It's time to get rid of assault weapons


On Sept 26, 1988, a 19-year-old man who suffered from anxiety and depression walked into Oakland Elementary School in Greenwood. He shot and killed two 8-year-old girls and wounded seven other students and two teachers.

One of the teachers (shot twice in mouth and hand) was shot when she tried to stop him. The PE teacher taught for 40 years in Greenwood before retiring in 2013. She is a hero.

The man who killed the two little girls is still on death row in a South Carolina prison. 

Last Wednesday (Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day), another 19-year-old man, who had been expelled from the school, walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and killed 17 people – many of them students. At least 20 people were injured.

The school superintendent said, “This has been a day where we’ve seen the worst of humanity. Tomorrow is gonna bring out the best in humanity as we come together to move forward from this unspeakable tragedy.”

Fine. But, not only is the tragedy speakable, but it’s also predictable.

One of the teachers said the school had had active shooter training and was as prepared as could be. “But I feel today like our government, our country has failed us and failed our kids and didn’t keep us safe.”

Last week’s shooter used an AK-15 style assault weapon, the weapon of choice for those who want to kill a lot of people. Hunters don’t use them. It would destroy the animal they are shooting. Too violent for a deer, I guess.

All the elected Christians offered prayers and condolences. Whoopee.

The President was quick to condemn the shooting. Good thing the shooter didn’t sexually assault anyone.

It is beyond my understanding as a reasonably intelligent person how any member of Congress can not support a ban on assault weapons, along with much stronger gun controls. 

Is it a treat to their collective manhood? 

The NRA should be declared a terrorist organization and the leaders deported. Send them to Yemen, the only place on earth with more gun violence (per capita) than the US.

When the Second Amendment to the constitution – the 27 words worshipped by most Republicans – was adopted on Dec. 15, 1791, the weapon of choice was a musket. A good Kentucky long rifle could fire two rounds a minute.

So, let’s get rid of assault weapons. Give all the men who need a testosterone boost a musket. Then, when they walk into a school full of six year olds and fire a round into a child’s body, somebody else, such as the Greenwood PE teacher can take the musket away from the shooter while he’s reloading and use it to beat the hell out of him.

That would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. One, it would save innocent lives and, two, people would no longer be able to say, “Guns don’t kill people.”


(Larry Franklin is retired and lives in Clinton.)

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