Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
Omar Mateen, an American citizen, used a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic assault weapon to murder and maim more than 100 people in the Orlando massacre. The automatic version of this weapon, known by many in the military as “the Black Mamba”, was originally developed at the request of the US Army for use by U.S. Special Operations Forces. After winning that contract, Sig Sauer then promptly began selling this highly lethal semi-automatic weapon to the general public, and what makes it so much more dangerous than even an AR-15 is that the MCX has less recoil, is much lighter, and can fire rounds more rapidly, even in semiautomatic mode. But what truly makes this weapon so lethal in a civilian environment, is that the MCX has a folding stock. Why is this so important?
Assault weapons like the AR-15 are big guns, long rifles, that are very difficult to conceal. If you see someone approaching with an AR-15, you know it. Such a person approaching a building is less likely to get immediate, undetected access because the threat will be visible to parents, teachers, the police, the general public, and that advance knowledge can give at least a few possible victims precious seconds to flee or call for help. However, a man with a Sig Sauer MCX can fold its stock, reducing its length by a third, and then easily conceal this weapon behind his coat. A killer can pull the gun out, open the stock and begin firing in two seconds. Mateen fired 24 rounds (bullets) in 9 seconds, nearly three per second.
Mateen could have walked into a hospital, a school or a shopping mall and roamed around, with the public unaware of his intentions until he pulled out the gun, opened the stock and began firing, three rounds per second.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that a civilian should be able to purchase an assault weapon, and most certainly not a weapon equipped with a folding or telescoping stock, the only purpose of which is to allow the gun’s concealment. Unregulated shotguns with sawed-off barrels have been banned nationwide for this very reason since the 1930s. Only a terrorist desires to conceal his weapon.
This Republican Congress and the NRA are guilty of craven disregard for the lives of innocent civilians and civil order. Terrorists, madmen, killers, are guilty of their crimes, but this Republican congress and the NRA are truly, fully complicit in those crimes because they directly enable them. Makers of these kinds of guns are making products with one purpose: to murder en masse. Over and over again, Americans have demanded that their government act to protect them, by passing uniform background checks, by prohibiting those on the Terrorist Watch List from buying guns, and by banning assault weapons. And over and over again, Republican leaders in congress have ignored those pleas. Per capita, the US has nearly three times as many guns and over three times as many homicides as any other nation. Enough is enough. This Republican congress is enabling mayhem. This Republican congress is a party to terrorism. Leaders of this Republican Party should be impeached, prosecuted for repeatedly and wantonly failing in their solemn duties to protect the domestic peace and tranquility of American society. We must bring this ongoing slaughter to an end.
Copyright 2016 Daniel R. Cobb
The Black Mamba: This is the weapon used in the mass killing in Orlando.