Ownership of efficient killing machines should be a myth, not a right

BRATTLEBORO — Can anyone tell me why people need semi-automatic assault weapons, except to kill others and create mayhem?

Can anyone tell me why the Second Amendment, which few people realize was historically connected to the right of settlers to kill Native Americans and take their lands, has anything to do with the assault rifles?

The madman in the synagogue in October, the madmen shooting parishioners in churches, the madmen in schools blasting rapid-fire bursts tearing children apart - all were enabled by the myth that ownership of efficient killing machines is a right envisioned by the founders and inscribed in the Constitution.

Mass murderers in the past and in the future were not and will not be members of “well-regulated militias.” Rather, they are the inevitable outgrowth of the pandering to a violent core by politicians controlled and nourished by the National Rifle Association.

Killing little children, schoolchildren, and their teachers, didn't do it. Killing high-school students didn't do it. If killing Christians at their churches didn't do it or killing Sikhs mistaken for Muslims didn't do it, why should we believe that slaughtering Jews in a synagogue or country-music lovers will change a single jaded Republican's mind regarding the necessity to ban assault weapons?

And how sick is it for Donald Trump to say that “the nation's gun laws have “little to do with it,” that if “they had protection inside, maybe it could have been a much different situation?”

No, Mr. Trump, why should Jews or any Americans require armed guards to feel protected from domestic terrorists?

Racists thriving on bigotry are a far-greater treat to life and the pursuit of happiness by Americans than are the people forced to flee gun violence and terrorism in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico - countries flooded with assault weapons made in the USA.

The First Amendment guarantees the freedom to worship and assemble. How viable is that guarantee when nearly anyone in this country can buy vicious weapons designed to maximize death and injury?

Stop pretending, Mr. Trump. The vast majority of Americans want an immediate ban on the sale, ownership, and manufacture of assault weapons marketed to civilians.

Furthermore, those who profit the most from the sale of these murderous arms should be held accountable for both civil and criminal liability.

And the enablers - those Republicans with blood on their hands and NRA dollars in their pockets - must be denounced and defeated. This would be a fitting tribute to the victims in Pittsburgh.

A reasonable interpretation of the Constitution does not guarantee the right every citizen to have within their grasp the power to play God - the power over the life and death of innocents.

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