I got shot once. Here’s what I can tell you about semiautomatic weapons.

I have been shot. The weapon was a rifle style bb gun, shot through an open window. The bb entered my right wrist and rested beneath muscle and skin. I didn’t know what had happened. One minute, I was talking on the phone, and the next, I felt a sharp pain in my wrist. Maybe it was that damn hornet that had been buzzing around? Then I saw the blood pouring from my wrist.

An ambulance was called for me. The EMTs wrapped it up in layers of gauze, and by the time I got to the hospital, I had bled through. They had to rewrap it. I was told by doctors that they could not remove the bb in my arm, due to concern of damaging nerves and tissues, which I was lucky were not damaged by the shot itself. This was just a bb gun. Something many people would consider a toy.

I cannot fathom the terror or range of other emotions the students of the Parkland tragedy have endured, and I would never presume to do so. However, I want to highlight the damage that a firearm that many consider a toy can do, because if a “toy” can do that much damage, how much damage do you think an semiautomatic rifle can cause? And why the hell would you want any civilian to have one? They have been dubbed “weapons of war” for a reason. These weapons were designed specifically to inflict maximum damage possible.

They were designed for taking lives, and our government is allowing civilians to buy weapons designed for this purpose. It is not a matter of how old a person should be before they can purchase an semiautomatic rifle. No one should be able to purchase these weapons. They should be banned. We need to take care of that problem, because we have a myriad more to address. That’s just my opinion.

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Jamie Gilmore

I write music, create art with a group of people for a business, and participate in indie filmmaking