aside How The Former Combat Veteran Rep. Bill Mast Feels About Banning Assault Weapons

When and if folks listen to the (NRA) National Rifle Association’s President Wayne LaPierre, the audience will get a full whiff of what the president’s base’s worldview is like. It is a true reflection of their belief system full of conspiracy theories, paranoia about the press and big government, with tons of anger about injustices thrown in for good measure.

The president’s campaign was rescued by the NRA at an early stage when it was floundering and so, the republican President Donald Trump owes this organization big time.

But he also has shown a willingness to at least consider some gun control measures.  We will have to see how these leaders respond to the young adults demanding that something be done to protect future students from suffering the loss of life and trauma they experienced on February 14, 2018, where a mass shooter with an AR15 weapon fired at teenagers in a Parkland, Florida High School killing 17 souls.

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Below, Bill Mast tells of how he has seen combat, is a NRA member but he still supports a ban on weapons like AR15s and other reasonable gun control measures.

As per 2/20/18 Quinnipiac poll regarding how Americans view gun control, “American voters support stricter gun laws 66 – 31 percent, the highest level of support ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, with 50 – 44 percent support among gun owners and 62 – 35 percent support from white voters with no college degree and 58 – 38 percent support among white men.

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“Today’s result is up from a negative 47 – 50 percent measure of support in a December 23, 2015, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.

Support for universal background checks is itself almost universal, 97 – 2 percent, including 97 – 3 percent among gun owners. Support for gun control on other questions is at its highest level since the Quinnipiac University Poll began focusing on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre:”

  • “67 – 29 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;”
  • “83 – 14 percent for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases. It is too easy to buy a gun in the U.S. today, American voters say 67 – 3 percent. If more people carried guns, the U.S. would be less safe, voters say 59 – 33 percent. Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, voters say 75 – 17 percent.”

“Stricter gun control would do more to reduce gun violence in schools, 40 percent of voters say, while 34 percent say metal detectors would do more and 20 percent say armed teachers are the answer. ”

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“If you think Americans are largely unmoved by the mass shootings, you should think again. Support for stricter gun laws is up 19 points in little more than 2 years,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.”

Here’s the rest of the story…

On February 23, 2018, Brian Mast for the New York Times penned the following report, “I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban”

Excerpts:

“The most important and unregrettable time of my life was the 12 years I spent in the Army. I became a bomb technician because I wanted to save lives. I nearly gave my own life for that — I lost both my legs and a finger when a roadside bomb detonated beneath me — and have known more heroes than I can count who died defending others.

When I was with others on the battlefield and we saw a chance to save a life, we didn’t have a meeting about it; we acted immediately. I never worried about becoming a casualty myself.

Now, as a Republican congressman from Florida, I don’t fear becoming a political casualty, either. If we act now by changing laws surrounding firearms and mental illness, we too can save lives.

“Most nights in Afghanistan, I wielded an M4 carbine and a .40-caliber pistol. The total barrel length of my M4 was approximately 14 inches with Trijicon ACOG sights, as well as an infrared laser. I usually carried 10 magazines stacked with 20 rounds of 5.56-millimeter ammunition each.”

“My rifle was very similar to the AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon used to kill students, teachers and a coach I knew at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where I once lived.”

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BILL MAST
“I have fired tens of thousands of rounds through that rifle, many in combat. We used it because it was the most lethal — the best for killing our enemies. And I know that my community, our schools and public gathering places are not made safer by any person having access to the best killing tool the Army could put in my hands. I cannot support the primary weapon I used to defend our people being used to kill children I swore to defend.”

“The truth is, most gun owners are responsible sportsmen and collectors who enjoy shooting recreation-ally, like me, or want to protect their home in the way they see fit. I am a longtime member of the National Rifle Association. “

“We are Americans and we like to be the best; we should never lose this trait. The AR-15 is an excellent platform for recreational shooters to learn to be outstanding marksmen. Unfortunately, it is also an excellent platform for those who wish to kill the innocent.”

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REP. BILL MAST

“I conceal and carry a 9-millimeter pistol most days because I know the threats.”

“I also know that I am made less safe by the threat of tactical rifles. I am confident I can eliminate an active shooter who is attacking with a pistol because the attacker would have to be close to me. But the defense my concealed 9-millimeter affords me is largely gone if the attacker is firing from beyond 40 yards, as he could easily do with the AR-15.”

“No firearm is evil. Guns are tools that fulfill the intent of their users, good or bad. But we’ve seen that the rifle of choice for many mass shooters is the AR-15.”
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“The Second Amendment is unimpeachable. It guarantees the right of citizens to defend themselves. I accept, however, that it does not guarantee that every civilian can bear any and all arms.”

“For example, the purchase of fully automatic firearms is largely banned already, and I cannot purchase an AT-4 rocket, grenades, a Bradley fighting vehicle or an Abrams tank. I know that no single action can prevent a truly determined person from committing mass murder, and I am aware of other ways to commit mass murder, such as bombings and mass vehicular slaughter. Not being able to control everything, however, should not prevent us from doing something.”

