Uvalde families to call for raising age to buy AR-15s

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

I won’t pretend to understand what the families of the Uvalde victims are feeling. I lost a friend to a mass shooting. It can’t be even remotely like losing your child.


Yet I also know that unless you’re a believer in the Second Amendment beforehand, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking gun control is the answer.

It seems that a number of Uvalde parents did just that. Now, they want to pressure the Texas legislature to raise the age to buy so-called assault weapons.

Uvalde families pleaded with state lawmakers late into the night Tuesday to raise the age to purchase assault-style rifles — a change they said could have saved their children from last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

After waiting for more than 13 hours, the families offered emotional testimony at the Legislature’s first, and perhaps only, hearing on substantive gun safety bills this session. They held onto each other for support as they recounted their loved ones’ last moments, the funerals for 19 small children who never came home and two teachers who used their bodies as human shields.

And they sobbed, audibly, as Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, revealed horrific new information about the crime scene: The gunman had used the victims’ blood to write “LOL” on a classroom white board.

The shooter killed 21 people simply because he could, Moody said — because he was able to purchase two AR-15-style rifles and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition just days after he turned 18.

“His message to us wasn’t anger or hatred, just something flippant,” said Moody, a member of the House committee that investigated the shooting last year. “He celebrated that he could do what he did. That’s his critique of us, because we let this happen.”


Except, that’s really not what happened and not why 21 people died.

They died because the Uvalde police refused to follow established procedures and waited outside as children were being massacred.

Quit trying to cover government failures with government solutions.

Further, while this tool was able to buy firearms and we know in hindsight that this created problems, the answer isn’t to punish lawful adults who did nothing wrong, which is precisely what a measure like this will do.

Adults under the age of 21 are able to sign contracts, work without parental permission, buy homes and cars, and, of course, live on their own.

What we’re telling them with a law like this is, however, that they’re not really citizens. They’re really just quasi-citizens at most. They have second-class status.

Further, we’re talking about this in the wake of the Bruen decision. I can’t imagine any way to defend such a law in court that doesn’t involve trying to support it with racist laws best left in the dustbin of history. Plus, we don’t even know if such a defense would even be taken seriously by the courts.


So while I sympathize with these parents and their loss, it should be noted that new rules won’t bring their children back and new rules aren’t necessarily going to protect the next group of kids, either. Especially when cops who refused to do their jobs are shielded by activists, politicians, and the media all because it serves their narrative better.

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