Mass shootings are occurring across the US in unprecedented numbers, yet the government has failed to ban some of the most deadly weapons.
Gun control has been a hot topic of debate for years in America, but the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has triggered fury from Americans.
On February 14, Nikolas Cruz opened fire with his AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people. The military-inspired rifle is infamous for its previous uses in Las Vegas, Sandy Hook Elementary School, San Bernardino and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Five of the six deadliest mass shootings of the past six years are accredited to this semiautomatic rifle.
So, why is it legal?
This military-style weapon is easily accessible because the current administration is on the side of the big corporations who are profiting. The National Rifle Association has called the AR-15 the “most popular rifle in America,” and without regulations on such a firearm, anyone who can afford the gun can buy it.
President Donald Trump, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Florida, said nothing about gun regulation, and instead focused on the situation as being a mental health issue. Despite his attempt to console those who lost loved ones, he signed a bill in 2017 that contradicts his statement, which rolled back an Obama-era regulation on the ability to purchase a gun if the buyer had a mental illness. Republicans have continued efforts to maintain loose gun-control laws, but this most recent shooting may bring a demand for legislation.
The actions of the 19-year-old gunman have once again brought the conversation of gun control over the loudspeaker. In this video, TIME describes the AR-15, its uses, ease of obtainment and what steps may be taken next to prevent further mass shootings in America.
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