My new Browning was the pinnacle of my hunting arsenal. There were numerous shotguns and scoped .22 long rifles for squirrel hunting. And as a young adult I owned several semi-automatic handguns, from a 9mm Berretta to a .40 caliber Taurus, for range shooting.
Today my home is void of guns. They have taken a back seat to golf clubs. A Ping driver or a baseball bat is about the only thing an intruder may face — I swing both pretty well.
I mention my love for guns as a youngster as a preface to my view on gun control. Obviously, we cannot sit idly by as young children are gunned down in the sanctuary of an elementary school classroom.
Enough is enough!
As they buried the last of the 26 victims of the Connecticut school shooting last week, the gun control debate was front and center. I realize we as a people are unfortunately not prepared for the kind of evil intent displayed by lone gunman Adam Lanza.
Sure, Lanza had a pair of semi-automatic handguns in his possession when he arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But it was the military-style Bushmaster rifle that wreaked havoc on the children, community and country.
The Bushmaster rifle fired a .223 caliber bullet. That’s the same caliber bullet I fired from my M-16A rifle during weapon’s training at Ft. Sill, Okla. It has an effective kill range of more than 300 yards. It is made to kill.
Congress needs to consider another ban on manufacturing of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called “assault weapons.” The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The ban lasted a decade, expiring on Sept. 13, 2004.
There have been multiple attempts to renew the ban, but no bill has reached the floor for a vote. I expect that to change. And it should.
I do not propose that we discard our hunting rifles and handguns. I do propose that Congress take a proactive stance against the manufacturing of assault rifles. There is absolutely no reason to own one.
Moreover, I can think of 26 specific reasons to ban assault rifles.
Jack McNeely is Publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be contacted by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.