MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle struggled to maintain her composure as she went through a list of recent mass shootings facilitated by the AR-15.
She began with the Aurora, Colorado shooting that killed 12 and injured 70 in a movie theater before moving to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, she nearly lost it.
Choking back tears, she recounted the toll at the hands of a man with an AR-15. "It was used to kill 27 people including 20 school children. Young school children. Some kindergarteners at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed his own mom," she said.
Gathering her composure, Ruhle went on to list the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 and injured 50 before moving on to the Las Vegas shooting in October which killed 58 and injured hundreds when the gunman picked off concertgoers from a 12th story balcony.
She wrapped up with the Texas church shooting in November, which killed 26 churchgoers, including the pastor's daughter.
The common thread? AR-15s. It's almost like lives could be saved if we reinstated the assault weapons ban, don't you think?
Here's a picture illustrating the carnage this instrument of death has wrought. Imagine a world where we didn't add to this list because we took these godawful death machines out of the hands of civilians.
C&L commenter Don Webber writes:
Every school or sports program I have worked in has a kid like Nikolaus Cruz, a young man so angry and disturbed that even the toughest teacher or coach couldn't handle him. In my days coaching baseball and basketball in Brooklyn, I took pride in taking boys and young men under my wing that no one else could handle, but there were occasionally kids who were too difficult even for me, and with great reluctance I had to throw them out of the program. In one instance, a young man I threw out came back with an ice pick and threatened to cut me up, but with help, I was able to handle that. But what if he came back with an automatic weapon. If he did, I and several other people would have been dead.
Basically, that's what happened in Broward, A disturbed young man who was thrown out of his high school returned with automatic weapons and killed 17 students and teachers. And here's my point. There are tens of thousands of Nikolaus Cruz's all over this country. Give them easy access to automatic weapons and they are a massacre waiting to happen.
This isn't a mental health problem--there is no therapy program that cure the rage inside every wounded, bitter young man. It isn't an education program- there are some kids even the best trained, most compassionate, street smart teachers can't reach.
It is an automatic weapons problem. You put automatic weapons in the hands of every adolescent loose cannon in small town and suburban America and you are setting yourself up for massacres of students and teachers.
For the zillionth time, this is NOT a mental health problem. It is access to death machines that is the problem. It is going to take each and every one of us who understand the real problem to fix it. We have to come at this with the same intensity that the forced-birthers come at abortion clinics. Civil disobedience, direct action, pressure on lawmakers at the local, state and federal level.
Infiltrate the NRA. Toss their so-called "leaders" out on the street. Get the fascists out and take control. There are more of us than there are of them.
Kids in that high school are going to be voters not long from now, and they're angry. They're not going to be sending thoughts and prayers. They're going to take action. So should we.