What would be accomplished by a federal ban on assault rifles? Would we stop murder or mass murder? No. Killing can be done by other means. Besides, there are already so many assault rifles in America and around the world that we can never get rid of them all.
Yet I demand that my elected representatives enact a total ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of assault rifles except for our military and police forces. In enacting the ban, America could at last begin to take a stand against violence.
The situation now seems to be that we are quite ambivalent about it. We mourn the children and teachers of the school in Newtown but spend millions of dollars and milllions of hours “enjoying” Rambo-type films and unbelievably gruesome video “games.” We seem to find pleasure in imagining being violent, so we give ourselves innumerable ways to practice. We make our ugly amusements ever more realistic, pretending there is no cumulative effect of practicing the destruction of human beings.
Can anyone really believe that the children sacrificed in Columbine and Newtown have died for a worthy cause, for our freedom to arm ourselves any way we like?
Are we safer from foreign invasion if we are all armed? Of course not. The days of ground invasions are gone. Our AK47s will not knock rockets and missiles and bombs out of the air.
Are we safer in our homes if we keep loaded weapons handy? Of course not. These guns kill family and friends far, far more often than intruders.
Are we honoring our Constitution by opposing stricter gun control laws? Of course not. None of the rights granted in the Bill of Rights is absolute.
There is simply no rational or moral excuse for permitting assault rifles to be owned by private citizens.