By National Memo Staff

Weekend Reader: Gun Guys: A Road Trip

March 23, 2013 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 66 Comments A+ / A-
Weekend Reader: <i>Gun Guys: A Road Trip</i>

This week, Weekend Reader brings you Gun Guys, by Dan Baum. Gun Guys offers an insightful and humorous look at the battle of guns and gun laws in the United States. Baum, a self-described “liberal gun owner,” provides readers with a varying look at the gun debate through a series of interviews and interactions with avid gun owners. Post-Newtown, gun-related violence has been under a microscope and determining effective laws has become a prevalent issue. The Senate is expected to vote on a gun bill in early April, which as of this week will unfortunately not include an assault weapons ban–something a majority of Americans are in favor of. Gun Guys provides the reader with a slightly different, more personal account of gun owners across the country.

The following is excerpted from Dan Baum’s Gun Guys. You can purchase it here.

I stepped up to position number 4 and, like a boy in the junior high gym shower, furtively looked over the other guys’ equipment. Out of six men shooting—two old guys like me and four in their thirties or younger—I was the only one with a traditional wooden rifle. Everybody else was shooting a black AR-15—the civilian version of the military’s M16. I might as well have been on the range at Fort Benning.

I’d seen these guns creeping into stores and ranges and had never understood the attraction. With their plastic stocks and high-tech man-killer look, they lacked the elegance of traditional firearms. The most common reason that people bought guns was for protection against crime, but shotguns and handguns were best for close-order shooting. The second most common reason was target shooting, like here at Cherry Creek. Hunting came third, but rarely with the AR-15. Most states didn’t allow the taking of deer with the tiny .223 bullet fired by the basic AR.

The AR was excellent at what it was designed for: killing people at medium range on the battlefield, which was not something the average retail gun buyer needed to do. Yet more and more rack space in gun stores seemed to be given over to AR-15s, and at this range on this day, they had taken over completely.

At the bench next to mine, a cherubic young man with a round, close-cropped head and plump fingers held an all-black rifle that looked ready for SEAL Team Six. Everything that was wood on my rifle was plastic on his. Instead of a horizontal stock, the gun had a vertical foregrip, as on a tommy gun. A rubber-encased telescopic scope the size of a salami lay along the top. Wired-up cylinders of some kind encrusted the barrel. The young man slapped in a banana-shaped magazine and, peering through the scope, fired four slow shots at a bull’s-eye a hundred yards off. Then he touched a button on the side of the gun, and the foregrip split into a bipod, which he rested on the bench to continue his deliberate firing. The man’s sweet, plump-cheeked baby face contrasted so thoroughly with the rifle’s flamboyant lethality that I almost laughed aloud. Instead, when he paused to reload, I broke gun-range protocol and invaded his space. “Will you forgive an ignorant question?” I asked. “I mean, look at the old iron I shoot. What do you use that gun for?”

“This!” he said with a laugh. “Shooting!”

“You’re, uh, not thinking you’re going to need it or anything . . .”

He laughed. “Oh, no. I know what you mean. No. None of that. I just like it. And it’s a little piece of history, what our boys are using in the Gee Wot.”

“In the what?”

He laughed again. “The GWOT. The Global War on Terror. It’s what they call the whole thing—Iraq, Afghanistan, all the shit we don’t hear about everyplace else. You ever shot one of these?”

“No.”

“Then come on!” He laid the rifle on the bench and gestured me over. I hesitated. Shooting another man’s gun was like dancing with his wife. Some guys got offended if you asked, yet here he was offering it up unbidden.

“Here’s the deal,” he said excitedly, licking his lips like a five-year-old showing off his favorite toy truck. “The bullet’s only sixty-four grains, but it goes superfast.” He held up a cartridge much smaller and pointier than mine—a beer bottle, say, to my wine bottles. The sixty-four-grain—four-gram—bullet looked like the tip of a ballpoint pen. The kid ran his finger along the black plastic buttstock of the rifle. “In here’s a big-ass spring. It takes up most of the recoil. And feel how light.” I picked it up. It felt like a BB gun, especially after the Krag. “You starting to get the attraction? Now look through that.” I put my eye to the scope, and the target trembled on the tip of my nose. “That’s an ACOG,” he said. “It costs more than the rifle, to tell you the truth. It’s what every guy in Iraq and Afghanistan who can afford one is using.”

I lifted my face from the scope. “They have to buy it?”

“Not the rifle. The Army gives them a stripped-down rifle with iron sights. But everybody uses optics. Some get them issued to them, but most bring them with them, or have their parents send them over.”

