Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.
Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.
Broward Sheriff's Office

Reader: If the Military and Police Can Carry a Certain Weapon, So Should the Public

After Nikolas Cruz shot and killed seventeen people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine's Day, the country quickly turned from mourning to debating gun rights. Cruz, who had attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had frightened teachers so much that he was banned from bringing a backpack to school.

"So how does a guy like that get his hands on a military-style weapon capable of pumping dozens of rounds into innocent victims without even reloading?," Miami New Times writer Tim Elfrink asked. "Well, this is Florida, so he just walks into a gun shop and buys one."

On February 28, the Colorado Senate's State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee will consider a bill that would repeal a 2013 ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines, which allow guns to shoot more than fifteen rounds of ammunition. The ban was approved in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting, and readers have plenty of opinions about the bill. Sean says:

Last week Republicans wanted to do something about the problem of children eating Tide Pods but are only sending thoughts and prayers to the families of the slaughtered children? I guess the NRA must give more money to get Republicans elected then the tide company does.

Brian explains:

No gun laws are going to happen. The only chance for rational changes is to end Citizens United and limit the amount of money organizations can donate to politicians.

Dustin notes:

So they'll just reload more? The issue is, this guy was legally able to get these weapons, right? If he didn't have these guns, no-one would've likely died, so let's think of ways to prevent others like him from getting weapons. Ammo restrictions are meaningless.

Marc argues:

If a police agency/swat/military can have a certain weapon, then so can the public. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is so that we can protect ourselves from a tyrannical government or the threat thereof. Careful what you wish for.

Keep reading for more stories about mass shootings.

Images from the aftermath of yesterday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida can't help recalling similar coverage during the 1999 attack on Columbine High School.
Images from the aftermath of yesterday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida can't help recalling similar coverage during the 1999 attack on Columbine High School.
ABC News via YouTube

"Parkland School Shooting 208th Since Columbine: The Tragic List"

Scenes of terror in the aftermath of the April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine High School.
Scenes of terror in the aftermath of the April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine High School.
YouTube

"Michael Moore: Columbine No Longer in Top Ten of Worst U.S. Mass Shootings"

A screen capture from a video taken in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
A screen capture from a video taken in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Shaun Hoff via CNN

"Mass Shootings: At Least 1,864 From Aurora Theater Tragedy to Las Vegas"

A screen capture from James Holmes's August 7, 2015 sentencing to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A screen capture from James Holmes's August 7, 2015 sentencing to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
File photo

"DA's Regrets About Seeking Death for Aurora Theater Killer"

A page from the notebook that James Holmes mailed to University of Colorado psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton.
A page from the notebook that James Holmes mailed to University of Colorado psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton.
Westword

"Aurora Theater Shooter's Notebook: 'Insights Into the Mind of Madness'"

Sponsored by Senator Owen Hill and representatives Stephen Humphrey and Lori Saine, all Republicans, the bill up for consideration would repeal a 2013 law that made selling, transferring or possessing large-capacity magazines a Class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado.

Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Denver City Council banned bump stocks. Used by the Vegas shooter, bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to act like fully automatic rifles.

We've reached out to Hill and Humphrey for comment on whether the bill repealing Colorado's large-capacity-magazine ban will be reconsidered in the wake of the Parkland shooting. A Saine representative declined to comment.

What do you think of the proposed bill? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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