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National Assault Weapons Ban Renewal Long Overdue

Colorado shootings more evidence for the need to ban assault weapons nationwide.

In many states, there is no limit on the number of guns, nor on the amount of ammunition, one can buy.

In New Jersey, however, you cannot purchase more than one gun each month and assault weapons are banned.

The state ranked second behind California on the national scorecard of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. According to the campaign, the six states with the toughest gun laws also had the lowest gun death rates in the nation last year.

Now that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Including Friday’s mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater that claimed the lives of a dozen people and wounded 70, including a 23-year-old Sussex County woman, 20 people have been killed and 95 wounded in 22 days.

A timeline by the Los Angeles Times of the deadliest mass shootings (at least five deaths) in the country shows that since the repeal of the assault weapons ban, 122 people have been killed in such shootings. The list includes the shootings at Fort Hood and in Binghamton, N.Y. The two 2009 shootings resulted in the deaths of 13, as well as the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech, where a student slaughtered 32.

While it is unclear what drove James Holmes to allegedly open fire in a crowded movie theater early Friday morning at the opening of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo., it is abundantly clear that he was able to do so much damage because he used a semi-automatic assault rifle, among other weapons. News reports indicate Holmes allegedly bought four guns and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition in the last two months.

He bought all that firepower legally.

Variants of one of the weapons Holmes allegedly used in the attack, an AR-15 rifle, was included in a federal ban on assault weapons enacted by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. However, the ban expired in 2004 and was not re-enacted.

Why does the average citizen need a semi-automatic weapon?

These reportedly can fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute. Why does anyone, except a police or military officer, need to shoot so many bullets so quickly?

Hunters argue they should be able to own guns in order to shoot at wild game. Citizens argue they should be able to own a gun in order to shoot wild robbers who might break into their homes.

The National Rifle Association argues everyone should be able to own a gun because the Constitution says so.

The Constitution also says people have the right to assemble peacefully, but there are rules for protests and police were able to disperse Occupy Wall Street protesters in cities like New York for alleged unsanitary and hazardous conditions.

The Constitution also says Americans have free speech, but that doesn’t give one the right to slander another, or, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote, to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater and create a panic.

Yet, thanks to the demands of the NRA, the Constitution gave James Holmes the right to buy as many guns and as much ammo as he wanted. So armed, Holmes caused true panic when he brought his weapons into a crowded theater and opened fire, stealing the life from 12 people, the youngest a beautiful 6-year-old little girl.

Longer ago, and not so far away from Aurora, two students murdered a dozen others plus a teacher and wounded 24 others at Columbine High School.

These shooters always seem to exhibit either serious mental illness or psychopathy or rage or all of these. That won’t stop. But perhaps if such deadly weapons were not so readily available, there would be fewer victims.