It hadn’t occurred to me that the military allowed soldiers to modify their rifles. Talk about a captive market: What mother wouldn’t sell a kidney to send her son a twelve-hundred-dollar rifle scope that might keep him alive?

“Not like I’ve been over there or anything,” the young man was saying. “I see them on TV. Look at the guns next time you’re watching the news. Everybody uses optics. Go ahead. Fire a few.”

My trigger hand gripped what felt like a pistol, while my left hand clutched the vertical foregrip. I suppose it was more ergonomic than the Krag. To grip the Krag, I had to tilt both hands. On this genetically modified organism of a gun, both fists stood straight up, as though I were boxing. It fit nicely into my shoulder, too, and my eye fell naturally into position behind the scope. I put the crosshairs on the chest of the silhouette target and squeezed.

There was a light bump against my shoulder and an odd sensation of the rifle’s insides sliding around as the floating parts compressed the big spring and soaked up the recoil. My own rifle punched me like a prizefighter, and to fire a second shot, I had to throw a heavy bolt lever up and back, forward and down. With this gun, I barely brushed the trigger, as gently as flicking crumbs off a tablecloth. Bam! And a third flick—Bam!

I shot four times more, as fast as I could move my finger—Bambambambam—feeling little more kick than I would from a garden hose. An AR-15 is semi-automatic, meaning it fires one shot for every touch of the trigger, while the M16—and other true “assault rifles”—can fire continuously, like a machine gun. The distinction seemed pretty meaningless, though—this AR could rock and roll faster than I could properly aim.

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Weekend Reader: Gun Guys: A Road Trip Reviewed by on . This week, Weekend Reader brings you Gun Guys, by Dan Baum. Gun Guys offers an insightful and humorous look at the battle of guns and gun laws in the United Sta This week, Weekend Reader brings you Gun Guys, by Dan Baum. Gun Guys offers an insightful and humorous look at the battle of guns and gun laws in the United Sta Rating:

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Comments

  • johninPCFL

    The original “assault rifle” was introduced by the German military in the 1930s, the Russians invented a better one (AK47), the Brits a worse one (Sten), and overlooking the .30M1 carbine, we got into the act during Vietnam (M16). All have fully-automatic modes of fire, and all are designed to kill or disable oncoming infantry at relatively close range with withering rates of fire.
    None of the banned weapons in the Congressonal bills would be useful to a soldier for any role but target shooting, exactly as described in this article, so calling them “assault rifles” belies either ignorance (probable) or a conspiracy to eviscerate A2 (as the wingnuts claim.) None of those weapons are more lethal than the unbanned rifles routinely used for hunting, they are used in a minority of crimes (far less than 1%), and the effects of a ban (to wit, lower supply) would take decades to manifest. There are better places to expend the time and energy.

    • Independent1

      Sorry, I don’t buy your reasoning. The fact that one can shoot in a semi-automatic mode (as fast as you can pull the trigger) for thirty shots without reloading is reason enough to ban them. Why is it that Sandy Hook, where a kid no bigger than my 13 year old grandson managed to kill 26 people in a matter of just a few minutes with one of these, hasn’t made that clear to you?? And when that 1% of crimes (which I’m not sure I buy either), has generally been mass killings, that’s also reason enough to ban them. People use them when they’re intent on killing a lot of people at one time. Just having them available to the general public, in and of itself, is nothing more than one unfathomable disaster after another just waiting to happen.

      • johninPCFL

        The same result obtains if using an 1870 Krag bolt-action rifle when a crowd of victims is present (take a read on the Amritsar massacre, 1000 dead in about ten minutes with no machine guns.) The lethality of a long gun is indisputable; a .300 Savage is more lethal than the M16.
        Six-sigma processes say that to correct a problem, apply your efforts to the issues using the most resources. There are tens of thousands of gun-related deaths per year, a few hundred (at most) of them committed with the proposed banned weapons in total, almost none committed with 30-round magazines. If you want to affect the death rate, you’re starting at the sharp end of a very long triangle with a much larger base. Emotion may drive the action, but logic should drive the path.
        The best use of reources (time, effort, money) is implementing aggressive background checks, eliminating straw-man buyers, and mandatory safety training. Will that eliminate the mass killings? No. But neither will banning the listed weapons. It’s a feel-good action that will have no practical benefit, and in the longer run, will stymie effective action. After all, if bans don’t work, what can POSSIBLY work? (That’ll be the NRA position.)

