There have been calls to ban the AR-15, a military-style weapon intended to be used only in a war zone. Now, there is a new bill proposing that every Missouri resident between the ages of 18 to 35 be required to own an AR-15. This proposal adds an extra element of danger in Missouri because it is a so-called “stand your ground” state.
According to The Washington Post, Andrew McDaniel, a Republican member of Missouri’s state’s House of Representatives “introduced legislation late last month that would require residents in that age range to purchase a version of the semiautomatic rifle. The bill is called the ‘McDaniel Militia Act.’ Another measure, the ‘McDaniel Second Amendment Act,’ would require everyone over the age of 21 to own a handgun. Each bill would also provide $1 million in tax credits for residents who purchase the weapons in compliance with the ordinances.”
McDaniel is also a former sheriff’s deputy.
If enacted, the law would be particularly scary considering that mass shootings have increased by 200 percent since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. The NRA was still fighting for American citizens to have access to militarized weapons, partly because AR-15s are the most popular and profitable guns in the country. Yet the pro-gun lobby, which basically controls the Republican party and donated $30 million to Trump’s campaign, uses the trite reasoning of the Second Amendment. In many states, it’s easier to purchase an AR-15 than a handgun.
In addition, the law has allowed people to use deadly force instead of retreating and was invoked by Trayvon Martin‘s killer George Zimmerman (although he was eventually acquitted on self-defense). It’s a law that is frequently evoked when a person of color is killed, advocates said.
Back in July, when 28-year-old Markeis McGlockton was shot and killed by Michael Drejka outside of a convenience store in Florida.
“The law is too vague and give[s] too much latitude to kill at will, even in situation[s] where a safe retreat is possible and it is the right thing to do,” Marleine Bastien, executive director of the Family Action Network Movement, said to the Miami Herald. “It should be strengthened to include clear guidelines when Stand Your Ground can apply. The law is so vague now that anyone with a bad temper, bullying and racist tendencies, and even a killer can use it to take life.”
We can only imagine how this law would be used in Missouri when paired with the apparent requirement to own an AR-15.