Do we really have to have another debate on whether to ban the AR-15?

Photo Courtesy of || Children are at greater risks when authorties are in possession of guns.

Photo Courtesy of || Children are at greater risks when authorties are in possession of guns.

Emily Kowalik ’18
Opinions Editor

Army veteran, Mark Cowan, aimed his AR-15 gun at Northside High in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Monday.

Cowan, a member of Oath Keepers, “found a spot off of school grounds, but close enough to keep an eye on people going in and out of the high school.”

He has talked to police and the high school’s resource officer and plans to stand guard until the school adopts “additional safety measures.” He suggested that his Oath Keepers group might guard additional area schools in the future.

I am familiar with Northside High. I used to travel there for team meets and I can tell you I am concerned more about the safety of the Ft. Wayne students because of Cowan’s presence.

The Fort Wayne Community School superintendent apparently agrees and said, “we understand he has a right to be there, but we do not believe it adds to the safety of our students.”

An AR-15 was used in the Parkland school massacre; it was also used in the Sutherland Springs mass church shooting, the Las Vegas mass shooting, the San Bernardino mass shooting and the Sandy Hook school massacre.

Americans own more than 8 million AR-15s. And they own another seven million other types of semi-automatic rifles.

There are growing calls from Democrats for an assault weapons ban.

However, President Trump, who supported a ban on assault weapons before his GOP nomination, does not currently support an assault weapons ban.

Trump, calling the Florida shooter a “sicko,” said that the country should instead concentrate measures to ensure that those with mental health issues cannot obtain guns.

The NRA says it’s utterly unrealistic to ban AR-15s. The 1994 assault weapons ban did not impact semi-automatic rifles – which would necessarily involve the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Gun lobbyists are pushing legislation to promote the arming of teachers. This would allow civilians to carry guns into our elementary, middle and high schools.

Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers.

These bills are sold as a way to keep children safe. However, in reality they do just the opposite, putting children at risk of unintentional harm.

Further, the NRA’s claim that “gun-free zones” invite mass shootings has been thoroughly debunked. 90 percent of all gun massacres since 1966 have occurred in locations where civilian guns were allowed or where armed security or law enforcement was present.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the fully automatic M16 rifle used by the U.S. military and is identical in appearance to the military weapon.

It can shoot more bullets and cause much more damage to human tissue than a regular handgun.  

The AR-15 magazine can hold 30 bullets and this number can be significantly bumped up by adding high-capacity magazines. It can also be easily modified to shoot continuously.

The AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing. It’s time to end this lunacy and bring back an assault weapons ban.