        • Independent1

          I’m not arguing that banning weapons that can shot 30 bullets without reloading will solve the problem, but I’m pretty sure that had the punk who killed 26 at Sandy Hook not had one that did that, at least half of those dead would still be alive because the teachers or students there would have had the opportunity to rush him while he tried to reload the ar-15. And I doubt seriously that in your examle of the 1870 Krag massacre that it was committed by one person, especially someone as undersized and frail as the kid that killed 26 at Sandy Hook. Even the explanation in the article, that an AR-15 is so easy to use, means that even in the hands of a six year-old, it would probably equally as leathal. And I understand that gun enthusiasts enjoy the ability to target practice with a gun that’s obviously very easy to shoot and has virtually no recoil, but I see no reason why people using these for target shooting need to have something that will shoot 30 bullets without reloading. And what I really can’t understand is why gun enthusiasts are so emphatic about refusing to except a ban on clips that hold more than 10 bullets; even knowing the scope of a disaster that even a 7 year-old could perpetrate (and I believe has) by killing a fairly large group people, simply because those being killed, did were not able to rush the killer while he/she was trying reload.

          • johninPCFL

            Yes, getting the 30-round murder boxes out of circulation would be a great achievement, but a practical method to do it doesn’t exist. I’ve long argued that the only time a mass killer can be approached is when he’s reloading, just as you say. But the ban, unless coupled with confiscation, will have no impact for decades.
            The Amritsar massacre was accomplished by 50 British soldiers with bolt-action rifles using five-round clips (no magazines in those days) in ten minutes. They achieved nearly one kill per shot (they wounded thousands more) and had to quit when the ammo ran low. They also didn’t want to be caught out of ammo.
            That’s 20 people killed per soldier in ten minutes, just about what happened at Sandy Hook.

          • Independent1

            If there are 100 million AR-15s out there already, that means there are around 200 million Americans that don’t have one. So putting a ban on now may keep one out to the hands of people similar to those who have already committed mass murders who are now in the population that doesn’t have one. Suggesting that by not having a ban doesn’t solve anything, is in my mind delusional. And are you aware, that just having a gun in the house, raises the changes that a woman will be killed by a gun by over 50%?? And a similar percent goes for kids being killed? So if banning AR-15s which are obviously a big attraction for people who don’t own guns now, and may never own one if they can’t purchase something as easy to shoot (and kill people with) as an AR-15, who knows how many future lives may be saved? And I don’t even want to hear about them getting into the hands of a criminal, because that’s totally outside the issues being discussed here. Not one of the mass murders over the past 10 years has been committed by a criminal.

          • johninPCFL

            I didn’t say it doesn’t solve anything, I said it’s not going to have any measurable effect for decades. Only if the ban extends to personal traffic as well as commercial sales does it have a chance of affecting things soon. As I said earlier, there was no appreciable decline in gun-related deaths during the last gun ban, but it only applied to comercial sales.
            Yes, I’m aware of the statistics of gun-related injury by having one in the house. Thus, my insistance on TRAINING. Most gun-related deaths today involve handguns and they are the weapon of choice for suicide. They account for tens of thousands of gun-related deaths per year.
            Banning the “assault weapons” may well save a classroom full of kids 30 years from now when they’re finally out of circulation. Doing background checks and mandating safety training to even own a firearm will start saving thousands of lives per year today.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

            You say that you are not working for the NRA with your postings. Most of what you have said could have come straight out of the the NRA handbook and there has be a place to start to get these military type killing guns out of circulation for good. If members of Congress like Harry Reid had a back bone they would stand up to the NRA and other gun associations like the NRA and start banning the guns that are for killing people only not game for the table and that includes guns like the AR-15. If you want to target shoot, shot a pistol, a rifle or a shotgun, the ammo is less expensive and they are weapons that can be used for other purposes than just killing a person.

          • Independent1

            Thanks!! I agree completely! When are gun nuts going to wake up to the fact that what they think is a sport is nothing more than an enticement for some to end up killings lots of people???

          • johninPCFL

            Really? Where does the NRA advocate mandatory training? Where do they advocate eliminating 30 round magazines? Must be some documentation somewhere I’ve not seen.
            The only weapons ever banned were fully automatic weapons in 1934. I advocate that also. BUT, you can still own them with a proper license.
            BTW, the bullet doesn’t care what it enters. Popular hunting rifles like the Savage .300 or Winchester 30/30 are just as lethal as the M16. All guns are designed to kill.

