Sanford: Lawmakers must ban sale, distribution of AR-15s

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every time our nation is confronted with a mass shooting we are told that now is not the time discuss changes to our gun laws. We can talk about treating mental illness or trot out the now popular cliché "if you see something say something," but talk of banning assault weapons is off limits.

Well not anymore.

The shooting spree Wednesday at a Florida high school that claimed the lives of least 17 people was allegedly committed by a 19 year old killer with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. He also had massive amounts of ammunition.

Expressions of sympathy and anger are not enough.

It is time for our federal lawmakers to ban the sale and distribution of AR-15s. I don`t care what the National Rifle Association says or the politicians who are bought off by NRA contributions, these weapons serve no legitimate purpose other than to kill and maim.

It is also time to limit the amount of ammunition any one individual can possess.

Plus, no person with documented signs of mental illness should be allowed to own firearms.

This should not be a political issue. It is a public health issue and we as a nation must demand that our lawmakers act to bring this madness to an end.