What’s all the fuss about assault rifles, Part 1?
WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• What are assault rifles?
• What are they designed for?
• What is the damage they cause to the human body?
• Why are they allowed to be sold in the USA?
I RARELY LET EMOTION INTO MY BLOGS, BUT I AM TODAY. The 17 schoolyard deaths in Parkland, Florida this week, reportedly carried out by Nikolas Cruz using an AR-15 rifle (the same semi-automatic weapon used during the Sandy Hook and Orlando massacres), made me read up on this rifle. What I found was intensely disturbing.
The following points are excerpts from an article by Dr Ernest Moore, a trauma surgeon (Click HERE to see full article):
• The Parkland shooter’s assault rifle AR-15 was designed to kill as efficiently as possible.
• An assault rifle is designed to deliver fatal wounds to multiple individuals within a short time period; it has no other purpose.
• It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order.
• There is no reason that these weapons should be broadly available to the civilian population.
• The 9mm handgun is generally regarded as an effective weapon; its bullet travels at 1,200 feet per second and delivers a kinetic energy of 400 foot pounds. By comparison, the standard AR-15 bullet travels at 3,251 feet per second and delivers 1300 foot pounds.
• To compare again, a typical 9mm handgun wound to the liver will produce a pathway of tissue destruction in the order of 1-2 inches. In comparison, an AR-15 round to the liver will literally pulverize it, much like dropping a watermelon onto concrete destroys the watermelon.
• The efficiency of the AR-15 is further compounded by large capacity ammunition magazines that permit feeding 30 or more bullets into the rifle without reloading.
• Mass shootings with high fatalities are fundamentally the result of the combination of a deranged individual who wants to end the lives of a large number of random humans and his or her ability to access an assault rifle.
• We’re not likely to be able to institutionalize every person who might be willing to commit a heinous crime, but we can take away their access to the most lethal weapon for doing so with a stroke of a pen.
• As a trauma surgeon for 40 years (and avid hunter for much longer), I am dismayed that we remain paralyzed over preventive measures. There have already been 18 school shootings in 2018, when one would be too many: This cannot remain a political issue when it is clearly an issue of common sense.
(1) I wrote two previous blogs about mass shootings (click HERE and HERE), and I challenged readers to provide any reason why assault rifles should be sold to the public. Not one reason was offered. I issue the same challenge today…..If you know of any reason assault rifles should be sold to the public, please reply in the Comment box at the bottom of this blog.
(2) In this blog, the issue is NOT removing all guns from the public, just assault weapons that were designed purely for the military.
(3) Given the increasing school shootings, isn’t it common sense to ban assault weapons?
(4) Such a ban would obviously cut down on the number of school shooting deaths in 2018, when there already have been 18 such shootings.
(5) The political impasse over this issue is laughable, as illustrated by the Post-Script below.
The following is an incisive word-version of Wolf Blitzer of CNN discussing the Parkland shootings with Florida governor, Rick Scott (a Republican). The interview speaks for itself.
Wolf Blitzer, hardly the most outwardly opinionated anchor at CNN, asked Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) a very simple question on Thursday. How is it that the 19-year-old shooter in Parkland, Florida, could legally buy a military-style AR-15 weapon when he can’t even buy a beer?
As Blitzer pointed out, it’s “hard for a lot of us to believe” that Florida laws don’t even allow handgun sales to anyone under 21 but it is perfectly legal for an 18-year-old to purchase an AR-15 with no waiting period.
“We are going to look at all these things to figure out, you know, what works and is not working,” Scott said, speaking by phone from Florida. “Our primary goal, as I bring everybody together, is to say these kids are going to be safe. So we’re going to look at all these issues to figure out how can we make sure these kids are safe and also make sure that people that are struggling with mental illness do not have a gun.”
Unsatisfied with that non-answer to his question, Blitzer said, “Let me phrase it another way, because this is really shocking to so many of us, governor. He wasn’t old enough to buy a beer legally in your state, you’ve got to be 21 years old. So why is it in Florida that he could buy an assault weapon at the age of 19?”
Scott called the question “legitimate” but still would not answer it, only saying he wants to make sure “we don’t trample on anybody’s constitutional rights.”
Pressing on, Blitzer said that if the shooter had not had an assault rifle with multiple magazines, he never would have “been able to kill as many people” as he did. “So I just want you to tell our viewers you’re going to take action as the governor of Florida to change this to prevent this from happening again for someone, only 19, clearly with a history, this individual, just going into a store and buying an assault weapon.”
“Wolf, we have to,” Scott said, saying he is going to do “everything” he can to “make sure this never happens again.” But again, he would not commit to even supporting a change in the gun laws in his state.
As the governor started laying out the difficulty of passing legislation, Blitzer cut him off, saying, “It’s not that complicated. You’ve just got to pass some new laws to make it more difficult for 19-year-olds to buy assault weapons, right?”