In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the majority of GOP lawmakers, especially those receiving money from the National Rifle Association, are facing unprecedented pressure to reexamine their stance on gun control. Some are even supporting measures to fight the epidemic of American mass shootings, so long as these solutions don't result in fewer guns. Recently, the NRA and President Trump advocated arming certain "highly trained" schoolteachers with weapons similar to the semiautomatic rifles used most frequently in American gun massacres.
Military combat veterans were like:
Brandon Friedman, a former army captain in Iraq and Afghanistan, told BuzzFeed News:
There is a gulf between being taught how to handle a weapon, and learning to fight. Those are two distinct things. And learning how to fight, how to stand your ground when an aggressor is trying to kill you, that’s not something that comes naturally to people.
Pro-gun control veterans across the nation are using their training and experiences to speak truth to Twitter:
Arming teachers may sound good, but is a terrible idea.— VoteVets #VetsVsTheNRA (@votevets) February 21, 2018
Many problems, but just some include:
It increases the chance of kids dying in crossfire, adds to confusion with SWAT teams trying to identify an armed assailant, and greatly increases odds of an accidental shooting.
As a soldier, I wielded a rifle that could hit targets out to 500m. Its sole purpose was/is to take as many human lives as efficiently as possible. As a civilian now, I see no need for any of my fellow citizens to have unfettered access to similar weaponry. #VetsForGunReform— Dan Kim (@danielmkim) February 19, 2018
This was me in 2008. I carried an M4, which is pretty much the same thing as an AR-15. I am one of the many #VetsForGunReform who know that these weapons were never intended for civilian use. Demand change! #ENOUGH #Parkland #CPAC2018 pic.twitter.com/xEklvyQ5Jj— Dave Baril (@BarilDave) February 24, 2018
My dad taught me to shoot when I was young. I grew up around guns. I learned even more while serving in the Army. I’ve never supported the @NRA, and it makes me so happy seeing other veterans ditch their memberships. We can do better. #VetsForGunReform pic.twitter.com/8HfFa37d47— Dennis Magnasco (@Dennis_Magnasco) February 19, 2018
Assault weapons like AR & AK platforms were specifically designed and purpose built to do one thing: kill as many people as quickly & efficiently as possible. They don’t belong on our streets and shouldn’t be available for civilian purchase. #VetsForGunReform cc: @Bradybuzz pic.twitter.com/rbdYyNzK3F— Joe (@JoePlenzler) February 18, 2018
This is the weapon I trained with to kill human beings. In the Marines. *I* could effectively neutralize targets at 200m. Some others, consistently at 300m. Nobody *needs* this #assaultrifle for civilian self defense. #VetsForGunReform @MediocreJedi get the RT pic.twitter.com/CDKs3zFo3s— COLD. DEAD. HANDS. [pew pew] (@JimmyB1775) February 18, 2018
I used to be one of those guys who thought we should be able to own any weapon made. Today I think differently. Military grade weapons only belong on the battlefield, on military ranges, or secured in military armories. #VetsForGunReform cc: @MediocreJedi pic.twitter.com/BRE8hgnR9j— Joe (@JoePlenzler) February 18, 2018
Civilians on Twitter are thankful to vets who have provided informed opinions on a national assault rifle ban:
This brings tears to my eyes and gives me so much hope. Thank you.— CatLady (@wendy_looloo) February 25, 2018
Much respect sir. Added you as a friend.— Daniel Robbins (@DCRPhotography) February 20, 2018
You're open-minded thoughtfulness to your fellow man makes me glad to know you.
Take care, Daniel Robbins
Not only do combat veterans have greater credibility than many pro-gun control activists when it comes to the mechanics of these weapons and the circumstances which necessitate them, but it's possible the voices of these veterans bring more objective pressure to GOP lawmakers.
Do they value the input of the troops they routinely claim to support more than they value the NRA's monetary efforts to preserve its interests?