It is a military-style weapon designed to deliver an incredible amount of damage in the shortest time possible. And it has no practical use. Hunters do not need to spray their targets with 30 bullets. We likewise struggle to imagine a scenario in which this type of stopping power is needed in a self-defense scenario outside of events appearing in a popular AMC action/drama television show.
Stemming the tide of mass shootings (13 this year alone) will not involve a one-hit solution. It must involve a frank discussion about many topics — our mental health system, security protocols in public places, our cultural mores and, yes, gun control. Let this debate be one based on fact and aimed at producing solutions.
We would encourage our readers to get involved sooner rather than later, and to do so in a forum outside of the din of social media. You can easily find and contact your Congressional representative here: house.gov/representatives/find, and contact Sen. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand at schumer.senate.gov and gillibrand.senate.gov, respectively.
Many of us were touched by the Newtown tragedy and sought in vain for something to do. Making your opinion known, no matter what it may be, is a good first step. A second is to send your prayers not to Facebook, but to Connecticut. The post office in Newtown has set up a PO box to accept such mailings, which will be handed over to community groups for distribution, at Messages of Condolence for Newtown, PO Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.