McDermott: On guns, one example of what can stop the carnage — and what won't.

McDermott: On guns, one example of what can stop the carnage — and what won’t.

Gun Rights

Students are evacuated by police from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, after a shooter opened fire on the campus. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) One year ago next Thursday, a young man wielding a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle killed 17 students and staff at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland . This week, we’ll hear one-year retrospectives and renewed calls for sensible gun control. We’ve been here before. This time, though, something feels different. Parkland parents and surviving students have been mobilized, even radicalized . Meanwhile, we have a historically unpopular Republican president who has already gifted the House to the Democrats, and seems determined to do the same with the Senate and White House next year. It’s plausible that, by Valentine’s Day 2021, the federal government will be controlled by a Democratic Party far left of where it was the last time it held power, being lobbied by gun-control advocates who are more unified and determined than ever. It could be a perfect storm that finally — finally! — blows in change. As it happens, we have right in front of us a good example of how to do it — and another of how not to. The main problem with the assault weapons ban was that it was poorly designed, allowing gun manufacturers to skirt it with minor modifications to their guns. Even at that, mass-shooting deaths with semiautomatic rifles — the specific problem the ban was […]

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