Yesterday, police in Middlefield Ohio released shocking video of a routine traffic stop on March 10. When police pulled James Gilkerson over, he climbed out of his car with an AK-47, rapidly firing 37 shots before his gun jammed or he ran out of ammunition. Officer Erin Thomas then fatally wounded him with multiple shots. Have a look at the video:
One would wonder, if this video had been released before the Senate defeated reasonable legislation for background checks on April 17, if the outcome would have been different. I would like to think so, but the tsunami of money and false statements about that legislation, lead by the NRA, was probably too great to be overcome.
If, after the massacres at Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown, anyone needed any further evidence that high capacity weapons have no place on the streets of America, this is it. It's certainly understandable that we haven't seen security video of these mass shootings because the carnage was so great and the privacy of the those injured and killed is being protected. However, actually witnessing a shooting with a high capacity weapon should shock any reasonable person into favoring common sense regulation of the weapons of mass murder.
I've written several times about sensible gun legislation, including limiting the capacity of magazines, the velocity of the ammunition itself, and the absolute necessity for universal background checks for all gun sales. So far, the gun manufacturers, through its trade association, the NRA, has successfully stymied all efforts to reduce gun violence in the US, the most violent society in the developed world. Will this video help change that conversation?
One can only hope.
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