No, you do not need an automatic rifle

Why does anyone need to own a rifle that is capable of firing multiple rounds and mowing down anything in front of the shooter?

I’m going to answer my own question. Unless you are serving in the military and have been assigned one of these weapons as part of active duty, you do not need to own such a rifle.

Period.

Fully or semi-automatic weapons are not needed for hunting. Or protection. Or recreation.

I am stating this now, although I’ve always believed it, in light of the recent, horrific events in the United States.

Not my business, some will say. Stick to Canada for your commentary, some will say.

Well, it is my business. My daughter lives in the United States and I find it ridiculous that I have to even think about worrying for her safety just going to the grocery store. That I have to worry that she might be shot just so someone can have their “Second Amendment Rights” protected is ludicrous.

In every other western society, when there is a horrific event like a mass shooting, there are immediate steps taken to try to prevent it from every happening again.

In New Zealand, after a horrendous incident at a mosque in Christchurch, where 50 people died, Parliament almost immediately took up gun control legislation and banned the majority of assault rifles and automatic weapons. Australia did it 1996, after a shooting there.

Nobody needs to own these weapons of mass destruction.

But not in the U.S. No, even though there are more than 30,000 deaths per year due to guns in that country, they cling to the archaic Second Amendment. Every mass shooting is met with “Thoughts and Prayers”. Or the hash tag #VegasStrong #ElPasoStrong #DaytonStrong #GilroyGarlicFestivalStrong #CharlotteStrong #PittsburghStrong

On and on, without end.

And nothing is ever done.

But I’m a gun fancier, they say. I like to shoot semi-automatic and automatic rifles. It’s fun. And I’d never hurt anyone.

Well guess what? Your fun activity should take a back seat to saving lives. Find something else to do with your leisure time. Target shoot with a single shot gun.

I need the rifle for protection, they say. No you don’t. If you feel the need to be armed to protect your home, you still don’t need a weapon capable of killing 20 plus people in 30 seconds.

How bout the old favourite, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I’m pretty sure if there were fewer guns, there would be fewer people killed.

Motor vehicle accidents kill people. Should we ban automobiles? Cars are not specifically designed for maximum kill rate. Automatic rifles are.

It won’t stop all the killings, they say. There are bad people, mentally ill people out there and they will do bad things. True, but if banning automatic weapons saves just one life, wouldn’t it be worth it? If it was your child lost, you might change your tune.

Did you know that in this back to school season, retailers in the States are selling bulletproof backpacks? That should be appalling to each and every citizen of that country.

Rather than deal with sensible gun control, they will buy bulletproof backpacks for their children and hope for the best.

They will suggest armed guards surrounding every school, because living in a police state is okay as long as you get to keep your guns.

They will suggest arming teachers. Arming students. Arming everyone who goes to a store, or a movie, or a concert.

Anything, absolutely anything, except banning the weapons that do most of the killing.

And if that doesn’t protect them, well thoughts and prayers.

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