Joe R July 29, 2012 at 04:28 PM
When is enough, enough, how many more blood baths and slaughters of the innocents do we need before something is done? What sickness do we have in this country that these massacres occur on an almost regular basis every few years? Not to mention the daily smaller gun killings, fatal gun accidents and suicides by gun across this country. At the least, the assault weapons ban should be renewed. The NRA represents the interests of the armaments industry which is worried about its bottom line, profits, not the lives of ordinary Americans.
mofo July 30, 2012 at 02:20 AM
maybe we should ban cars an chainsaw too, cancer kills more people everyday than guns do..But they wouldnt want to fix that
Nick July 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM
The "Assault Weapons" ban only bans cosmetic features. Law abiding gun owners are the only ones who are ever punished by bans. The military has also never launched an assault using an AR-15, so I'm not sure what all of this talk about "assault weapons" is all about. Assault weapons = made up term to scare sheeple. If you're going to write an article, you should get your facts checked. In New Jersey, you are limited to purchasing one HANDGUN a month. There is no limit on rifles and shotguns. This limit was imposed in order for politicians to make the public think they were preventing gang violence. Gangs do not purchase firearms from legal dealers. According to the ATF, 75% of guns recovered at crime scenes came from other states. Like I said, the handgun limitation law only affects law-abiding citizens.
Nick July 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM
In regard to Holmes and buying a lot of ammo... did he use anywhere near all of that ammo? Was he even able to transport it with him? No, of course not. Shooting sprees rarely expend a lot of ammo. Stop focusing on the number of rounds he purchased. For a legal gun owner, buying in bulk is more cost effective and convenient. If you shoot regularly at the range or in competitions, 6,000 rounds does not last long. "6,000 bullets" is a number used by the media for shock value. It's not a lot. It's not uncommon. What if someone ordered 6,000 jars of baby food? You'd never hear about it. Shooting is just someone else's hobby that some people don't understand and people fear what they don't understand. Lastly, semi-automatic means one trigger-pull, one bullet fired. Why wouldn't it be that way? Let's limit cars to 65 mph while we're at it. Let's limit the amount of cigarette packs you can buy in a week. Let's ban 30-packs of beer. See where I'm going with this?
Joe R July 31, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Oh thanks Nick, I feel so much better. I wonder how many people that maniac could have killed with 6,000 bottles of baby food or by driving his car inside the movie theater. Nobody needs 6,000 rounds of ammo, nobody needs a massive arsenal at home, that type of hoarding is not covered by the 2nd amendment. Japan pretty much bans all guns and has a low murder rate by any cause and a very low crime rate (it has universal health care). The Swiss are gun crazy, love guns and have lots of guns but have a low crime/murder rate. The Swiss do not have a standing army, they have a people's army so they have military guns at home (but not the ammo for the government supplied guns, since 2007). There was a mass shooting in Switzerland in 2001 by some maniac but that is rare, whereas we have massacres every few years, no to mention, the daily shoot outs. Switzerland is a wealthy country with very low poverty and universal health care. We have massive poverty in this country, 21% of US kids live in poverty and no universal health care. Our murder and crime rates are many magnitudes larger than those of Japan or Switzerland.
Nick July 31, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I fail to see what any of your points have to do with the others. You seem to be very hoplophobic and I'm not sure what your definition of "arsenal" is. Regardless of the fact that he obviously did not order baby food, you can't argue the fact that he did not fire, nor did he carry with him on his person, 6,000 rounds of ammunition. He fired somewhere around 100 bullets, nowhere near the 6,000 rounds he ordered. Why do you think that no one needs 6,000 rounds of ammo? I went to the range on Saturday, and in one hour while BS'ing with others at the range, fired 400 rounds between my AR15 and .22 caliber pistol. If I had just been shooting without talking or had visited an outdoor range for the whole day, I could have easily fired over 1,000 rounds, perhaps even 2,000. Because I'm a gun owner, I should have to suffer the inconvenience of constantly waiting for a sale because I can't buy as much ammo as I want the first time around? I buy my ammo like I buy my mac & cheese: in bulk. It's economical and better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. In regard to your seemingly unconnected health care and poverty statistics... what of it? This country probably needs to stop dumping cash on wealthy oil nations and start bringing back some kind of social programs for at-risk youth and some kind of universal health care wouldn't be a bad idea, either. What, I can't like guns and social programs, too?
Nick July 31, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Why don't we ask ourselves questions like "why aren't the outside exit doors wired with alarms?". I'm rather tired of how much ammo he purchased being an issue. Even if he barricaded himself in the theater, he wouldn't have had the physical ability to carry 6,000 rounds with him. They were unusable. The number has been thrown around by the media in order to scare people and it clearly worked on you. Use your head, man. Also, I hope you haven't fallen for the repeated "anonymously purchased 6,000 rounds" nonsense. Last time I checked, using your credit card and having something delivered to your door didn't help keep you anonymous. Elected officials are spewing that nonsense. You can't be anonymous with a credit card and home address.
C G November 13, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Why don't we ban mean words too? Sure, the 1st amendment protects freedom of speech, but mean words are bad, so why listen to rules? Lets just let allour rights be taken away. Seriously people, open your eyes. If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Guns don't make mass murders happen. As a matter of fact, guns prevent mass murders. What f there was a concealed carry permit holder in that theater, or at columbine? They would have shut the attackers down. But instead, lives were lost. Besides, it isn't guns in the first place. I own not only an ar 15, but also a 12 gauge shotgun. Both could be considered evil death machines, but are they? All they really do is sit around, properly cased and locked, waiting to be taken out to a firing range. Why? Because i am a sane person. Guns have never made me want to kill, or act crazy at all. You people can try as hard as you want to ban guns. I'll just sit back and watch while you turn back to me, begging for help because your home is being attacked, or the government took away your rights. Then you will realize why guns are necessary, but only after it's too late. And just to leave you guys with an interesting thought, nearly ever home in Switzerland has at least one "assault weapon". How much gun violence does Switzerland have? Practically none. Seriously, look it up. If you feel that i am wrong, feel free to bitch to me at random4581@aim.com

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