I originally posted this on January 10, 2011 shortly after the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson. As evidenced by the Aurora incident today (Colorado also has lax gun laws), the assault weapon problem remains the same.
Image source – Mistermix (Balloon Juice)
David Dayen, at FDL, has an important post noting that the 9MM Glock semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine that felled Giffords was illegal under the Assault Weapons Ban that was enacted in 1994 and allowed to expire in 2004.This information, coupled with the fact that Arizona has the laxest gun-carry laws in the nation, should awaken the public to the need for having a sane Assault Weapons Ban in place.
In August, I wrote a post about the lax gun laws in Turkey and compared their regulations with those that we have in Arizona. I said in part:
Today, I read about a man in Turkey who, after completing his nuptials, fired his AK-47 into the air to celebrate. Unfortunately, he lost control of his weapon and ended up killing his father and two aunts.
Apparently, this is standard procedure in Turkey. According to a Telegraph article:
“Turks are notorious for breaking out into gunshots to celebrate weddings and sports victories, a practice that has caused many deaths and which authorities have so far failed to curb.”
Anyone who understands the significance of rational human thinking knows that allowing assault weapons to be carried by non-military personnel is complete madness. Assault weapons have only one purpose – to kill many people quickly. We don’t use assault weapons for hunting. We don’t use assault weapons for competitive target shooting. And, because of potential “collateral damage” (as noted above), we shouldn’t use assault weapons to protect our homes and families.
The 2nd Amendment was not written to give one person the right to kill many people at will.
The people in Turkey may feel comfortable knowing that any “crazy” may blow them away at a public event, but I had always hoped that the American people could rise above this primitive way of thinking.
In 1994 President Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. Ten years later, despite the gallant efforts of Senator Feinstein (D-CA), this law was allowed to expire by the GOP controlled Congress.
Recently, the Arizona legislature passed a law that allows “anyone” to carry “any concealed weapon” (including assault weapons) “anywhere” without a permit.
The status remains quo.