Peter Souther Lincoln: Why ban lawn darts but not assault rifles?

  • jacoblund

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Why ban lawn darts but not assault rifles?

It’s happened again, but it’s hardly news anymore. Social media is largely quiet; few letters of outrage appear in the papers. Mass killings have become barely a ripple in our daily lives.

The FBI searches for motives, which are usually no more complex than a deranged mind that has come into possession of a semiautomatic killing machine willingly provided by the National Rifle Association and our Republican congressmen.

Guns aren’t the problem, says our president. Sandy Hook was done with a gun, San Bernardino was done with a gun, Las Vegas was done with a gun, Orlando was done with a gun, and now Sutherland Springs. In every case the weapon involved was a semiautomatic assault rifle. Do you notice a common element here, Mr. President?

I would propose to our president that instead of building a useless wall he take the same amount of money and buy back these weapons that terrorize our society. Gun owners will fiercely wave the Second Amendment, and to a degree, I can’t argue. I have no doubt the writers of the Second Amendment intended for private ownership of firearms, but they could hardly have foreseen a weapon as deadly as a modern assault rifle.

Assault rifles are the only consumer commodity available whose sole purpose is the mass slaughter of human beings. Nobody “needs” an assault rifle, any more than they need machine guns, rocket launchers or hand grenades. These weapons exist in our society solely for the benefit of those trying to fulfill some misguided Rambo fantasy.

As I write this letter, I feel an enormous sense of futility and frustration. I know that nothing meaningful will be done to prevent another such tragedy — our gutless congressmen will posture and whimper before the might of the NRA but do nothing.

We live in a society that readily banned lawn darts, but fights to retain ready access to a machine that can slaughter 10 children in as many seconds. Is there anyone who can explain the logic of that to me?

Peter Souther Lincoln