Our local Lovettsville gun merchant, Warner Workman, posted a controversial sign on Thanksgiving outside his shop – urging folk – to get their semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle in time for the holidays – it said – “buy now, buy often.”
Not everybody thought this was what we really need to be advertising and selling in a peaceful family oriented community.
Janice’s reaction was: “Disturbing!!!”
Lynda said, “Really !! All about the money grab.”
Ray underscored the fact that the AR-15 was a military style killing machine, responsible for mass shooting deaths in Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Umpua CC, San Bernadino and Sutherland Springs.
Sandy Hook Elementary School is one of those tragic incidents that stands out from all the others. It was a break with past shooting horrors, even including Columbine, and caught the nation’s attention because 20 students and 6 adults were killed in an elementary school class by a gunman armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle made by Bushmaster and pistols made by Glock and Sig Sauer.
Among the items one can order from Workman’s gun shop is a 30-round semi-automatic Bushmaster AR-15.
Five years ago, when Sandy Hook occurred, it was the deadliest primary or secondary school shooting, the second deadliest shooting by a single person and one of the 25 deadliest mass shootings in our history.
After the shooting, in the 113th Congress, on January 24, 2013, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to ban assault weapons. One Senator remarked in support of the ban, “There is only one reason anyone would need assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and that’s mass murder.”
Still, despite the concern about these deadly weapons, the bill was was defeated in April 2013, by a vote in the Senate with 40 for the ban and 60 in opposition.
19 types of military-style assault weapons were banned in 1994. Congress failed to reauthorize the ban after the ban expired. It wasn’t revived by Senator Feinstein’s efforts or by anyone else’s since.
Many believe the time is now when a ban against assault rifles should pass. Thus, the reference in Warner’s sign to that desire. But, in truth, few give a ban much hope of passage in this or perhaps any Congress in the near future despite the nation’s increased tempo of mass killings.
Glenn sarcastically reacted to the Workman sign saying, in addition to buying an assault rifle, “Don’t forget [to buy as well] a 100 round clip for squirrels & rabbits. Also, [buy] ‘bump stocks’ for chipmunks and sparrows that enable a shooter to fire bullets rapidly, mimicking automatic fire. Use hollow-point bullets too.”
David’s response, given that a ban is unlikely, was that this sign was: “Transparent opportunism.”
Commenting on the effect on children, David added, “I would explain to the children that there are self-centered people in the world, which they usually already know.”
Ellen somewhat exasperated said, “Santa Claus is gunning to town.”
The bottom line, the sign’s assertion aside, is that it is highly unlikely that there will be a ban.
Of course, if there ever is a ban, it makes no sense to simply grandfather ownership of these AR-15 assault rifles. The ban would likely cover not just prospective sales but also the possession of an assault rifle.