Ten. That was the answer to the question I was asking myself as I sat in the coffee shop of the local mega bookstore. Yesterday, a lunatic in Orlando, Florida had gone in a gay bar with an assault rifle and killed around 50 people and wounded around 50 more, before some brave law enforcement officers stormed the lunatic, who was holding hostages and killed him. I would drown my amazement, shock and depression with a double espresso rather than a Beck’s Dark, so I was in the coffee shop.
I had been there before many times. I liked to peruse the magazines in the rear of the store. I had noticed, and shaken my heads at the number of gun magazines. There was an entire section of three shelves which appeared to have nothing but gun magazines on them. I sat looking at my computer, reading my Twitter feed about the latest mass killing, when the news came out that the weapon used by the murderer was an AR 15. I’ve seen them and know what they are. I wondered how many pictures of AR- 15s were on those three shelves in the rear. I went to see.
Ten. I counted just what I could see standing in front of the section. I didn’t get to the two back shelves where you couldn’t see the covers. Just the covers on the first shelf, and one magazine lying below the shelf totaled 10 photos of an AR 15. A large sporting goods store opened about a year ago across the highway from the bookstore. They sell assault rifles. I walked over to see what they had. They had AR 15s, knockoff AR 15s, and other versions. They had one in pink for the ladies.
Can’t you imagine Bubba taking a pink assault rifle home for the little lady? I mean the family that shoots assault rifles together gets to heaven in the express lane! What have we come to as a society? We ban tobacco advertising because it might cause people to be attracted to something unhealthy. A few years ago there was some controversy over flavored cigars and their regulation because the theory went that the favors would be an “entry level” opportunity for young people. But you can make an assault rifle in multiple colors for nothing more than marketing purposes. Isn’t that the same thing? “Well I wouldn’t be interested in a weapon of death normally, but that one is just so cute”
And you have to question why there are so many magazines with them on their covers. Could it be that gun company advertisements pay the bills and it’s all part of the marketing of the weapons of war to the American people.
No one needs an AR 15. It is designed to accept large capacity magazines and fire multiple rounds as fast as one can pull the trigger. The magazine allows for replacement quickly and efficiently. Something a soldier needs. It uses a small bullet that isn’t really suited for hunting. Of course it could be used for hunting – in the same way that a Formula One race car could be used to get you to the grocery store.
I know a hunter. A real one. He has hunted big game in New Zealand and Argentina and all across the world. Sheep, Deer, Buffalo etc. His hunting rifle has a ONE shot capacity. He rolled his eyes when I asked him about assault rifles for hunting one time. “Why?” That was his response.
Let’s call it what it is. Assault weapons are purchased because some folks think it’s cool. To put it in Donald Trump parlance, they are purchased by men with small fingers! And now they market them to women by making them in pink. Can’t you see two women in a gun store. “Oh look Carol. That AR 15 in pink would go great with my Prada bag”. “Jennifer you would look so good with that. And it goes with anything”.
Gun manufacturers are marketing death. And power and confidence to the socially alienated. And the lunatic fringe who might want to actually use one for its purpose; to kill and maim those who despise him or her or whom is imagined to despise him or her. Those are the facts.
What has society come to? We need prayer and, we need laws. And we need them now.