          • Independent1

            Decades my foot! You really need to go write for the NRA, you really like to exaggerate. If an assault ban was enforced tomorrow so Wal-Mart and other gun dealers couldn’t keep selling AR-15s, it’s possible that just doing that would keep some potential mass murderer from getting his or her hands on one. A number of the mass murders committed over the past 5 years have been done by killers that got their guns from someone in the family. Like the punk that killed 26 in Sandy Hook. He wasn’t old enough to by a gun in CT, and most likely only came up with the idea to kill people at Sandy Hook because his mother was dumb enough not only to buy an AR-15 but also to show him how to use it. Have you read stories of juveniles who have never done anything really bad in their lives but then one day see the family car sitting in the drive with the keys in it, and decide on the spur of the moment to jump in and take it for a joy ride – only to have the joy ride go terribly wrong and someone gets killed. Well, being depressed and a bit autistic, and suddenly having your mother buy a gun that kills people quickly and shows you how to use it, is a recipe for exactly the same kind of thing happening, except with a gun instead of a car. And it isn’t going to take decades to prevent that from happening. A mass killing could be prevented days after an assaul weapon or reduced bullet clip ban went into affect. A number of mass killers did what they did only because IT WAS EASY FOR THEM TO DO!!!!

          • johninPCFL

            And what did I write? “Private sales still took place, guns were still given to family members and friends, guns were still stolen. In short, the banned weapons still moved around uncontrolled.” A fully equipped Bushmaster is over $1000 new (Cabela’s), requires a wating period and background check. Those sales would be stopped by a ban. On the used person-to-person market, they’re around $800 with no wait and no background check (there’s about 300 on sale now at gunbrokerDOTcom.) Those sales don’t stop during a ban on commercial sales. And, of course, mom or uncle Walt will show you how to use theirs, with no wait and no background check.
            If you don’t ban AND CONFISCATE the weapons, how long will it take for them to be unobtainable by the next Jared Loughner or Adam Lanza? Neither could LEGALLY get the weapons they used, but got them from family. Adam’s mother didn’t “suddenly buy” the weapon he used, they’d had it for a decade. She kept it in a gunsafe.
            From a Huffington Post article: “Overall gun ownership rates have fallen sharply in recent decades, according to some researchers. In 1980, just over half of all American households reported owning a firearm. In 2010, just one in three American homes said they kept a gun on the premises, according to a survey by the Violence Policy Center.” The mass shootings you’re upset about weren’t perpetrated by folks who suddenly went out and got a new gun to act out with. They already had them within reach. The same is true today for the next mass shooter. The weapon he’ll use is already within reach. Banning the sale of new guns won’t remove it from his reach unless you also confiscate what’s already out there.
            BTW, Seung-Hui Cho, the VA Tech shooter, used only a .22 pistol and a 9mm pistol to kill 32 and wound 17.

          • old_blu

            And you just made the point that we need back ground checks in the private sector as well. Thank you.

          • johninPCFL

            It may not prevent the next massacre, but it will limit the travel of weapons to criminals and mentally ill. Looking over the last decade, that should save a few thousand lives. Per year.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Any new owner of a gun should be mandated to take a full MMPI Psychological Screening Test before they are allowed to own ANY gun. The Government can set parameters of what and what not is serious enough to not allow someone to own a gun.

            Any person who has a history of mental illness, recently or long-term should be listed on a National Database that can be accessed by gun dealers, police and health care officials. All doctors treating such mental illness, past and present, should be mandated by law to submit that person’s name to this list, regardless how mild or severe the illness is.

            All people regardless of what the mental disorder is should be banned from any ownership of guns.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            We can babble all day long about all the methods why or how people kill people with guns. Don’t matter what size, they all kill, one at a time or in mass.

            The very basic problem in this country is our Wild West Gun Culture. We need to change the nature of the “need” to even own one.

            Why do some people “need” to own a gun just because they might not like the neighbor who lives next to them? Or, why do some feel the need to own a gun, in fear of the Government for “whatever” reason there might be?

            None of these reasons I’ve heard have NO logic to them, other than for sport, hunting or if absolutely necessary, personal protection. Even in these categories, there are only a few types of hand and long guns that people can use properly.

            These Conspiracy Theories are not based on logic. In the larger perspective, the only thing that is driving the Gun Craze is Fear. And, Fear is the worst reason to own a gun, actually any gun.

          • Independent1

            But talking about criminals. I suppose you think your more expert on this than the hundreds of big city mayors across the country who have been pushing hard to get AR-15s band just to cut down on the number of wackos that their police forces may have to confront when they go out on a call that there’s a domestic shooting, or a bank being robbed. Well, I get 2-3 emails every day from Mayors Against Guns who plead with me to send calls and emails to my congressional representatives and the President asking them to back not only background checks, but also large capacity magazines and assualt weapons. I trust their opinions far more than I would ever trust yours – you should write for the NRA, or do you a?ready?? You sould just like them.

