The Boston Globe on Thursday published an interactive op-ed calling for Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, drawing attention to the hundreds killed in mass shootings since the federal ban expired in 2004.
“There is nothing more American today than a mass shooting, the quickest way for the wicked among us to join the ranks of the reviled,” the newspaper’s editors wrote. “Their motives are many, but their opportunity is limited only by their gun and ammunition magazine brand preference. In this country, the federal government limits duck hunters to weapons that carry only three shells, to protect the duck population. But you can buy an assault weapon in seven minutes and an unlimited number of bullets to fire with it.”
This past weekend, Omar Mateen allegedly killed 49 people and injured 53 more using an AR-15-style rifle, the Sig Sauer MCX, in what was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Pointing out that there have been 47 mass shootings since the assault weapons ban expired, resulting in 411 deaths, the Globe editors argued a “sensible, mature society” should be able to recognize that these firearms play a central role in our national gun death epidemic.
The newspaper rolled out interactive features to highlight the point, including a web video showing what it’s like to be shot by a rifle, whose bullets travel twice as fast as those of a pistol, and a feature to email or tweet congressional representatives who have stood in the way of changing the gun control debate.
On Twitter, the Globe posted the names, ages, and date and location of death for all 411 victims of mass shootings since 2004, along with the hashtag #MakeItStop.
“The idea of restricting unfettered access to assault weapons is only considered radical when it comes out of the mouth of a modern US president,” the editors concluded in their op-ed. “To most Americans, and every other democracy on the planet, it is rightly considered common sense.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) voiced her support for the Globe’s push on Twitter.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 16, 2016