I am writing to you today about one small, commonsense action Congress can take to make our communities safer from gun violence, and to debunk an NRA talking point on the issue.
Congress should immediately raise the age to purchase an assault weapon to 21 years old.
Say it aloud and immediately some right-winger will say “we let 18-year-olds use those weapons in the military."
Ok, good. Let’s talk about that.
First, they don’t own those weapons and if you’re not at war you don’t keep them on you at all times. They’re stored in an armory. Every round is accounted for.
You do a background check before you enter the service and get to handle that weapon.
You are trained on how to use that weapon safely before you fire a single round down-range.
You have to requalify to use that weapon annually.
What the far-right is saying is they want any 18-year-old to be able to grab a gun from some dealer — that is NOT the same as an 18-year-old handling a weapon in the military. It’s not even close.
If the NRA accepted military standards to be able to own weapons — especially assault weapons — I’m up for those standards.
But that is not what they are saying.
And as this debate continues in Congress over the next days and weeks, I’ll continue to make that perspective clear.
Ruben Gallego is running for re-election in Arizona and needs your help to run a winning campaign. Please chip in $5, $10 or whatever you can afford to keep him in Congress. It all adds up when we’re all doing our part.
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