WaPo columnist offers graphic accounts of mass shooting aftermath to express to GOP lawmakers the impact of firearms

WaPo columnist offers graphic accounts of mass shooting aftermath to express to GOP lawmakers the impact of firearms
High school students in Minneapolis marching for gun control on February 21, 2018, Wikimedia Commons

As Republican lawmakers continue their plight to normalize firearms of mass destruction, a new analysis has compiled a string of compelling testimonies that shed light on the impact of these weapons on a child's body.

In a newly published op-ed, The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin challenged arguments presented by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). On Tuesday, June 7, the Republican lawmaker, per The Post, argued that "weapons of war have a legitimate use, such as hunting feral pigs or 'varmints.'”

According to Rubin, Thune's argument is a mere example of "utter selfishness" and an attempt to downplay the severity and destructive potential of certain firearms. "Such an argument is a revealing admission of utter selfishness: I want to use this particular gun to kill some animal, even though a less deadly weapon would be just as effective, so the heck with the little children being slaughtered in schools," she wrote. "It is also a lie and an attempt to play down the destructive force of certain weapons."

She added, "The notion that every American must have access to every possible weapon has never been the rule and defies common sense (should people be able to buy howitzers?). It also turns the Second Amendment into a recipe for mayhem never envisioned by its authors."

To back her arguments, Rubin offered a graphic account of what transpired at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. Roy Guerrero, a pediatrician who saw the gruesome aftermath of the school massacre, recalled seeing the unrecognizable bodies of child victims who were killed during the deadly shooting. Speaking to lawmakers Guerrero said that he saw “two children whose bodies had been pulverized by bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been [so] ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood-spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them.”

The mother of a victim wounded in the Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting also offered a graphic account of her son's injuries and the aftermath he's currently faced with.

“Let me paint a picture for you: My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back, and another on his left leg, caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15.” She added, “As I clean his wounds, I can feel pieces of that bullet in his back. Shrapnel will be left inside of his body for the rest of his life. Now I want you to picture that exact scenario for one of your children.”

Despite Republican lawmakers' arguments about certain firearms, Rubin also identified the flaws in those arguments with statistics. Michael J. Klein, a clinical assistant professor at New York University, wrote that in “the years after the assault weapons ban went into effect, the number of deaths from mass shootings fell, and the increase in the annual number of incidents slowed down. ... The data shows an almost immediate — and steep — rise in mass shooting deaths in the years after the assault weapons ban expired in 2004.”

Rubin argues that any Republican believing such weapons are necessary in society "should have to confront the reality of their deadly force." She added, "If they do not listen to parents and doctors, they should see graphic pictures of the carnage they cause. Maybe that will make them stop prevaricating that these are ordinary weapons with ordinary uses."

She concluded by writing, "Perhaps images of massacred children will make Republicans think twice before they defend weapons of war as no more terrifying than a shotgun."

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