Monday, June 13, 2016


Terrorism, mental illness, lax gun laws, and hatred of people with non-traditional life styles came together on June 12, 2016 in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The results were horrific; the worst mass shooting in this nation’s history.

At least 49 people are dead and another 53 are wounded because the American political system, on the national level, is paralyzed. This paralysis stands in sharp contrast to countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom, both of whom, when confronted with mass shootings, adopted laws to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, those who are a threat to themselves and others, and terrorists.

To say that nothing can be done is simply not true. And those who hide behind the Second Amendment never mention when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, the cutting edge weaponry was a musket. A lone shooter cannot carry out a mass murder with a musket.

The weapon used by Omar Mateen was an AR-15, the same style automatic weapon used by the killer at Sandy Hook. A simple step forward would be to ban ammunition clips of more than five rounds. Having to reload gives law enforcement more time to respond and potential victims to get away.

AR-15s were designed for the military. They are meant to kill people. Yet anyone can buy such a weapon—often with no background check. The AR-15 is not used for hunting. You can defend your home with a pistol or rifle. When someone wants an automatic weapon such as an AR-15, why not ask him or her to explain why? Australia does and self-defense is not acceptable.

If the federal government will not take action, then we need to move at the local level.

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