Some of the top marksmen and markswomen in the United States recently took an opportunity to speak out about their support of banning assault weapons.
After competing in a biathlon in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea, North Carolina native Lowell Bailey shared his opinion on the controversial subject.
"We're a sport that uses a .22-caliber rifle," Bailey explained. "A .22-caliber rifle that shoots a single round is a much different thing than an AR-15. In my opinion, there's just no reason for assault rifles to be in the hands of ordinary citizens."
"I have no interest in owning a weapon that can kill another human being – that's designed to kill another human being," Bailey added. "And to do it in an expeditious way. Why is that allowed? It's maddening."
Bailey is not the only U.S. biathlete to speak out about the AR-15, as his Olympic team-mates also shared their feelings, as reported by Yahoo.
"Every time something like that happens, it makes me sick to my stomach, to think about," said Susan Dunklee, another member of the U.S. mixed relay team. "This is so far removed from that kind of shooting. This is precision shooting. We're using a .22. But there is that association of being a firearm, and it takes a lot of the joy I have out of pursuing a sport like this."
"All of us are very saddened by it," added Joanne Firesteel Reid. "We have to take it in our own way. As a target shooter you don't even associate what you're doing with something like that."
Finally, Bailey addressed other countries' point-of-view on U.S. gun laws, saying, "They're absolutely baffled. They're baffled at the political landscape of the United States, and how we can continue to put an assault rifle into the hands of anyone who wants to walk into a gun store and buy one."
The comments from the U.S.A. Olympic biathlete team come less than a week after the widely-reported high school shooting in Florida.
Confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, one for each of the students and adults he shot to death on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The gun store owners who sold Cruz an AR-15 recently spoke out, saying that the 19-year-old "fell through the cracks."
Michael and Lisa Morrison own Sunrise Tactical Supply, the store where Cruz purchased the weapon he used to carry out the shooting. On Thursday, their lawyer Douglas Rudman spoke to the press in front of the business.
Rudman told reporters that his clients sold "a lawful weapon to someone who was mentally ill."
"Someone who fell through the cracks. Someone who was not held accountable for their actions when they were expelled from school. Someone who was not put into any sort of database and someone who was essentially allowed to go unchecked before walking into this store and purchasing a firearm," Rudman added.