What do we want?
An assault weapons ban!
When do we want it?
Here is my speech from our Moms Demand Action assault weapons ban rally in Ann Arbor.
AR-15s were designed for the military. Period. Their designer, Eugene Stoner, never owned one himself, as he never intended them to make it into the hands of civilians. He died before the recent mass killings using the weapon that he designed. According to NBC News, “In the late 1950s…He made it light and powerful and he fashioned a new bullet for it — a .223 caliber round capable of piercing a metal helmet at 500 yards.
The Army loved it and renamed it the M16.”
Why then, has this weapon of war made it into the hands of civilians, making it the best selling rifle in America and the weapon used in 10 of the top 17 deadliest mass shootings since 2012? The answer is simple. Greed.
Even gun manufacturers were wary of making and selling such a powerful tool for the masses. That is, until they realized that they could make money hand over fist in doing so. The NRA, once a sportsman’s organization, has turned into an entity intent on putting as many guns into the hands of Americans as possible. They argue that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.
But how has that played out? Yes, the recent shooter in TX was killed by an armed officer at the scene, but not before they inflicted horror on a Saturday afternoon amidst folks just trying to do their shopping and enjoy a family outing. One child’s parents and sibling were all murdered, leaving them an orphan.
There is an argument amongst the gun violence prevention movement that the majority of gun deaths are not caused by assault rifles. While true, the damage inflicted by them is arguably much more horrific than by a handgun. The assault rifle bullets enter bodies and wreak havoc, giving their victims much less chance of surviving. The descriptions of the carnage at the scenes haunt me in my sleep, which is why we typically don’t see pictures of the devastation – they are too gruesome to show.
So the question becomes, what do we do? We simply cannot eradicate them from our nation, as there are too many. What we can do is call on our legislators to re-instate the Federal Assault Weapons ban of 1994. We could do it then, and we can do it again. If only our legislators can stand up to the powerful gun lobby and manufacturers intent on lining their pockets and threatening our legislators’ jobs if they don’t do their bidding.
What WE can do different, instead of shaming our legislators, we MUST hold them accountable, As Brené Brown says,
“If I thought shaming people could make the world a better place, I would join in.
But shame is not the answer. Shame is a huge part of the problem. What we need is accountability. There is no unity without accountability.”
So let’s continue to hold our lawmakers accountable for their actions. The families in TX and across our nation deserve that. Eugene Stoner would be proud, as I have no doubt that if he were still alive today, he would be right here advocating and protesting with us.
Be Bold, Be Brave, Because if you don’t do something, who will?