Weapons of war have no place in American society. My wife and I were 20 feet from center stage when the shooting began at Route 91 in Las Vegas. She was shot standing right in front of me before people even started moving or understanding. Everyone laid down briefly, and I stayed standing, confused. I was a soldier, and all at once it hit me. She said, “I’m hit,” and I heard a round ricochet off the ground and realized oh no, we are taking automatic weapon fire, take cover.
I grabbed her, and we retreated before everyone even got up. The guy behind us was dead with his chest bloody, staring at the sky. Over the sound booth wall, around to the downrange side, tucked in at the bottom of the stairs. Chaos. My wife was shot through the leg, so I tended a girl shot through the chest, who was terrified. As soon as it stopped, I started screaming for a medic, who showed up and was a cop and told me to get my wife out of there.
We went over a trampled fence into the street, and a wounded guy was being loaded into the backseat of who knows what. With my wife in the front, I tried to stop the bleeding for a guy who’d been shot under the ribs in the side. It was chaos, even at the little hospital that we made it to — ER triage packed with all kinds of carnage.
Weapons of war cause that kind of damage. Not muzzle loaders, not bolt action, not revolvers. The Second Amendment was ratified before the advent of the Colt revolver. Weapons purposely designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, with enough force and lethality as you can shoulder, just don’t belong in civilian society.
A social ill that people feel is their right and enjoy but also kills a lot of people. Sounds a lot like cigarettes, and what worked with them was not just restrictions, but tax. Whatever form it takes, it needs to be a sustained, forceful, multi-generational effort. It needs to addresses not just procurement but the right to own, right to use, and the right to produce free of the burden of the social toll they profit on.