I don't need to repeat the details of what's happened over the last two weeks in my hometown of Buffalo and in Texas, but a couple of simple solutions seem obvious, at least to me.
Bear with me while I preach to the choir.
The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, included an amendment to the Constitution to assure that, in the event we were attacked by a FOREIGN power, local militias (groups of citizens armed with single shot muskets) were guaranteed the right to keep their arms at the ready.
Skip ahead 235 years and we find that the Republican Supreme Court has translated that clear language into a much broader guarantee: anyone now has the constitutional right to walk into a store and buy a high capacity, military weapon designed to do only one thing: kill people.
So, I ask you:
1) Does the 2nd Amendment also guarantee the right to purchase a bazooka? Of course it doesn't. That is considered a "weapon of war." Well then, what is a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine that holds 30 bullets and can be swapped out in a few seconds?
It's not needed for hunting. It's not needed for target shooting. It's for one thing, and one thing only--killing. People (even tiny ones).
These weapons should be illegal, and for a time they were. But then Republicans regained Congress, and the ban on them was allowed to expire.
2) In Buffalo, the only reason a brave retired Buffalo policeman who confronted the shooter failed to take him down (but did delay him, at the cost of his life, from killing more African-Americans) was the fact that the shooter wore body armor. It's easily available on the internet. Why?
Why would any law abiding citizen need such a thing? By law it should only be available to law enforcement and the military. Isn't that obvious?
Having said all that, you and I know that these two changes will never come to pass, and why that is.
After the Texas massacre I wrote to the head of our local gun rights chapter, asking him about the first item above. He did not reply. I wrote again, suggesting that we get together and talk about it ("I'll buy the coffee." I said), but still no reply.
He's not just a coward. He's a coward clinging to his gun.
Thanks for reading this far.