Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 | 2 a.m.
No one but a soldier in a war zone needs an assault rifle. But here in America, the AR-15 and similar weapons have become the choice for mass murderers. Having high-capacity magazines, high rates of fire and lethal high-velocity rounds allow unhinged individuals to kill and maim a large number of people in a short amount of time.
We once had an assault weapons ban, but the National Rifle Association and gun lobby successfully worked to stop its renewal when it expired. Indeed, the gun lobby has stood in the way of any and all reform.
The astonishing death toll is changing the public mood, though. Commonsense gun laws will eventually make it through Congress. When that time comes, the reforms are likely to be much more restrictive than if the gun lobby engaged in dialogue with legislators. By refusing to be at the table, the NRA likely has shot itself in the foot.