According to reporting from Forbes Magazine, there have been 565 mass shootings so far in 2023 with a forecast that the year will end with 700 of these senseless, and in many cases, preventable tragedies.
A major reason for the astounding loss of life during these events is the ability of mentally unstable or racist/fringe shooters to obtain and use assault rifles like the AR-15 with little to no regulation in many instances.
The Washington Post just published a recent piece showcasing videos and pictures of the results of mass shooters’ ability to use an AR-15 in schools, concerts, shopping centers, and houses of worship.
WARNING: Some of the pictures in the article are extremely graphic.
Some of the locations of these mass shootings will be familiar to the reader. Places like Columbine, Uvalde, Parkland, Sandy Hook. Tree of Life Synagogue, Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Aurora, and First Baptist Church.
Thousands of innocents, many of them children who have not even reached the age of ten, were slaughtered because influential elements in this country feel a person’s right to bear arms allows the people to own weapons that are best left only in the hands of this nation’s law enforcement and military.
Even hunters should not feel they need to have the AR-15 to successfully kill their prey.
Commenting on the Washington Post article, Arizona Congressional District One Candidate Conor O’Callaghan offered:
“As a sophomore at Chaparral High School, I witnessed the Columbine tragedy unfold on live TV, an event that occurred almost 25 years ago. Today, the frequency of mass shootings has desensitized us, making “active shooter” incidents less shocking. The recent Washington Post feature on gun violence is essential reading, highlighting the need for change. Assault weapons should be banned; they have no place in our daily society. At the very least, we must reform our gun laws that make it far easier to purchase and own an AR-15 than to purchase and own a car, operate a boat, or even purchase spray paint or cough medicine. The Second Amendment, established 15 years after the Declaration of Independence, should not hinder our responsibility to protect citizens from the dangers of unchecked weaponry. It’s time to prioritize the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and allow people to go about their daily lives without fear of being harmed by military-grade weapons—a situation far from the “well-regulated” vision our founding fathers intended.”
Arizona Congressional District Five Candidate Clint Smith also commented, stating:
“I’m a practical person. Let’s look at the cost to benefit of AR-15 assault weapons. The only reasons I have heard for not regulating or banning them, are 1) that they are “fun” to use and 2) that if they are banned, what’s next? – the “slippery slope” argument. First “Fun” does not justify the carnage and the risk of carnage posed by these weapons in the hands of unstable people. As for the second argument, there are many limitations already in place, and that has not led to “the government” marching into homes to take all firearms. It’s an extremely weak argument. At a minimum, we need to regulate who can purchase or access weapons like this that make a mass shooting far too easy to pull off, such as happened in Uvalde.”
O’Callaghan and Smith are both right.
Purchasing a gun should not be easier than buying a car.
Stronger background and red flag checks should be in place to reduce the number of mass shootings.
No one wants to pick up the newspaper next year and read that the number of mass shootings exceeded the levels from 2023.
The time to act is now and one way to do that is to vote for people who believe in common sense gun ownership reforms and who would support the reinstitution (of some form) of the assault weapons ban signed into law by President Bill Clinton that the second Bush Presidency allowed to lapse.
Skilled politicians, especially during these tragic times, should have no difficulty convincing people from the right of center to the left of the need for these reforms.
Clinton signed the ban in his first term and easily won reelection, proving it can be done if you have the right message.