We Need to Ban Semi-Automatic Firearms

Mourners in El Paso hold a vigil to honor the victims of Saturday's mass shooting.Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal via ZUMA

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As usual, I don’t have a lot to say about our latest series of mass shootings. I’ll just repeat my standard prescription: the only real answer is to ban semi-automatic firearms. This is obviously not going to happen anytime soon, but it should be the goal. The only way to move public opinion on this issue is to start saying this clearly, loudly, and persistently.

And let’s all forget about the NRA, OK? Sure, they’re a terrible, corrupt organization, but they aren’t the root problem. Public opinion is. There are just too many people in America who like their guns and too few people who feel strongly about getting rid of them. To make a difference, that has to change. Like gay marriage, it will change maybe one percent a year and it will take 20 or 30 years to finally come to fruition. But what other way is there?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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