When a gunman in Texas slaughtered 26 people at a church this month, it was discovered – apparently to no one’s surprise – that the man’s choice of weapons was an AR-15. The specific version was the Ruger AR-556. It was invented in the 1950’s, is a semiautomatic rifle, and is loaded with magazines consisting of boxes of .223 caliber bullets. The rifle will keep shooting until the magazine empties or the gun jams, whichever comes first. The magazine usually holds 30 bullets, although this can be increased to 50 or even higher. In a handful of states (not Texas) there is a ban on high-capacity magazines.
In any event, the weapon in question is, under any sane definition of the phrase, an assault rifle. The NRA and others who make money from the armaments industry call the “modern sporting rifles.” It’s an interesting phrase, and makes sense if your idea of sport includes mass killing of human beings. In that regard, we note that the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for mass murderers in the United States. Here are a few examples:
- Texas – 2017. Twenty-six people gunned down at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.
- Las Vegas – 2017. Killing of 58 people at the Mandalay Bay Hotel (and injuring over 500) in Las Vegas.
- Florida – 2016. Forty-nine people killed at a nightclub in Orlando.
- Connecticut – 2012. Twenty children between 6 and 7 years old and 6 adult staff members shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
- Colorado – 2012. Mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, taking the lives of twelve people, with another 70 injured.
The gun folks continue to call the AR-15 a “sporting” model, while it kills and maims hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people. It’s a Second Amendment issued, you see, or at least that’s what we’re told. Well, we’re going to buck the system here. The truth, we believe, is that the AR-15 issue, and in fact that entire gun issue, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Second Amendment. It really doesn’t even have, at its core, anything to do with guns. It’s about money.
The NRA is a lobby. It gives millions of dollars to those running for public office – over $30 million to Trump, for example – so that laws will be passed (or not passed, as the case may be) to increase the coffers of the arms manufacturers such as Sturm Ruger & Co. (manufacturer of the AR-15), Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, Springfield Armory, Beretta USA Corporation, Midway USA, and Smith & Wesson. Of course, they don’t want to discuss the issue today – after the latest tragedy, they tell is now is just not the right time.
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