Early Sunday, one person, firing one weapon, killed almost fifty people, in just a few minutes.
These people were sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. The parents of two of them, living outside the United States, contacted my office and asked if they could have visas to attend the funerals of their own children. How wrong is that -- parents attending the funerals of their slain children. So many; a slaughter of the innocents.
It's much too easy to kill a lot of people very quickly.
The weapon that the killer used was an AR-15 assault weapon, derived from an M-16 military model. The main difference between the two is that you can pull and hold the M-16 trigger, making it spit out hundreds of rounds each minute, while the AR-15 trigger is one-pull-one-round, or "only" 100+ rounds per minute (subject to reloading). That's automatic versus semi-automatic. But a legal modification to the AR-15 (a "replacement rifle stock"), costing around $300, essentially takes each recoil and makes it a trigger pull. And that makes the AR-15 a machine gun.
Either way, it's hard to imagine any legitimate use for a weapon like that. Does anyone really want to drill a deer with a few hundred rounds in a minute or two? That doesn't seem very sporting.
We need to end this lunacy.
For a decade, you couldn't buy an assault weapon. The original legislation had a "sunset" provision that ended the ban after ten years. Thanks to the NRA and its GOP puppets, that ban was never extended.
Seven states enacted bans (or heavy restrictions) on their own. Three of those seven states enacted their restrictions after 20 children were shot dead at Sandy Hook.
That's where we are now.
Convicted felons can't buy these weapons, in Florida and elsewhere. But pretty much anyone else can. In fact, until last August, anyone could buy them in WalMart. (Then WalMart imposed its own ban.)
Let me just ask you, straight up: Do you want virtually anyone to be able to buy weapons whose only practical purpose is to be able to kill hundreds of people in a matter of minutes?
I'll introduce the bill this week.
Rep. Alan Grayson