Today saw another massacre, this time in a school in Florida.
17 dead, so far.
One 19-year-old with an AR-15, the “civilian version of a military assault rifle.”
Why is there a civilian version of a military assault rifle?
Last year, after a year of mass shootings, NBC News explained:
“There are a lot of reasons people love their AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, and it doesn’t much matter to them what the haters say.
“For some, the gun is a tool, a finely tuned machine that can cut down an animal or intruder, or pierce a distant target, with a single precise shot.
“For others, it is a toy, a sleek beast of black plastic and metal that delivers a gratifying blast of adrenaline.
“And for many, it is a symbol, the embodiment of core American values — freedom, might, self-reliance.”
For the rest of us, the AR-15 is a symbol of “Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; San Bernardino, California; Sutherland Springs, Texas; and Las Vegas, in which a total of 137 people were killed.”
Now add Parkland, Florida to the list.
In 1994, the nation banned semi-automatic assault weapons. Why?
“AR-15s inflict much more damage to human tissue than the typical handgun, which is used in most shootings. That’s largely because of the speed at which projectiles leave the weapons; they are much faster out of the muzzle of an AR-15, or similar rifle, and deliver a more devastating blow to bones and organs. Those projectiles are also more likely to break apart as they pass through the body, inflicting more damage.”
In 2004, the assault weapons ban expired. Today Congress will not consider any gun control. All they will consider is taking away the few controls that still apply.
In December, the House of Representative passed and sent to the Senate legislation that would force all states to allow concealed carry by anyone who can legally carry a gun in any state. Including 12 states that allow concealed carry without any kind of application or permit at all.
President Trump sent thoughts and prayers. Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott sent thoughts and prayers. All the rest of the assault-weapons-loving crowd beloved of the NRA sent thoughts and prayers.
As if they really thought.
As if they really prayed.
Today is not only Valentine’s Day. Today is also Ash Wednesday.