It's a question of balance.
IS OUR COLLECTIVE RIGHT TO BE SAFE IN PUBLIC SPACES LESS IMPORTANT than an individual's right to own an assault-style weapon? Even if a law-abiding owner uses such a gun only for recreational sport or self-defense, his/her right to own presupposes a readily available supply of those weapons. The El Paso killer reportedly purchased his assault gun legally online. His legal right as things now stand.
I know the usual arguments: "Mental illness and hate pull the trigger. Not the gun."
"If we ban assault guns, only the bad guys will have them", etc., etc.
But it is common sense that stopping the sale of such weapons, buying back those already in circulation and making it illegal to own one would make it MUCH more difficult for a potential killer to get an assault gun to kill so many innocents in seconds! It would help improve the horrific situation of multiple mass killings we now have. Look at Australia and New Zealand.
No. It wouldn't completely stop the violence. Of course we need better mental health care, background checks, and red flag laws. Of course we need to "Stop the hate." But these are partial and often protracted solutions that may miss the potential killer. Let's go to the source -- the availability of these weapons in the first place.
Let's find some balance between public safety and gun rights. Let's demand our current representatives act now and let's vote for representatives who will make public safety a priority and ban assault-style weapons.