Twenty first-graders and six staff were killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School in under 300 seconds. In Aurora, Colorado, 12 people were killed in 90 seconds in a movie theater. When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, 33 rounds were fired in 19 seconds. Las Vegas became a war zone with nearly 500 concertgoers shot in only nine minutes. In these mass shootings, assault weapons intended for war with large magazines are the common denominator. These guns were purchased legally, but why were they allowed to be sold? They were designed to wage war on an enemy — not each other.
Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican Congress will tell you now is not the time to push for action on reducing the number and kinds of weapons that Americans can possess. Since 3 percent of Americans own 50 percent of the military-type weapons that can mow down hundreds of people in seconds, this is indeed the time to bring about remedies. A limit on magazines to less than 10 rounds could be a starting point. Creating a nationwide registry of gun owners and their firearms would alert us to the scope of the problem. A ban on weapons that were created for mass-killing power in times of war would prevent citizens from being slaughtered in a matter of seconds in our malls, concerts and schools.