Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

First, No Assault Weapons for Children

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

First, No Assault Weapons for Children

Article excerpt

A few days after we noted in last issue the extravagant forgiveness of the Amish in the face of the murder of five of their young by an apparently deranged gunman, a youngster showed up at a school in Joplin, Mo., with a family rifle, threatening teachers and students. One round was fired. The gun jammed. Another spasm of bloody craziness was averted.

Missouri's governor, Matt Blunt, happened to be in Joplin the day of the gun incident. Joplin is half a country away from the tragedy in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County. Blunt is about a half a universe away from the courageous response of the Amish.

His reaction, according to The Kansas City Star, was "to suggest consideration of a law to allow teachers to carry guns." He said, "It's an interesting idea worth discussing." The next day, not surprisingly, the governor's staff began backing off, saying the governor was merely considering all options and was not advocating that teachers arrive for class fully armed.

According to the World of Guns Web site, the Mac 90 assault rifle that the 13-year-old took to his middle school is a Chinese-made knockoff of an AK-47. It is a high velocity assault rifle powerful enough to penetrate body armor and capable of firing 600 rounds of ammunition per minute. The average cost is between $350 and $500, perhaps a bit steep for the average junior high school kid, but no big deal for many parents. And since the assault weapons ban was permitted to expire by our pro-life president and his cohorts in Congress, one need only show up at a friendly gun dealer, pass a background check and the weapon is yours. …

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