No one should be allowed to own a semi-automatic assault rifle. It is that simple. Military grade weapons have no place in civilian life, let alone being available to buy in a major retailer.
And while the US Congress is frozen, the survivors of the tragedy have affected change elsewhere with their refusal to let the issue lie this time. Already, several companies, including Hertz and Delta, have ended partnerships with the NRA. Dicks’ Sporting Goods announced that it will no longer stock assault type rifles at any store, they will no longer sell high capacity magazines or ‘bump’ stocks and they will not sell any firearm to persons under 21. This is an excellent step for a major American retailer to take. But it is not a step being taken by the American government, both the executive by failing to push for legislation that will help to bring these mass shootings to an end and Congress for both failing to bring forward such legislation and for failing to pass it.
The world looks at the American attitude to guns with bafflement that this type of mass shooting has been allowed to happen multiple times in schools and nothing has been done to curb access to the weapons that enable them to happen. Yes, many times, the shooter has been suffering from mental health issues, but President Trump rolled back the legislation to prevent people suffering from a mental illness to own a gun! This just looks like idiocy to the rest of the world.
The traditional argument from pro-gun group and campaigners has been that guns don’t kill people, people do. And that’s true. Guns by themselves do not kill people. But guns in the hands of people do. A screwdriver doesn’t screw together a cabinet by itself. But a screwdriver in the hands of people does. Take away the tool, you take away the result. Britain did that in 1996, there hasn’t been a school shooting since. Australia did that in 1996, there hasn’t been a mass shooting since.
26 shot dead at Sandy Hook, 20 of them children aged 6 to 7 years old. In their school.
56 dead in Las Vegas. At a concert.
49 dead in Orlando. In a nightclub.
12 dead in Aurora. In a cinema.
12 dead at Columbine. In their school
17 dead at Parkland, Florida. In their school.
America must decide. Do they love their people or their guns more?