          • johninPCFL

            Emails are free. I get three per day from the President asking for $3 to overthrow the GOP.
            The NRA is against everything that has any impact on gun ownership, including mandated training, etc. I think if you re-read what I’ve writen to you, you’ll find that I believe training is essential, that backgraound checks will save lives, and that the high-capacity magazines have no place. Those are not NRA positions.
            Your emotions have gotten the better of you. Think again about what you want to accomplish. If it’s the elimination of massacres, then you are taking a position that will limit their scope (there are recorded gun massacres dating back into the 1700s) but not eliminate them. If you want to limit the number of gun-related deaths per year, there are better places to spend your time and efforts.
            In your next communication with Mayors Against Guns, ask them if they’d rather ban assault rifles or handguns.

        • awakenaustin

          Approximately 15,000 men, women and children, confined area, elevated position, military unit (assumably decently trained – they were professionals after all), ~fifty trained marksmen, 1000 killed Indian estimate (probably high, some?many? probably killed in the stampede), 379 or so dead British estimate (probably low), ~1700 cartiridges fired (maybe policed-up brass – probably low, but clearly not out of line with British dead estimates – since despite their training they were unlikely to get better than one kill per two rounds fired – required if the fired estimate is at all accurate and we are using the Indian estimate of dead). So the fact that a trained military unit of fifty men can kill, use your figure, 1000 people in 10 minutes in a confined place (try to move 15,000 people out of a confined kill zone with blocked exits) from an elevated firing position proves exactly what other than that they can do it?
          Not having access to an AR 15, etc., might not end mass killings, but it will certainly slow your work rate down. Maybe next time someone will have to bring 50 well trained marksmen with them to help out.
          You know the semi-auto feature makes an average untrained marksman better. The extra time required, although not much, allows you more opportunity to pick out your target child and conserve your ammo. However, the rate of fire on full auto is not that different than pulling the trigger again and again and again. (Yeah, I know there is the tired finger factor.) People own AR-15’s, etc., because they are neat or cool or macho or something like that. They serve no practical purpose. It is the same as a Ferrari (although a lot less expensive). You don’t buy it because it is a practical car you buy it for personal gratification reasons.

          People take guns to the party because it easier to kill people with a gun. They take rapid firing guns because it is easier to kill lots of people with them. If you think that is ok, then don’t do anything about it. I have a suggestion. Let’s quit calling AR-15’s etc., semi-automatic assault weapons or “assault style” weapons. Let’s call them peashooters, since that is how the advocates of them view them. As harmless as a peashooter. Of course, if we call them that and they really were like peashooters, no one would buy them. They wouldn’t have any cachet.

          • johninPCFL

            The one-round-per-kill estimate is from Dyer’s debriefing, where he claimed nearly one shot per kill, and praised his men for their frugality and accuracy. He may have been bragging.
            That a unit can aim, fire, and kill 20 confined people per man in ten minutes using bolt-action black powder weapons shows what a trained person can do with antiquated firearms. The type of training required here was target acquisition for an accurate shot, sort of what you get at the shooting range. My point was that a crazy person with a typical deer rifle could have produced the same tragedy at Sandy Hook, and there is historical precedent to verify the numbers.
            I don’t disagree that semi-autos make the job easier. Otherwise the Springfield Armory would never have designed the M1 Garand or the .30M1 Carbine, or the BAR.
            Focusing on the semi-autos that “look like” military weapons and ignoring the semi-auto hunting rifles that can do the same damage in the same short period of time, and that will be used next time, feeds the NRA argument that the ban doesn’t work. Banning semi-autos that “look like” military weapons and assuming that a ban on commercial sale equates to unavailability feeds the NRA argumant that the ban doesn’t work. Banning semi-autos that “look like” military weapons and assuming that the ban means that those who already own them won’t use them anymore, or sell them privately, or give them to family members, feeds the NRA argument that the ban doesn’t work.
            For the ban to work, it has to be implemented like the 1934 ban on automatic weapons. You can still own one, but you need a license and registration to do so.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            You have a valid point.

            However, there are exceptions. These military-styled semi-autos have anywhere from a 10 round mag to 30 rounds or more. Even some of these, I think, you could even adapt it for belt feed.

            The normal semi-auto “hunting” rifle or shotgun only holds I think 5 in the mag and 1 in the chamber.

            Big difference in available firepower.

