Randy Bryce: We must act to stop gun violence

By Randy Bryce

I am a gun owner and US Veteran. Wisconsin has a proud hunting tradition. I have family members that hunt regularly. Yesterday, along with every decent American, I woke up feeling heartbroken about the mass murder committed in Las Vegas.

Almost 60 people were killed. Hundreds more were wounded. I can’t shake the feeling that he could have killed my son. He could have killed my mother. He could have killed any of us.

I’m not a fan of telling people what they can and can’t do. One of the things that makes this country great is our respect for individual freedom and liberty, but for the life of me, I can’t find a reason why ordinary citizens need access to assault weapons.

We don’t need assault weapons for hunting. My family uses hunting rifles just fine. If one thinks having access to assault weapons means they can take on the government, I have news for them: they have no idea what they’re talking about.

In addition to drones, our military is the most powerful in the world and has the most lethal weapons of war ever created. It takes a lot more than even the very best armor piercing rounds to take on an M-1 Abrams tank. We need laws and regulations to protect us from government tyranny, but don’t kid yourself that a couple of assault weapons are going to do anything for you.

We also don’t need to make assault weapons even more lethal than they already are by making silencers available. Imagine how many more people would have been killed or wounded if the Vegas gunman had silencers on each of his 23 weapons. It would have taken that much more time for authorities to find the gunman, which would have meant that much more carnage and terror, and many more wounded and killed.

We don’t need to take away guns from law-abiding American citizens. Even something as simple as tracking who owns a gun, like we do with cars and car titles right now, will make it harder for criminals to purchase guns through quasi-legal methods while doing nothing to stop responsible gun owners from accessing their second amendment rights. And yes, some criminals will still get guns—though by having to go through the black market, they’ll have to pay tens of thousands of dollars more. The Las Vegas killer may still have been able to afford a gun, but he probably wouldn’t have been able to afford the 23 that were found in his hotel room.

And if someone still wants to play with assault weapons, they can join the military. They’ll learn pretty quickly that assault weapons belong on the battlefield, not in the home. That’s what I did.

The solution when a kid on the playground throws a rock isn’t to make sure that every kid has a rock. The solution when a deranged murderer kills nearly 60 people and wounds hundreds more isn’t to make sure that every American has the ability to do the same.

93 Americans are killed every day from gun violence. This is a national crisis. We must act. I don’t want my family to be next.

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