Almost 50 people were killed this weekend in Orlando, Florida.

They didn’t share the same beliefs as Omar Siddiqui Mateen.

So he killed them. 

It has been reported that Omar Siddiqui Mateen used an AR-15 assault rifle. Did you know that more than 3 million of these assault rifles are estimated to be in circulation in the United States? I read today in the New York Daily News that the AR-15 assault rifle is the same style of weapon used to end the lives of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, CT. It also was used to slay 12 people and wound 70 in a movie theater in Aurora, CO.

The National Rifle Association claims the AR-15 is “America’s most popular rifle.” You can read more about it in their blog post, where the organization also clears up a misconception. No. You can’t just pull the trigger and spray death until you exhaust a standard cartridge holding at least 30 bullets. “In order to fire a semi-automatic firearm,” says the post, “you must pull and release the trigger after each shot. You cannot hold the trigger for rapid fire.”

As if that makes much of a difference to those killed this weekend.

The NRA wants you to believe that banning the sale of guns such as the AR-15 is an attack on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gives us the right to “keep and bear arms.” They are “tireless defenders of your Second Amendment rights.” Because those rights are “under attack like never before.”

Here is the Second Amendment, exactly as it was written into our constitution.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The men and women in our armed forces form this “well regulated militia.” The Defense Manpower Center calculates that 0.4 percent of the American population is active military personnel. That’s about 1.4 million American men and women.

Let’s pretend – because it’s not true – that every member of our military armed forces has one of these AR-15 assault rifles. There remain 1.6 million people who are not members of our well regulated militia with an AR-15 assault rifle in their possession.

Are they all just like Omar Siddiqui Mateen, identified as the gunman responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in the history of our country? That would be just as absurd as the NRA’s claim that banning the sale of assault rifles is an attack on our Second Amendment rights.

How does this prevent us from having “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”? Unless you are in the military or a member of law enforcement, why do you need an AR-15 assault rifle? Why should such weapons be available for ordinary people to buy?

One of them was used to kill almost 50 people this weekend.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.




Photo by Jo Naylor. CC BY 4.0.

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