To the editor: AR-15s, similar weapons should be illegal

Another school shooting with 17 dead at a Florida high school.

How many will it take before our legislators and president do something other than offer sanctimonious condolences?

No other country in the world makes lethal weapons, like the AR-15, so easily available, and no other country has nearly as many school shootings as we do.

AR-15s and similar weapons are not designed for hunting or self-defense. They are created to kill a lot of people quickly.  They should be illegal.

I know all the arguments that will be trotted out in opposition to this position and in defense of the status quo – a status quo that leaves us with no alternative than to wait passively, like sheep, for the next slaughter of innocent children.

Bill Dunkel

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  1. RAYMOND E MAKUL says:

    It is estimated that there are 5 million to 8 million AR-15 style rifles in USA private ownership. The number being misused is minuscule. Those misusing these weapons would use other weapons if they are intent on mayhem. Gabby Giffords was shot by a crazed person with a handgun.

    First, we need better collection of information that would identify people whose ownership would put themselves and others at risk. Second, we need laws that would disarm troubled people of all their weapons, not just AR-15 rifles.

    While gun tragedies are shocking, thousands of kids get killed annually by drugs and by inexperienced drivers getting into fatal accidents. In the town I used to live, while I was there, there were two separate one-car accidents involving cars full of teenagers where everyone died. Eleven kids, total. During the same time, none were shot. Yet there is no call to keep kids from driving fast cars.

    Dead is dead, whatever the cause. I am sure the parents of those killed in the joyriding accidents grieve just as hard.

  2. Joshua Carlisle says:

    Mr. Dunkel,
    Though I do agree with you that the shootings are a extremely sad set of events and I myself have lost a son, I disagree with you and many others the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle can and is used for hunting for example. Here where I now live in Oklahoma it is used by ranchers and hunters alike to shoot wild hogs. Also it is the chosen firearm of many to defend their homes. These shootings are not because of any number or type of firearm.

    The real problem is poor mental health care poor reporting to appropriate agency, and the failure to follow through on those reports. It is also because parents are not allowed to be parents like when I was growing up in Chester.

    I do however agree that something needs to be done but taking guns away or banning them is not part of the answer. My suggestion is we start by giving the rights back to parents then we make people accountable for there actions.

    I also feel that enforcing the vast number of laws that are already in place and better cooperation between agencies would go along way. Being an Army veteran I support and defend all amendments in our Constitution including the rights of people to not have a firearm. But let’s not take away rights of the rest of the law abiding citizens and give the criminals free rein.