Much has been posted on social media today about gun rights following the horrific tragedy in Orlando. Let me make my position clear. I am not anti-gun. I pulled a trigger for the first time when I was 7. I spent many days target shooting in a boggy area by my home in NJ, sometimes most of the day because it kept me out of my mother’s way. I am not nor ever was a hunter so my gun activity was limited to a line of cans than bullseye then skeet. I’m extremely proficient with rifles, pistols and shotguns. It used to irritate both my father and later my husband that I was a better marksman than either of them. My first gun is mounted high on my living room wall and I have a CWP (which I don’t even use). Having said that, I do not nor ever will believe that assault rifles should be legally sold to John Q. Public. No civilian has need of such a powerful weapon – period. And to the gun enthusiasts who believe in owning/carrying a weapon for the purpose of protection I say this. If you are in a mall with friends or family one day and a deranged person begins randomly shooting with an assault rifle, do you really think you can stop them with your gun? Are you that confident in your ability that you believe you can fire upon and neutralize the shooter? In a crowded place full of running, panic-stricken people? Without harming an innocent person? I consider myself an excellent shot but I would never attempt a neutralization unless I was miraculously standing near the shooter. Even then, a handgun is no match for an assault rifle. They have detachable mags and they fire in powerful bursts which travel well over 300 yards. I just pulled up a recent update on the Orlando massacre and sadly was not surprised to see that the shooter used an AR-15, the same weapon used in San Bernardino, Aurora and Sandy Hook. It’s a military grade weapon yet somehow it’s become the most popular assault rifle in America. The AR-15 can fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute depending on the skill of the operator.
So I ask one more time, why do civilians need these weapons?
And finally, hours after this senseless and savage act, a blood-donation foundation in Orlando, OneBlood, posted on Facebook and Twitter, “There is an urgent need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood donors.” The irony struck me. It’s legal to buy an AR-15 assault rifle but pushing aside all the technical jargon, it’s illegal for a gay man to donate blood to victims of this massacre. The world makes no sense.