A quibble- the shooting is certainly tragic, horrific, and measures should be taken to prevent similar events in the future. But was it really a mass shooting?
"I had come to Arizona, the most gun-friendly state, to listen to the conversation the rest of America was apparently having. One in three Americans owns a gun. About 59 million handguns, 46 million rifles, and 28 million shotguns—nearly 135 million new firearms for sale in the U.S. since 1986. We are the most heavily armed society in the world. If an armed citizenry is a piece of our national identity, how is it that I'd never even met it?
In Arizona, anyone over 18 can buy an assault rifle, at 21 you can get a pistol, and you can carry your gun, loaded or unloaded, concealed or openly, just about anywhere. The IHOP was said to be the only restaurant in Yuma that prohibited you from bringing your gun in. "Needless to say, most of us won't eat there," Ron said. On the rack behind him, assault rifles stood stupid as pool cues, black and blocky, with long magazines protruding erotically this way and that.
"I'm kind of surprised you carry assault rifles," I said to Ron.
"There's no such thing as an assault rifle," he said. "These are 'military-style rifles' or 'modern sporting rifles.' "
"But they're assault rifles," I noted. I knew that much from TV.
"Assault is one of the worst things the media has ever done to us," he said. "Have any of these rifles ever assaulted anyone?"
He went on to say I could buy as many of them as I wanted and walk out with my arsenal today. "These guns have helped our industry tremendously," he said. "They've attracted a whole new generation.... Is there one you want to try?" He brought down a Colt AR15-A3 tactical carbine, slammed in an empty magazine, and handed it to me. It felt disappointingly fake, an awesome water pistol, perhaps, or a Halloween prop. I asked if I would need to tell him why I wanted to buy a gun like that or what I intended to do with it. He squinted and smiled and appeared politely speechless. "Would you have to do what, now?" he asked.
it was a mass shooting by the NYPD.
There's something else in American society that we need to address.
Forktine: According to the article I just read, he bought the pistol in 1991, and his ownership was illegal under NYC law. Stricter laws would not have prevented this.
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