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“Therefore, I support the following:”

“Defining what constitutes an assault or tactical firearm and not allowing them for future purchase — just as we already prohibit the purchase of fully automatic firearms. The exact definition of assault weapon will need to be determined. But we should all be able to agree that the civilian version of the very deadly weapon that the Army issued to me should certainly qualify. I would not support any version of a ban that results in confiscating existing legally owned firearms.”

“Ensuring that every firearm purchaser has a background check. We also need to improve the background check system.”

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“Banning the sale of accessories and add-ons that circumvent the ban on automatic firearms, and increasing the ages at which individuals can purchase various categories of firearms.”

“Ensuring that those who have been detained for mental illness, or have been ordered by courts to receive treatment for mental illness, cannot purchase firearms.”

“Ensuring that someone who is being looked at as a possible terrorist, through a system of due process, cannot purchase a firearm and that any person threatening to shoot or blow up a school, in word or on social media, is placed on an F.B.I. watch list for a long time.”

“Providing behavior detection training to anyone seeking a Federal Firearms License.”

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“Making substantial resources available to schools, at their discretion, for security measures, including the opportunity to purchase enhanced security screening, install classroom panic buttons wired directly to law enforcement and hire additional school resource officers.”

“Holding the F.B.I. and state agencies accountable for their failures to identify a threat like Nikolas Cruz, as well as ensuring that schools enforce basic security protocols to prevent access by unauthorized personnel.”

“And finally, conducting further research into the nexus of gun violence, violence in mass media and mental illness.”

“The president, House of Representatives, Senate, every state legislature, sheriffs, police officers, school boards, students and parents must unite with one mission: that no one will ever be murdered in school again.”

16 comments

    • Dear Jill,

      The irony is that most NRA members are for reasonable gun control measures. It is the NRA leaders who are opposed.

      The NRA keeps their hard core followers in check with the slippery slope argument and that those darn liberals want to confiscate all their guns. Both of these assertions are B.S.

      It is time for the majority of folks to win this one. I am thrilled with all the businesses cutting ties with the NRA.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I, too, am thrilled to see so many cutting ties with the NRA! I’m surprised, but definitely pleased. Perhaps this is the beginning of the stripping of some of the NRA’s power? Let us hope. Hugs!!!

        • Dear Jill,

          It will take time but I hope and pray that the NRA leaders are hearing their own death rattles. Their stronghold will be diminished and the GOP will have to let go of their addiction to NRA monies.

          Hugs, Gronda

  1. Okay, so I’ll wait till they’ve walked out the doors… Then I can legally use the legal guns I purchased online because I said I was already old enough and that I said I wasn’t crazy even though I probably must be since I am telling everyone that I want to be a mass murderer… I love America, land of free guns, I can buy them, and shoot them, and kill NRA sons.In the schoolyard, on the freeway, anywhere that I can, god bless the NRA, Let’s all purchase guns…”

    • Life is about compromise, if reasonable gun control reform can be implemented like ones proposed by congressman Mast, then i can live with that.
      Realistically we cannot expect a ban on all weapons; firearms like hunting rifles, pistols are legal & protected under the 2nd Amendment. Automatic assault weapons are for war, not civilian use and should be banned.
      Sadly the Republican Party is so deep in bed with the NRA/ gun manufacturers, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

      I do like the idea from one of your readers…. let unhinged gunmen shoot down politicians and judges, now that might make a difference in policy!

      • Dear 1EarthUnited,

        It is a republican myth that all those liberals want to take away all people’s guns. There will always be the few absolutists. The fact is liberals do own guns as well.

        The NRA argues the slippery slope myth that if any compromise is made, then what is the next step.

        Compromise can be done if the president and the NRA does not block these attempts.

        Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Rawgod,

      You have a point in highlighting the insanity of the US gun laws created under the thumb of the NRA leaders.

      Hopefully this insanity will get addressed. The republicans are on the wrong side of so many issues that there will come a time were they have to be on the right side of an issue.

      It is getting to the point where everyone in the USA will know someone or a friend of someone of peoples being victimized by these mass shootings with the weapon of choice, AR15.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear John Fioravanti,

      We here in the USA are a bit jealous about now. Every country has its historical blemishes. But you do not suffer from a president who is an embarrassment, nor from a high rate of murder and you have a national health system. .

      It’s a good thing you all have colder weather or your country could be swamped with American refugees.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. With gentlemen such as Mr Mast there is hope for dialogue and compromise.
    Of course, here speaks a man who has ‘been there’ and ‘paid his dues’, he can be respected.
    Can we say the same about slew of the strident commentators and pundits screaming for ‘more guns’ and ‘less control’?
    Mr Mast is above them all.

    • Dear Roger,

      Thank goodness for Mr. Mast’s point of view based on reality. It is interesting to me that the NRA head and the US president are both draft dodgers. I would love to give them both a gun and tell them to go shoot a man with an AR15 when they don’t know his location and can’t see him in a crowded area with mayhem.

      Hugs, Gronda

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