In 1994, the United States Congress passed a law prohibiting the manufacture, transfer or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons. The ban was good for only 10 years and ended in 2004.

In 2004, Congress did not extend the law. They simply let it expire.

What if Congress had extended the ban in 2004? How many children at Sandy Hook, teenagers in Parkland and shoppers in El Paso would not have died?

People have said it isn’t the gun that kills, it’s the person who pulls the trigger. Obviously the shooter is responsible for the first victim, but the weapon causes the multiple casualties. Thirty-seven people could not have been killed or wounded in 32 seconds in Dayton with an ordinary weapon. The 2004 Congress, by doing nothing, helped put semi-automatic weapons into the hands of shooters.

The only benefit, absolutely the only benefit, from lifting the ban was profits for companies that manufacture and sell weapons. Did they pressure the 2004 Congress to do nothing and let the ban expire? Probably.

Will the current Congress do something? Probably not. Will the next Congress? We can only hope, and vote for candidates who support gun control.

Sandra Dyer

Portland

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