Once again we are reeling in grief and outrage over this largest mass shooting in American history – in a crowded nightclub. The Orlando shooter killed 50 people and wounded 53 others with an assault-style rifle. Assault rifles are weapons of mass destruction. Their central purpose is the rapid-fire killing of innocent people. Why do we allow these deadly weapons to be sold? How many more mass shootings will we tolerate?
Six months ago in San Bernardino, a man and woman used assault rifles to kill 14 people and wound 20 others. In 2012, a man in Aurora, Colorado, armed with an assault-style rifle killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in a movie theater. And in 2012, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a man used an assault rifle to kill 28 people, mostly first-graders, wounding two others.
As a people, we cannot allow this combination of hatred and guns to continue. What kind of people do we want to be? Deadly assault weapons should not be available for purchase. Congress members must support H.R. 4269, which would ban semiautomatic assault weapons.
The Rev. Mel Williams
Board member, Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham