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How many more have to die?

August 6, 2019 07:16 pm

Ban all weapons of war. No ifs, ands or buts. Immediately. Without delay. And in spite of anything.

After years of American mass shootings that have killed hundreds and wounded thousands, it’s time to keep these cruel and savage instruments of death — assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and on and on and on — out of the hands of civilians.

They are for soldiers to carry into battle and police officers to stop dangerous criminals. Nobody else should have them. Nobody else needs them.

Thirty-one people are dead and dozens more are wounded after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The victims were mowed down in the innocent act of shopping and having fun at a local nightspot.

They were killed in El Paso because a young man angry at immigrants walked into a Walmart with a military-style assault rifle. They were killed because a young man, motive unclear, walked into a club and opened fire with a military-style assault rifle. He killed his own sister.

Mental illness makes a great prop to explain away the motives for these tragedies. So do the ritualistic thoughts and prayers that always accompany these bloodbaths. But the easy availability of military-style weaponry has to be part of the conversation. We can’t listen to special interests anymore. Too many people are dying.

We can do something about the gun violence epidemic in America without stepping on the constitutional right to bear arms. We can control the weapons people buy and own. Weapons built to kill as many people as possible as fast as possible have no place in our society. More than our rights at stake. Human lives are also at stake. How many more innocent Americans have to die before we learn that?