Ever since the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, we have seen a pick-up in the number of mass killings -- at least double each year, according to a report published by Mother Jones. What is more disturbing is the escalation of these mass murders over time, and the horrendous number of them just this year.
Ever since the ban expired in 2004, there have been efforts to reinstate the ban. The closest the reinstatement came to the floor was in 2008, but members of the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle have refused the past a bill reinstating the ban. It's time for gun rights enthusiasts to step up and lead the nation toward a saner gun policy for the nation.
Let's just recount the mass killings in 2012, in fact in the last six months of the year. On July 20th in Aurora, Colorado, 12 people were slain and 58 more wounded. On August 5th in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, 7 people were slain at a religious Temple, and 3 were wounded. On September 27th in Minneapolis, 6 people were slain in their work place, 2 were wounded. And now this. The horrific slaying of 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut, including 20 six- and seven-year-olds and six teachers and administrators, the first victim was the shooter's mother. The only person who died in the massacre who deserved to die was the shooter, and he took himself out rather than be captured. Therefore, we will never really know why this heinous crime occurred, though speculation is already running rampant.
Let's examine what the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 did. It banned 18 specific models of assault weapons and ammunition magazines with rounds over 10. Is that enough? I don't think so. Assault weapons need to be banned by function, not model, because it's far too easy for weapons manufacturers to slightly change models and get the assault weapons out on the street. And why 10 rounds in a magazine? Why not one?
Already members of Congress are stepping forward to speak about reinstating a weapons ban. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) stated on Meet the Press on Sunday, December 16th, that she will introduce a bill the first day of the new session to reinstate the ban. Why not make it tougher? You have to ask. Now as a nation of people we do believe in the Constitutional right to bear arms. But let's remember, at the time that the Second Amendment was passed; the arms were muskets that had to be loaded one shot at a time. They were not military weapons of the 21st Century; massively powerful assault weapons that snatch the lives away from innocent people with one pull of the trigger.
As a nation of people we also believe in our inalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. What about the right of those slaughtered with assault weapons? What about their rights that have been stolen from them and their families? We have an obligation to the health and safety of our citizens. It's time to speak up, stay focused and pass legislation that will at least remove these weapons of war from our streets, work places and schools.
I say now is the time for gun rights enthusiasts to stand up also for the rights of citizens to expect a safe and secure environment. Let's not have the adults and children of Newtown to have died in vain. The choice is yours. You need to act now.