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More Must Be Done

In the wake of mass shootings which employ semi-automatic rifles, a ban needs to be put on these dangerous weapons.

Marjory+Stoneman+Douglas+High+School+students+and+parents+during+a+CNN+town+hall+meeting+to+begin+on+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+21%2C+2018%2C+at+the+BB%26amp%3BT+Center%2C+in+Sunrise%2C+Fla.+
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More Must Be Done

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents during a CNN town hall meeting to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents during a CNN town hall meeting to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.

Tribune News Service

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents during a CNN town hall meeting to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.

Tribune News Service

Tribune News Service

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents during a CNN town hall meeting to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla.

Taylor Pitzl, A&E Editor

Seven minutes. That is all the time it took for shooter Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people and wound 16 more with a semi-automatic rifle, the AR-15, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14. This gun has been used in some of the deadliest shootings in US history, including San Bernardino, Las Vegas and at the Pulse nightclub, according to Time Magazine. Semi-automatic rifles can shoot off hundreds of rounds per minute, allowing shooters to inflict a massive amount of carnage in a short amount of time. Semi-automatic rifles such as these need to be banned in order to prevent another mass shooting from occurring. 

Tribune News Service
Worst mass shootings in the United States.

With guns such as the Ar-15, a bullet can be shot with each pull of the trigger without the need to cock the hammer to reload the gun. This increases the number of bullets that can be shot in a short amount of time leading to the high rates of casualties that go along with shootings where this weapon is employed. Assault weapons, which include semi-automatic weapons, are only banned in six states and Washington D.C. according to The Washington Post.  

A survey sent out by the Pennsylvania Game Commission found that most hunters did not want semi-automatic rifles to be used for hunting, according to The Washington Times. The fast-shooting rate of semi-automatic rifles makes them less accurate and not as effective for hunting as bolt-action rifles. A ban on semi-automatic rifles will not harm hunting because there are many other options that are more accurate but do not pose the dangers a semi-automatic rifle does.

A ban on semi-automatic weapons is necessary because security measures are not enough to protect people from these guns. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Cruz was banned from the campus and after being seen walking up to campus, security was alerted, according to CNN. However, this was not enough to protect the students and faculty. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School faculty had also recently had an active shooter training, according to CNN.

While this may have saved lives, it didn’t succeed in thwarting the shooter’s plans. Security measures and active shooter training is important to mitigate the effects of these shootings but are inadequate without a ban on guns which allow them to kill lots of people in a short amount of time.

These guns offer no practical or necessary use for civilians but allow for shooters to murder many people in just a few minutes. With 18 school shootings in 2018, an all-time high for school shootings will be set unless Congress acts fast. Although banning these weapons will not stop violent crime or mass shootings in the United States, it will decrease the number of casualties involved. Congress members need to act now to protect people from these dangerous weapons.

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Taylor Pitzl, Web Editor-in-Chief

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