June 17, 2016
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Columbine High School 1999. Virginia Tech 2007. Aurora, Colorado 2012. Sandy Hook Elementary School 2012. Washington Navy Yard 2013. San Bernardino, California 2015. Pulse Nightclub 2016.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Seung-Hui Cho, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Aaron Alexis, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, Omar Mateen.
13, 32, 12, 26, 12, 14, 49.
As most of us were sleeping in the earlier hours of Sunday morning, the deadliest mass shooting in US history was taking place in Orlando, Florida, at a place similar to places any one of us could have been in any one of our hometowns at any hour of the day or night.
This heinous crime has been carried out time and time again, on US soil, with increasing frequency, with no clear end in sight or plan to deal with it. It seems that violent mass murders at the hands of people with assault weapons is becoming as commonplace here as violet death in public places is in the rest of the world. We are no longer safe in our schools, colleges, movie theaters, bars or offices, just to name a few.
It has to stop.
Tell me why ordinary citizens need assault rifles. According to the New York Times, the AR15 assault rifle is the civilian version of the military's M16 assault rifle, a weapon solely designed to kill a lot of people quickly. Pushing out 8 rounds per second. And the Times goes on to report that millions of AR15's have been sold in this country in the last five years. A weapon whose sole purpose is to kill a lot of people very quickly. Not to hunt, not to protect family or property, just to kill a lot quickly.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the way we travel was altered forever. Airline security, airport security, airplane security all were changed because we weren't going to ever again let anyone use airliners as weapons. That day over 3,000 people died, and the way we go about our lives was forever changed.
How many more of our parents, siblings, children, friends have to perish at the hands of those mis-guided individuals who are simply able to go to their local Walmart or gun store, buy an assault rifle and use it for its only purpose of killing a lot of people very quickly, before our elected officials do something about it?!
When our forefathers wrote the Constitution and guaranteed every American the right to bear arms, they surely did not intend for people to be able to purchase assault rifles and commit mass murder. That is certainly no one's protectable right. And as hand grenades and hand held missile launchers are not legal, so must our law makers enact an immediate ban on assault rifles, period! And while they're at it, if you can't fly because you're on a no fly list, why should you be able to buy a gun of any type? If you are on the no fly list or on a government terrorist watch list you shouldn't be able to buy a gun, period! Protecting innocent civilians from random acts of violence should come before denying civil liberties to people who will certainly use them for evil purposes and to harm others.
Last weekend a lone gunman with an assault rifle killed 49 and wounded 53 in a matter of minutes. When will our elected officials do something to stop the craziness? I hope soon; otherwise this won't be the last time you will hear me ranting about this sheer madness.
Our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who perished in Orlando and our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to those injured.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.
Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner