We should renew a federal ban on assault weapons

The Gazette Opinion Staff

I was saddened and shocked by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. I feel that we should renew a federal ban on assault weapons to help reduce the 12,000-plus non-suicide U.S. gun deaths each year.

We need tougher gun restrictions and enforcement of those restrictions, including banning assault weapons, requiring background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows and prohibiting gun sales to anyone on the nation’s terrorism watch list.

I don’t want anyone in my neighborhood to own weapons such as the Sig Sauer and Glock handguns and Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza apparently took from his mother’s home to commit the killings of school children and teachers in Newtown.

These guns are a logical choice for anyone whose goal is to kill many people in a short time because of their ability to rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds. They are not needed for deer hunting.

These semi-automatic weapons, including the AR-15, are increasingly being used in the killings of police officers, whose vests often provide little protection.

Please support the renewal of a ban on assault weapons to help prevent these needless tragedies.

John Macatee

Iowa City


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