The rifle Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults at
James Holmes used the same rifle, a Bushmaster AR-15, when he opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. He had a 100-round drum magazine, which jammed; otherwise, the toll there might have been even higher. Jacob Roberts used one when he shot and killed three people, including himself, at a Portland, Ore., mall last week. A decade ago, the Washington snipers used an AR-15 to kill unsuspecting innocents in parking lots and gas stations.
The AR-15 may be the most popular rifle in America. Enthusiasts say it looks cool — like the guns in the movies — and is fun to shoot. How much fun will it be now that we have been so painfully reminded that its one discernible purpose is to kill people?
It was stunning, after the Aurora killings, that the nation's political leaders were still afraid to talk about gun control. During the second debate between President
Over the weekend,
The most concrete sign of that comes from West Virginia Sen.
"I don't know anyone in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle," he said. "I don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting."
The National Rifle Association has not responded to Friday's shooting, but it needs to realize this is an argument it is not going to win.