One gun owner says it's time to consider banning the AR-15.
In this Aug. 15, 2012, file photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, California. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

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Kevin Doyle of Bangor has two-elementary school age children and has worked in a variety of fields.

How many more people need to die before we address gun violence? A hundred, a thousand, a million? Recently, I have been asking myself that question. The answer should be zero. But it won’t be because we are weak willed and have no attention span.

After the latest mass murders in New York and Texas, we are outraged, saddened and heartbroken. Why do we keep allowing this to happen?

The AR-15 style weapon used in both shootings is designed simply for one thing: the rapid dispensing of death. I believe it’s time for us to not just ban the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles, but to make them illegal.

Oh, I can hear the gun faithful screaming, “Shall not be infringed!” Here’s the thing: Unless you are going to war, you don’t need one. Neither Canada nor Mexico poses a threat of invasion. It’s like that second hamburger, just leave it alone because it’s unnecessary and you will cause trouble for yourself and others around you.

The many arguments that have been made to keep these guns legal do not hold water for me. The least of which is the idea that we need to arm ourselves against rogue governments, including our own. I find this laughable because, in case anyone has yet to notice, our government couldn’t organize a bake sale. As for giving up your freedom, if you own a smartphone, used social media or conducted any business on the internet in the last 20 years, you gave up more freedom than you realize.  

None of this is easy for me to write. I come from a family that hunts and grew up with many guns in the house. I have a few of my own. When my children are old enough, I had planned to teach them how to use a gun, the proper and safe way to load, unload, shoot and clean their rifles.

The last few weeks have made me question everything about my gun beliefs. It shouldn’t have taken that long — Parkland, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, to name a few that should have been the final act. All of those lives lost, all of those families broken. When will it ever end?

The time needs to be now. No more dead children in schools. No more getting murdered while shopping for groceries. Our leaders need to make this happen, we need to make this happen.  It’s time for all of us to take a stand. Thoughts and prayers do nothing for those who are already dead and of little solace to those left behind.

Do not allow these tragedies to fall aside, to be swallowed up in the 24-hour news cycle. I say that I am willing to give up owning an assault rifle hoping (and knowing) it would save one life in the future. Take them all, we don’t need them.