Tag Archives: Sandy Hook Elementary School
In the past year 70 people have been ruthlessly murdered by gunmen using either assault weapons – as in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – or 9mm pistols with high capacity magazines.
And yet 1.3% of the nation’s total population of 315,167,682 people is keeping us – as Americans – from having the long overdue discussion and accompanying legislation to address this issue. The National Rifle Association has a reported 4,250,000 members, or 1.3% of the total population.
During the 2012 campaign cycle the NRA contributed $1,061,710 to the election process, with $719,596 being “donated” to federal campaigns. Of course the NRA also gave out hefty funds in the form of lobbying in 2012, totaling some $2,205,000. Total political contributions + lobbying = $3,266,710, or roughly $6,000 of peddling per member of the United States Congress. How do the other 99% fight that kind of money and influence?
Well, for starters, there are 169,000,000 registered voters (53.6% of the population) in the United States, including 86,000,000 registered Democrats (27.2% of the total population) and 55,000,000 registered Republicans (17.4% of the total population), with 28,000,000 registered others (8.8% of the total population). If each registered Democrat wrote to every member of the Congress and said they’d give them $5.00 a piece to pass meaningful legislation including a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, that would equal $430,000,000 in influence divided between 535 members of Congress or $803,738 in campaign contributions; a great deal more than any member of Congress has ever received from the NRA.
And, if only half of all registered Democrats were to write to every member of Congress and offer to donate $5.00 a piece, that would equal $215,000,000 in influence, again divided between 535 members of congress equals $401,869 in campaign contributions; once again, a great deal more money than any member of Congress has ever received from the NRA.
A very simple solution to countering the NRA; money talks, and more money talks louder.
This really isn’t rocket science; here are my thoughts on helping to prevent another Sandy Hook or Aurora.
Step one – get the right-wing to stop making excuses for needing assault weapons and high capacity magazines – of course if they don’t we’ll just move on to step two without them.
Step two – ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines
Step three – increase funding for school security throughout country, mandate federal standards for security, i.e., doors, windows, armed police officers etc
Step four – increase federal funding for mental health care, or simply fully fund it under the Affordable Care Act.
If the right-wing won’t police its own house – ie, the NRA – then the rest of us will; the Congress and the Tea Party oppose meaningful gun legislation at their own political peril; in case they didn’t notice they didn’t win in November. This isn’t about the adults rights to own whatever thing (gun) they want, personal property rights do not trump another individual’s right to life – as in 20 first grade students slaughtered at Sandy Hook.
The next time a right-wing fringe-type tries to claim the XM-15 Bushmaster isn’t a dangerous assault weapon share the following information:
Length 39.63 in / 38.25 in
Weight 8 pounds, 13 oz / 8.27 pounds
Gas system Direct Impingement / Direct Impingement
Maximum Range 3,600 meters / 3,534 meters
Maximum Effective Range 550 meters / 550 meters
Muzzle Velocity 3,100 feet per second / 3,260 feet per second
Rate of Fire (Semiauto) 45 rounds per minute / 45 rounds per minute
Rate of Fire (Burst) 90 rounds per minute / N/A
Magazine capacity 30 round magazine / 30 round magazine
Ammunition 5.56 mm / 5.56 mm
Specs were taken from the Army manual for the M-16 A2 and from the Bushmaster manual for the XM-15
The XM-15 is as much an assault weapon as the M-16 A2, and this is the time for serious discussion on gun control, and it’s going to require serious people; if all the right-wing fringe can offer is fantasy comparisons perhaps they should keep their mouths shut; I’ve no more patience for moronic diatribes. If one of those dead first graders was their child or grand-child I don’t think they’d be so flippant.
One of the many comments I’ve read from gun proponent’s is, “If you can Guarantee no more children dead if we give up our guns. There’s no question what I’d do. Here take it! There’s one thing wrong with your thought though. It will not stop our children from dying any more than wishing the world would be a better place.”
Well, except it would.
In January 1989, a shooter, stepped onto the grounds of Cleveland Elementary School and raked the school yard with at least 106 bullets from an AK-47 rifle. He killed five children, ages 6 to 9, and one teacher and injured 29 other children, before fatally shooting himself.
Thirteen years ago two students opened fire on their fellow classmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado killing 15 and wounding 24 with firearms which were illegally obtained by the teens. Three of the weapons used were classified as assault weapons with ammunition loaded into high-capacity magazines, the largest of which could hold 52 rounds.
In 2002, the Washington-area snipers, who shot randomly at victims during a three-week spree that killed 10 people, used an AR-15 assault rifle.
Earlier this year a gunman wearing a gas mask and sheathed in head-to-toe body armor entered an Aurora movie theater during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” killing 12 and injuring 70 others. The suspected shooter charged with the attack had two Glock pistols, a shotgun and an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle fitted with a large capacity magazine drum, all of which were purchased legally. The shooter spent months stockpiling thousands of bullets, firearms and ballistic gear without ever raising a red flag with authorities.
A few weeks ago a masked gunman who opened fire in a crowded Oregon mall in the middle of the holiday shopping season, killing two people and wounding a third before taking his own life, used an AR-15 assault rifle stolen from a friend the day before. Death toll wasn’t larger because the weapon jammed.
Friday, a gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on staff and students with a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, killing 26 people including 20 six and seven year olds.
In 1994 the manufacture and import of AR-15s and similar assault rifles, such as AK-47s, were banned in the United States, there were also limits on the size of magazines that could be fitted, limiting them to holding no more than 10 bullets.
However, move forward ten years – 2004 – those prohibitions were allowed to go away by the Bush Administration and a Republican dominated House and Senate; subsequent attempts to enact new weapon’s bans have failed in the face of objections from the National Rifle Association.
There is no earthly reason for private citizens to be able to own assault weapons, semiautomatic or automatic pistols. No earthly reason. Nor should anyone be able to buy high capacity magazines.
No more children should be sacrificed on the altar of the second amendment – not one more child.
Please sign my petition calling upon Congress and the President to outlaw weapons used in these mass murders. Not one more child.