Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Students ‘did not sign up’ for violence, veterans say


He no longer owns a gun, but still shoots periodically and said that veterans’ knowledge of firearms is something important they bring to the conversation.

“A lot of us come from homes or backgrounds where we appreciate firearms,” Lucier said. “We don’t necessarily villainize or demonize people who own guns. We understand guns.”

“Our identity as veterans ... informs our position,” he said. “But it’s not in any way trying to be a shield from criticism ... or represent veterans as a monolith.”

For Dennis Magnasco, who served in the US Army from 2006 to 2015, deployed to Afghanistan and is a gun owner, the shooting in Las Vegas — where the gunman used a “bump stock” device to drastically increase the rate at which he could rain bullets down on concertgoers — encouraged him to speak out.

“I saw the video of the shooting,” he said. “When I heard the fire from that rifle with the bump stock on it, it sounded very similar to a machine gun. It sounded like combat.”

“I had this feeling of just, this isn’t right, we’ve gotta make some changes,” he said.

As a medic in an infantry unit, Magnasco treated a wide variety of injuries, which is “something that I carry with me, and something that I remember,” he said.

“When I think about middle school students and high school students in the United States seeing these types of injuries in their schools to their friends, they didn’t sign up for that,” he said. “That shouldn’t be the way things are.”

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