Once again, a stunned nation is left to grapple with tragedy and a resurgent debate over gun control and gun violence.

The latest mass shooting took place Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, claiming the lives of 17 people.

The gunman, identified as a former student expelled for disciplinary reasons, carried out the carnage with a semiautomatic AR-15, an assault weapon widely available for purchase in the U.S. with or without a background check. It is the same kind of gun used to kill 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

An assault-type rifle was also used in the attack on First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that killed 26 people in November 2017 and similar weapons were used in the October 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people.

As the debate on gun control ignites, once again, we would like your opinion on the following:

* Should assault-type rifles like these be banned?

* If not, then why do you think they should remain legal?

* If you own a similar weapon, what are your reasons for owning one?

Email your responses to Editor Annette Jordan at ajordan@courier-tribune.com.