Another National Shame

I don’t just write fiction novels. In my engineering career, I was a pretty good tech writer and I occasionally post essays on some liberal blog sites. This weekend, we had another mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing eleven of our citizens. The crime and its motivation were epically evil, but I’d like to address the continued threat of these AR-15 assault weapons. I wrote this essay in 2015.

Who Really Needs an AR-15 Assault Rifle?


I’ve never seen a hunter get out of his vehicle where I live with one of these AR-15 assault weapons. There’s no sport in it, the object during hunting season is to dispatch the deer with a single shot to the heart. No hunter wants to bag a deer with a fusillade of bullets. Why would anyone want to own a weapon like this?

They’re collectors, you say. The second amendment permits it, you say. Taking that logic, you should be able to own a  hand-held M134 Minigun, as used by Jesse Ventura in the movie Predator. You should be able to own a Javelin missile launcher (the modern equivalent of the bazooka). All of these are firearms; projectiles fired by an explosive charge.

Any permitted restrictions endanger our right to own a firearm, you say. This is bullshit and your intransigence is endangering us all. We’re getting a mass shooting in the United States every week. The worst ones usually involve an assault weapon, such as the AR-15, AK-47, and similar products.

If everybody had a gun and open-carried it everywhere, you could shoot these nut cases who slaughter innocent civilians in theaters, shopping malls, and churches, you say. This is total bullshit. What chance do I have with my Glock pistol against a killer with an assault weapon and body armor? I’d have to get a lucky headshot at a distance before he pumps multiple shots into me, having as much a chance as the younger Tributes in the Hunger Games (essentially killed quickly).

In my state of New York, we passed a “Safe Act” after the Newtown massacre. I still see lawn signs from the NRA and other gun fanatics begging that the Safe Act be repealed. Essentially the Safe Act outlawed new purchases of assault rifles (but still grandfathering those already owned in NY state). Owners of grandfathered assault rifles still had to register these insane weapons and restrictions were placed on the size of the replaceable magazines.

Maybe it’s time to enact the “Safe Act” as a national law, possibly expanding it to outlaw any ownership of these murderous assault weapons. I would be OK with the government reimbursing the owners of AR-15s and the like so they can purchase a legal rifle like most hunters own.

Assault rifles like the AR-15 or AK-47 have no place in our society; today’s sad news makes that obvious.

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