mass-killing, there are several forms of rhetoric floating around the web, all of which seeming to try and supersede the other, thus diminishing the prospect of any productive conversation.

That’s annoying, because I can tell that already, the nation is back to square-one in terms of producing zero action following another mass-killing, which absolutely could have been prevented.

Some bicker tirelessly over who should be allowed to enter the county.

Some shriek over the untrue notion that Obama is going to take away all of their guns.

Some demand unholy annihilation of ISIS.

Some point fingers at those who are funded by the National Rifle Association.

Speaking of which, it’s very strange to hear about Democrats taking NRA cash. Among numerous Republican officials, FollowTheMoney.com lists three Democratic New Jersey legislators as recipients of NRA campaign cash. Stephen Sweeney has received $10,500 from the NRA from 2003 through 2013. In 2007, FollowTheMoney.com shows Sweeney received two installments totaling $6,000. The website also shows that John Burzichelli received $500 in 2009, and Jeff Van Drew received $1,000 in 2011.

Despite all of these concerns, I think, think, that both sides of the aisle can begin to agree on one thing, and that is how we must begin to redefine weapons of mass-destruction.

Currently, a weapon of mass destruction is defined as, “a chemical, biological, radiological, or other weapon that can kill or bring significant harm to a large number of humans..”

Following the tragedy in Orlando, one weapon, the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, has now been used in four of the nation’s deadliest mass-casualty events; Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and now, Orlando.

It’s time to really define what “other weapon” really means, considering our nation’s history both at home and abroad. Remember how we lost thousands of American lives and spent billions of dollars in search of “weapons of mass destruction”? Why is a similar effort not being waged here at home, given that these assault rifles are indeed killing and harming significant numbers of humans in singular events?

I am not writing this post to infringe on anybody’s 2nd Amendment rights as an American. I’m simply asking readers to really consider this style of weaponry to be unfit for our streets. These particular weapons are called “assault rifles” for a reason. They are weapons of war. They are meant for mass-casualty results. They are weapons of mass destruction.

Again, this is not to suggest that farmers and land owners should no longer be able to purchase firearms to protect their homes and property. This is not to suggest that homeowners should not be able to purchase handguns to protect themselves and their families.

This is, in fact, to question and challenge the unfair advantage that one individual holds with a weapon such as the AR-15. I do not believe that anyone properly adhering to any concealed-carry law would stand a chance against the merciless spray of bullets that such a weapon produces.

And for those who hold legitimate fears of tyranny, police forces should hold no firearm that the public cannot. I am confident that by saying that, I am showing how fair and thought out my entire article is.

Now, should the AR-15 and weapons like them one day be deemed illegal for our streets, there are other issues this nation needs to deal with as many have already indicated. But, one thing at a time, folks. Besides, and not to sound cliche or redundant, but how many times do these tragedies need to occur with such militaristic weapons before actual change occurs?

102 lives have been taken with the use of the AR-15 in just these 4 aforementioned massacres. 

Comments (2)

  1. WJCaruso

    Here’s another question we need to ask which draws critics and controversy from both sides of the political spectrum: By all accounts, the person who committed these atrocities, was known to the FBI for his interest in ISIS and other terror organizations, had a history of domestic violence, and had made threats serious enough to warrant a criminal investigation. Why wasn’t he prevented from accessing legal weapons? Why don’t we have a no fly/no buy list? Why wasn’t the FBI notified immediately when he purchased weapons and sought to purchase body armor? It is easy to blame our friends in the GOP and the Right-Wing zealots who walk in lock step with the NRA. But some of our friends in the Progressive community have opposed these common sense measures as well. Just something to think about as we continue to search for solutions to this never-ending nightmare.

    1. Brian K Everett (Post author)

      I too question why the FBI was not notified, but I guess that has to do with the fact that the shooter’s cases were both closed. Because of that, he never was place on a no-fly list. To me, this unfortunate tragedy proves that a no fly/no buy measure simply does not go far enough. It may stop some, sure, but lawmakers would need to come up with even more systems to have prevented Orlando. Even more unfortunate, as some may agree, is that I simply don’t see our lawmakers on any level putting the time and effort into coming up with these proposals. It’s a gross wash-rinse-repeat cycle…


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