EDIT: Early reports indicated an AR-15 was involved in the Navy Yard shooting. That turns out to be false, but it hardly changes anything. If Aaron Alexis was able to so easily kill 12 people without an AR-15, I don’t want to think what would have happened had he used an assault rifle (yes, that’s what it is). The amount of carnage possible even with less potent weapons lends even greater support to banning assault style weapons.
With some reflection on the tragedy a week ago at the Boston Marathon, it’s clear America is still deeply scarred by the events of 9/11 over a decade ago. Why is it so clearly obvious to so many Americans that we should label last week’s bombing as a terrorist act, but not the Newtown school shooting? What is our definition of terrorism? Was Newtown not sufficiently terrifying? On the contrary, while many more people were wounded from last week’s bombing, last December’s school shooting saw many more fatalities. On that measure, we should consider the Newtown shooting to be at least on the same level as the Boston Marathon bombing, yet we do not, at least not from a perspective of public safety.
During congressional testimony on Wednesday, Mark Kelly, husband of Tuscon shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords, spoke of the 33-round magazine that Jared Loughner used to inflict severe injury and death upon 20 human beings. Kelly said, “He unloaded the contents of that magazine in 15 seconds — The first bullet went into Gabby’s head. Bullet No. 13 went into a 9-year-old girl.” That 9-year old girl was Christina Taylor Green, who was the youngest victim of the Tuscon shooting.
At a hearing before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group in Hartford, CT, Neil Heslin faced shouts of “The Second Amendment!” as he delivered his testimony. Heslin is the father of 6-year old Jesse Lewis, a victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Nearly 500 people have been murdered by a gun in the United States of America since the horrible mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Those are the victims. The children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School are the victims. — Gun advocates are not the victims. Card-carrying NRA members are not the victims. People who talk tough but need a gun to be tough are not the victims. People who justify the need for violent assault weapons for protection or sport are not the victims. — So yeah, gun advocates, you can spare me your righteous indignation.