          • johninPCFL

            Agreed. The 30-round murder boxes should be banned. They are not useful for anything (even target shooting) except killing as many people as possible before having to stop and reload. I have long said that the only time a shooter is vulnerable is when he has to stop shooting, for whatever reason. Making him stop 3,4, or 5 times as often to reload is better than most.
            BTW a new Russian auto-shotgun is coming on sale in the US. The smallest magazine is 25 rounds.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            That’s just F-ing Great:(

          • awakenaustin

            The typical hunting rifle even the one or two semi-autos has a limited capacity clip. 4-5 rounds. The typical hunting rifle is bolt action. Unless of course you count all the military style or military look alike rifles currently marketed as hunting rifles. Do you think there is a reason why they market these rifles styled this way? Is it because it improves “hunting” performance? The very fact that we sit around and pretend that discussions about how many children you can kill with a typical bolt action deer rifle as opposed to a military look alike semi-auto rifle with a high capacity magazine is a rational discussion is emblematic of our society’s mental illness regarding firearms. The idea that anyone would entertain the idea of arming school teachers as a rational response to the Sandy Hook tragedy is substantial evidence that the inmates run the asylum. Instead of focusing on developing a society where people don’t need firearms for protection or crave the false sense of control and manliness associated with a firearm, we have launched into the most ludicrous of all discussions – how do we arm our society to the teeth and still prevent crazy people from slaughtering innocents? The simple answer to that question is -we don’t. We either do something about guns and our attitude about them or we should just reconcile ourselves to the idea of the recurring and more frequent occasions of the massacre of innocents.

          • johninPCFL

            Fine, but that discussion starts with the repeal of A2. Nibbling around the edges by banning this or that rifle will not be effective because there are too many already out there and previous bans never got to the root of the issue: personal transfer.
            If you’re not going to try to appeal A2, about all you can do is mandate training prior to ownership, aggressive background checks, felony charges for straw-man buyers, etc. to limit the number in open circulation, or within easy reach. Those effects are immediate, as opposed to waiting decades for a non-confiscatory ban to accomplish the same thing.

          • awakenaustin

            The 2nd Amendment need not be repealed, it only needs to be rationally interpreted as it was prior to the last groups reading of its meaning. Permitting as it has been interpreted historically to permit reasonable limitations on the right to bear arms. The 1st Amendment does not provide for nor has it been interpreted to allow unlimited speech or unlimited freedom of the press or unlimited freedom of assembly or the unlimited practice of or complete non-regulation of religion. Try establishing a religion which calls for the sacrifice of a virgin here and there and see how far you get. The idea that the 2nd for some inexplicable reason grants an unqualifiable set of freedoms where the others don’t is absurd. It is our attitude about guns which needs mending. You cannot read these posts or watch video of the defenses of the posession of and claims about the efficacy of firearms as problem solvers without wondering what has gone wrong in the psyche of this nation. I’ve been to gun shows and yes there are sportsmen/women there and real hunters and there are a lot of folks who are a couple of cards short of a full deck. We have been amped up on the over stated danger present in our society and how we need to individually rather than collectively protect ourselves against it. We have been sold a bill of goods about the efficacy of of firearms in defending ourselves and our families from the depredations of others. Any realistic threat assessment regarding long term survival would tell you, you are better off getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a good diet if you want to live a long time. This nation’s best hope is that the women really do take over.
            We aren’t going to ban AR 15s and so forth. We aren’t going to do serious background checks. We aren’t going to require licenses or permits for owning large capacity semi-auto military style (whatever) firearms. We aren’t going to do anything. We are going to accept the death toll, the slow disintegration of our civil socitey and keep on trucking. We miss the mythical Old West and we want it back as soon as we can get it.

      • johninPCFL

        As a further query, when the AR15 (and it’s kin) are banned, how long will it take for the millions of them in closets across the USA to become rare enough that they will no longer be affordable to criminals? That’s where the “decades” estimate I made comes into play. There was no appreciable decline in gun-related deaths in the decade the “assault weapons” ban was in place before, according to gunpolicyDOTorg.
        The previous ban was on commercial sale. Private sales still took place, guns were still given to family members and friends, guns were still stolen. In short, the banned weapons still moved around uncontrolled. With a few hundred thousand to start with (and that’s just the AR15, not the whole list), how long will it take for them all to trickle out of availability?
        The only effective gun ban that’s implemented in the US is the ban on automatic weapons. Can you own one? Sure. You need a permit, which requires a background check, safety training, safe storage, and a license. You can’t sell it or give it away except to another licensed person. How many Thompsons or BARs were used in shootings in the last 50 years? None.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/L5ISA3X4WVQCQZ2WW4QUCEDYFU sherrik

      bullsh*t

      • CPAinNewYork

        Sherrik:
        That’s the sum total of your answer? Bullshit? You can’t do better than that?
        I’ve noticed on websites like these that people who cannot respond to an argument frequently resort to insults and profanity.

      • johninPCFL

        Your spell checker apparently failed you.

