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From Where I Stand: City council should ban assault weapons in public spaces

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Posted on: June 9, 2022

By Mai Abdul Rahman

On May 24, an 18-year-old fatally shot 19 students and two teachers, and wounded 17 others at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Sadly, this marks the 27th school shooting this year. In fact, firearms are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. This sobering fact demands specific measures to prevent the senseless wholesale murder of our young children.

I am well aware that the right to bear arms is protected by our Constitution. I am also aware that hate, anger, prejudice, animosity and rage are beyond our control. However, we can initiate sensible measures that would make it harder to mercilessly injure and kill tens of innocent children. As it stands, our state laws allow its citizens the means to do just that.

While the State of Maryland bans some semi- automatic assault weapons, it does not ban all military assault weapons. Maryland also allows the limitless purchase of detachable magazines, up to 10 rounds each, where each weapon recharge empties in 20-60 seconds. 

I believe protecting our young requires local legislators to consider the soundness of laws, and, when necessary, to augment and mend state laws to ensure the security and safety of our young. 

Rather than hope and wait for the state or county legislators to take action, the Hyattsville City Council should consider banning citizens from carrying military assault weapons into and near public spaces our children frequent. Without such sensible measures, the safety of our children will remain compromised — whether they are playing, biking or skating with friends in their neighborhood playgrounds, at school, or simply attending services at church, mosque or synagogue. This would simply make it more difficult for criminals and dangerous and hateful people to carry high velocity assault guns into our schools, playgrounds, public gatherings and houses of worship. This sensible measure will make it less likely that similar mass murders happen here where we live and raise our children. 

Mai Abdul Rahman is a Hyattsville resident and mom.

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