Monday, March 5, 2018

The Fear I Have of Children Going to School in America

The Parkland, Florida, massacre of high school students in 2018

In light of the massacre of seventeen people and the wounding of many more in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 of this year, I have been preoccupied worrying about children going to their schools, their safety, and the safety of the teachers and other people who work at schools. This is something that no one should have to worry about.

Why is the worry plaguing me at this time? Why not after the many other such massacres in the past twenty or so years? Did I not care? Did I misunderstand the magnitude of the problem and the possibility that it could happen at any school at any time? I did care, but I took no action, in the mistaken belief that those massacres were aberrations and would not happen again. But now, the repetition of these murders is beginning to have a cumulative effect. It's no longer an aberration that happens to a few unfortunate people. It's becoming a common event in the United States, and apparently happens no where else on earth except possibly in war zones. The way things are now, it will happen here in the United States again, and again, and again.

The availability of assault rifles is the main problem.

The problem to me, now that I've witnessed through the media the massacres and the horrible consequences of these assaults, is that the preferred weapon of these murderers is the  assault rifle, especially the AR-15. (This is also the preferred weapon of assassins attacking other soft targets, such as churches and concerts.) If these weapons did not exist, the assailants would be greatly limited in the number of people they could kill. Yes, I admit that no one anywhere is perfectly safe from being killed by someone with a gun, or a knife, or an ax, or an automobile, or by strangulation, on and on and on the methods go. Most of those methods are slow and cumbersome compared to using an assault rifle.

To me this is the correct direction to go in: make it illegal for nonmilitary or non-law-enforcement people to own assault weapons and illegal for these weapons to be bought or sold either in stores or through the mail or on the Internet or at gun shows, or by any other means. We need to remove assault weapons from society. The general public does not need them. That is the most practical way of reducing to virtually none or eliminating entirely mass murder by assault rifles. Make assault-style rifles illegal in the U.S.A.

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