Why? That's my question. Why? What makes New York State think that changing the minimum age to buy an assault rifle will stop any active shooter or mass shooting? Why?

Assault rifle, military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. ~ Britannica

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***This is an opinion piece

After reading the Federal Bureau of Investigation's report on active shooters, I've come to the conclusion that changing the age to buy an assault rifle from 18 to 21 is just cosmetic. It's like whitening your teeth, knowing you have cavities, crooked teeth, abscesses, gum diseases, plaque, and need root canals.

What's the point?

Just to look good on the outside? In a recent report by the FBI, the agency said that the age range of the 61 active shooters in 2021 was 12-years-old to 67-years-old. Sure, increasing the age to 21-years-old MIGHT stop or delay a few shooters from being able to purchase an assault weapon, but it's likely not going to make any significant dent in stopping these horrific mass shootings from happening.

Let's get to the real problem, not just put lipstick on a pig and call it a beauty queen.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
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While not all active shooters use assault rifles, this graphic from an FBI special report on active shooters in 2021 shows that of the 61, at least 45 or more than two-thirds, were aged 25 or older. Only 16 active shooters were under the age of 25. Of the 16 shooters under the age of 25-years-old, only five were younger than 21. Even if each of those 5 under the age of 21-years-old used an assault rifle, that's still less than 10 percent of active shooters in 2021 that would have been 'stopped' in theory, by increasing the age. Changing the age to purchase an assault weapon, statistically may not make much of a difference.

In 2021, 103 people were killed and 140 wounded by active shooters

The main type of gun used in the 61 active shooter incidents in 2021 were handguns, not assault rifles. Here is an approximate breakdown of the guns used (certain shooters used multiple weapons, so there are more than 61), according to the FBI's report:

Semi-Automatic Rifle - 1
Shotgun - 4
Gun (unspecified) - 7
Rifle - 11
Handgun - 53

Let's break it down even further. Of the 5 active shooters under the age of 21, here's a breakdown of the types of guns the FBI report says they used:

Age 12 - Handgun (3 injured)

In May, a female sixth-grader brought a handgun to Rigby Middle and shot two students and an adult staff member at the school.

Age 15 - Handgun (4 killed, 7 injured)

A 9 mm SIG Sauer SP 2022 semi-automatic handgun and at least two 15-round magazines were recovered from Crumbley, while a third magazine was found at the school. Bouchard said James Crumbley had purchased the gun under his name from a local shop on Black Friday, four days prior to the shooting.

Age 19 - Two assault rifles (8 killed, 7 injured)

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Saturday that two assault rifles used in Thursday’s mass shooting were purchased legally by the shooter in 2020.

Age 19 - Rifle (1 killed, 12 injured)

According to court documents, Tricarico went to Cabela's to buy four boxes of ammunition for the rifle before the shootings. Surprise Police recovered an AR-15 in the Volkwagen when they arrested him outside of a church.

Age 19 - Handgun (1 killed, 1 wounded)

Officers found a black 9 mm handgun with swastikas and other white supremacist markings on the weapon found laying next to Ingalls' body after the pier shooting. Ingalls threw a pellet gun into the river before killing himself, police said.

Hostage Situation And Reports Of Shots Fired At Veterans Home In Yountville, California
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Why are assault rifles legal?

If we really want to stop deranged people from using assault weapons to kill people, why do we allow the common man, someone not in the military or the defense industry to buy an assault rifle in the first place? No one is hunting with an assault rifle. Let me say it louder for the people in the back, NO ONE IS HUNTING WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE.

Unless a person is trying to take out a family of hippos, there is no reason to use an assault rifle for hunting. Unless a person is going to defend the United States against an invading foreign adversary, there is no reason to use an assault rifle for defense. Changing the age to buy assault rifles is stupid. Assault weapons are designed for war. Why are they legal for the average person, at any age, to buy in the first place? New York does have laws in place to make it difficult to legally own one, but there are quite a few loopholes and exceptions. Also, there are companies that have designed products to help make 'illegal' assault weapons legal in New York by complying with certain specifications.

My condolences and heart goes out to all the victims, families, and communities terrorized by active and mass shooters. Let's do something REAL for all of these people and ban assault rifles for use by normal citizens.

***This is an opinion piece

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