And so it begins, the same old fear-laced argument for and against gun ownership, with the pro-gun lobby arguing there is no need for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, because a former ban, which ended in 2004, had no impact. The argument is bogus. Those who pose it have no way of knowing how many tragedies were prevented by the prior ban, because there is no way to tell how many unstable or otherwise dangerous people were prevented from buying assault weapons when the ban was in place. Easy access to weapons, is easy access to weapons, period. When your local discount big-box store is selling military-style 223 mm and NATO 5.56x 45mm rifles with 30-shot clips, you’ve got easy access. The 5.56x 45mm caliber, is the same caliber rifle currently being issued to U.S. troops. .223 weapons were initially issued to U.S. troops in Vietnam in the form of “M-16” rifles.
So why do we need these weapons with the potential of having military assault capability? That’s on one side. On the other, is unarmed Jews, being attacked by Nazi supporters during what has come to be known as “Kristallnacht” in 1938. Would they have put up a fight, had they been armed? I’m pretty sure they would have. Would it have mattered? Maybe. There is also, for me, the haunting memory of a Chinese national woman at a demonstration on Wilshire Boulevard years ago, looking at me with tears streaming down her cheeks during the abomination in Tiananmen Square in 1989, saying, “Whatever you do, don’t give up your guns.”
“Never again,” continues to resonate.
We must protect children and other innocents. There is a better way. I’m just not sure what it is.