Letter: No place in society for these weapons

Thursday, March 08, 2018
No place in society for these weapons

Doctors and law enforcement officials have suggested that legislators should view photos of the bodies of the dead from the Parkland shootings and read the autopsy reports before they consider passing any gun-related legislation.

Assault-style weapons like the AR-15 were designed for one thing and one thing only – to kill other human beings. The only difference between the civilian and military version of the AR-15 is the lack of a “full auto” switch. According to doctors, wounds from assault-style weapons like the AR-15 are far more gruesome and likely to be lethal than wounds from a handgun or .22 rifle.

A round from an AR-15 exits the muzzle at just over 1,000 meters/second – about three times the speed of sound and two to three times the speed of a handgun bullet or .22-caliber rifle. The bullet also “yaws” or pitches as much as 4 degrees for the first 100 meters, so at close range, as at Parkland, the bullet strikes while still yawing. Ballistics expert Donald Sensing says this enhances the bullet’s tendency to tumble end over end after it enters flesh and decelerates. The tumbling causes the bullet to fragment, with fragments bouncing off bone, severing nervous system connections and destroying organ tissue, often beyond repair.

It is difficult to understand how assault-style weapons like the AR-15, intended as instruments of war, coupled with large-capacity magazines that enabled the Las Vegas shooter to fire more than 1,000 rounds in 10 minutes have any place in a civilized society.