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I think the single most important action that Gov. Janet Mills and our lawmakers can take to honor and learn from the victims of Lewiston is to ban assault rifles, the weapon of choice for those who want to kill as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. It is a military-style firearm for use in combat, not against civilians who expected until recently in Maine to spend time with family or friends in a public setting without fear of being the target of an assassin’s mindless intent to inflict pain, suffering and death.
Taking these rapid-fire multiple-round weapons off the streets where they were never intended and should never have been allowed will go far to calm our fears and feel protected. But first our legislators should focus on not being distracted by complicated and unworkable gun control proposals or influenced by the special interests who’ve traditionally lobbied for exceptions and other considerations.
Let’s not forget that assault-style rifles were not designed for hunting or target shooting. Readily available and with large-capacity magazines, they are ideal for the purpose we have all seen far too often throughout the country and now in our own state and likely will see again: the killing of large groups of innocent, unsuspecting people as rapidly as possible.
Making these weapons illegal, except for law enforcement and the military, is an important first step in helping make us feel safe again. Let’s not forget Lewiston.