What Happened to Our America?

December 3, 2015

I miss a gentler America-one where assault weapons and 14 dead people weren’t part of the daily ride to work. Can we work together to get back there?

Again. . . yesterday. . . the second mass shooting of the week. 14 people dead and 17 wounded as I write.

The alleged executioners in San Bernardino used .223 caliber assault rifles and 2 semiautomatic handguns. All firearms were purchased legally.

As I drove to work, I heard the familiar calls on the radio for "common sense" gun safety laws and stronger background checks. And I heard clips playing of President Obama saying that “ . . .we have a no-fly list where people can't get on planes. . . . but those same people who we don’t allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm, and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. That’s a law that needs to be changed.”

How big is a .223 (5.56mm) - and what can it do? I found this description on gunsandammo.com, which recommends the .223 as an excellent choice for home defense.

“The Winchester .223 PDX1 projectile has a split core. The front half of the bullet has a protected hollowpoint to initiate expansion. It is not bonded to the back half of the bullet, so when it impacts it expands and fragments, usually in the first six inches of travel. This creates a very impressive wound cavity. The rear core of the bullet is welded to the jacket to ensure penetration. Winchester engineers did this because much of the .223 ammunition marketed for self-defense is loaded with nothing more than thin-jacketed repurposed varmint bullets, which expand very rapidly but may not penetrate deeply enough to be effective on a man-sized target. With Winchester’s PDX1’s SCT bullet, you can have the best of both worlds.”

What’s happening to our America? Mass shootings are happening with mind numbing regularity. But there is so much vitriol out there that constructive debate about how to attempt to stop the slaughter just isn’t happening. What’s wrong with those common sense gun safety laws and stronger background checks? What other measures might help keep guns out of the hands of people who would wreak more havoc on American streets? Must we all keep rifles under our beds? Will we become tone deaf as these assaults become part of the fabric of American life?

I miss a gentler America-one where assault weapons and 14 dead people weren’t part of the daily ride to work. Can we work together to get back there?

Constructive comments welcome.