In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Florida, we've seen a flood of letters to this newspaper and lots of media focus on "assault" rifles. Almost every letter is negative, and none of the writers can imagine why someone might want one of these rifles.

People buy them because they are fun for target shooting, good for home defense, effective at shooting problem predators such as coyotes, or for many other reasons. If folks are successful in banning these rifles, what's next? Large capacity shotguns can fire buckshot, and handguns with large capacity magazines can be used to kill a lot of people. Once assault rifles are banned, the anti-gunners will be on to their next firearm target.

One more thing. Many people have commented about the Australian program to buy back firearms. It sounds very benevolent, like the government helping people to dispose of their hated semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Truth is, this was a gun confiscation program. Those who didn't turn in their firearms were in violation of the law, and many hunters had their firearms taken away. Also, in many cases they were not paid what the firearm was worth.

Banning these assault rifles is the first step toward the Australian solution.

Joseph Tripalin, McFarland