        • garryowenault

          Biggest problem is why the Second Amendment was part of the Deal. Virginia had a Militia for the purpose of keeping the Slaves in check.
          Patrick Henry supported that NEED cause there were more Slaves than
          the Landed Gentry. Since Slavery has supposedly been resolved both
          by the Second Battle of Mannasses and a genuine Amendment to the Constitution – there is no real purpose for the 2nd Amendment and all
          the prattle about a Tyrannical Government and these AR15 knockoffs
          and the millions of NRA type that will save us from said Government is
          at best blabbering misinformation.

          • johninPCFL

            And that’s a well-reasoned synopsis. If we want to limit the carnage, eliminating the weapons is the best approach. A2 is the main impediment.
            But, before we approach the issue obliquely as GWB did with A1 (“free speech zones?) or A4 (“patriot act”?), maybe the country has grown up enough to have the head-on discussion.

          • garryowenault

            Let us hope so and build on that. I have a son-in-law that is proud to be
            an NRA member and I do not speak on the issue to him. Less problems that way. Thanks for the response.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

    The world is fullof”wannabees”.

  • anonymous coward

    Yeah, this article is entirely misleading. How many times does he have to describe something which is essentially the same as the gun he brought as a baby killing machine before he feels satisfied? I agree that guns should be restricted, but the fact that he was intimidated by the AR-15 and NOT the one he was holding only shows that the man himself is an idiot who shouldn’t be holding a gun. All guns are weapons, from the smallest, least intimidating looking rifles to the massive handguns. The author’s gun is no less deadly than the AR-15s that the others brought to the range. Also, to say that the AR-15 is chambered ONLY in .223 is dishonest. It can be chambered in literally any size round the shooter prefers because they are modular.

    The fact of the matter is, the guy who wrote this doesn’t even have a solid argument. The entire purpose of this article is to breed fear instead of rational arguments because that’s one thing our side can’t seem to do when it comes to guns. We scream about how conservatives are wrong and if they’d only see logic, but we deny them the same right when it comes to these guns. I agree that we should regulate guns more. I agree that we should have background checks on all sales including private, and in a tiered license system that gives people with more experience and heavier background checks access to more lethal weapons, while leaving those who cannot pass those checks to ones which have less deadly potential.

    • pat.condray

      There is a valid distinction. With a Krag you have to work the bolt after every shot, which delays the slaughter of unarmed civilians. And if you want to kill more than five you either have to put in another clip, which may permit any surviving civilians to take the gun away from you, or use the bayonet. A 30 round clip on a semi automatic is uniquely qualified to murder crowds of unarmed people. In a firefight you probably wouldn’t continue to fire for 30 rounds without bobbing and weaving or some such, depending on your cover. But your case on background checks is valid. That is currently the case with automatic weapons. And to those who think laws don’t restrict access to certain weapons to criminals, ask yourself when the last massacre used automatic weapons. Had the NRA been as paranoid and powerful in 1934 as it is today, any mass murderer would not have to go to the trouble of pulling the trigger over and over again.

  • Rick2101

    An interesting article that gave me a different perspective on gun owners, just those who want to have fun. However, vicious crimes committed by those who should not have guns is not funny.

    I believe too many gun owners scream about their rights, but very little on responsibilities. Everyone seems to agree, at some point, that a gun in the wrong hands is the problem.

    The second amendment:
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Some argue that “well regulated” does not mean the same today as it did at the time of the founding fathers. For example according to Brian T. Halonen, “well regulated” meant something was in “proper working order”. If that is the case then today’s’ gun owners must be, according the 2nd Amendment, in “proper working order” to be protected by the constitution. Does anyone believe that gun owners who allow either by direct action or through negligence are “functioning as expected”, when their guns are used to commit crimes? Gun owners are not “well regulated”, “in proper working order”, or “functioning as expected” when their guns are used to commit crimes, unless we “expect” gun owners to somehow lose their guns, either though negligence or theft.
    The safekeeping of all guns is the direct responsibility of all gun owners.

    I also believe that some gun owners do not take the responsibility to safeguard their guns seriously enough. Regardless of how the gun owner failed to keep his or her guns out of the wrong hands, it is in my opinion they share in the responsibility of any crimes that are committed with their unsecured/lost/stolen guns.

    Perhaps the insurance industry could offer “Gun Insurance”. If a gun owner’s gun were used in a crime, the insurance company would pay all damages. The insurance industry, since they hate claims, would then come up working strategies so gun owners would actually be “functioning as expected” and safeguard their weapons. With rights comes responsibility.

    To simply hold gun owners responsible for their guns would be a good start.

    • whodatbob

      You could be on to something!

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      Everyone ALSO agrees that an automobile in the wrong hands is a problem too. We have rights granted by our constitution & amendments, and we can’t be focusing on everything that can go wrong in life, or we wouldn’t be able to own as much as a barbeque without someone hurting themselves or others. ANY item can become a lethal weapon in the hands of a madman….let’s focus on mental health issues, and get rid of all the “political correctness” we have come to assimilate here.

      • Rick2101

        You are correct; anything can be a lethal weapon. However, I believe guns are in a different category than automobiles and barbecues. The primary function of a gun is to kill something, whether it is legitimate hunting or homicide.

        Mental health issues is a very big problem throughout our society, but is time consuming and costly. If someone is prone to gun violence or any kind violence, I do not believe they are interested in getting help, they probably view themselves as “normal” in some way. Mental healthcare would then have to be imposed on them and more likely than not the State, via taxpayers, will have foot the bill. Yes, mental healthcare is the eventual solution, but while healthcare is being debated, I believe the private insurance industry should step up, supported through gun insurance premiums via gun owners, and should foot the bill for the wreckage that careless gun owners leave behind. Taxpayers should not pay for those screaming about their rights to own a gun but are unable or perhaps even unwilling to safeguard those guns so they do not fall into the wrong hands.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          So based on your logic, I guess we should also have a special additional tax on Auto drivers, who kill over 40,000 us citizens a year and seriously injury another 4 million. Makes just as much sense. And by the way, guns ALSO prevent over 2 million crimes, and murders, a year, use in self-defense. The president, and all members of congress, are protected by men with guns…..are those folks more important that our own families? I don’t think so.

          • Rick2101

            I am sorry that I confused you. I simply suggested that responsible gun
            owners be responsible for their guns. The insurance industry actuary,
            much like automobile insurance, would calculate the fees involved. Just
            as bad drivers pay more, irresponsible gun owners should pay more. It would be a private insurance company such as State Farm, Prudential, etc. that would determine rates. No taxes involved. If you want to own a gun just be responsible for it.

          • pat.condray

            You may not have noticed, but there is a “special additional tax” on automobile owners. To get a license in most states you must have insurance against the damage you may do with your car. The distinction between gun ownership and car ownership is that we do not have a constitutional amendment to wreak havoc with a car, only with guns.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Where in your analysis of guns is the fact that millions of people each year are spared threats & criminal activity (and murder) by the use of guns for defensive purposes??? The president & every member of congress is protected by men w/ guns every day. Why shouldn’t each of us have the same right?????

          • awakenaustin

            Congressmen and congresswomen do not get Secret Service protection. If you mean the work in a place where there are armed guards at the entrance to the place they work, then they get no more protection than I or every other person who works in the courthouse in my county. One might ask why such guards are necessary? Is it because numbnuts with firearms are viewed as a danger to the lives of people who work in such places or are they there to keep out folks carrying matches, barbecue grills, and driving their cars inside the building? I realize lots of things can be dangerous and are are dangerous, but lots of things are constructed primarily for other purposes. Guns are designed to shoot things not grill steaks or transport you to work. They make lousy hammers (mine keep breaking when I try to drive nails with them and I am not a good enough shot to drive a nail by firing it – aside from the expense). Sure I can keep you with a hammer, but if I am looking for numbers I don’t take a hammer or a knife or an axe. I take my trusty six-shooter or thirty shooter or multiples of them. There may be lots of legitimate reasons for owning firearms, but because other things are dangerous too, isn’t one of them. According to your “logic” we should end all laws imposing penalties on anything, because none of them are able to ensure complete safety or prevent every misuse. Some people rob banks and they get away with it, so let’s just get rid of all the bank robbery statutes. People drive while intoxicated, so why have a law against it? The reason we can’t pass sensible gun laws is because some folks have this deeply unhealthy affection for and psychological association with firearms. Hence, “you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.” Really? Are such sentiments a sign of mental health and/or a healthy adjustment to life? Do you really want to live in a place or in a society where you need to pack a firearm for your safety? Do you really believe that you need guns to protect you from an overreaching government? (If so, you should start your armed rebellion now. And if you don’t think you need to start now, maybe you should reconsider that justification and get a little more involved in politics to ensure against an overreaching government.) You know what insanity is? Pretending guns are equivalent to automobiles and barbeque grills.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            You’re right….guns are NOT the same as automobiles…..automobiles ACCIDENTALLY KILL over 40,000 innocent souls each year, while guns help SAVE over 1 million lives each year from rape, robbery & murder!

          • awakenaustin

            Bullshit. This is a bullshit statistic. This is just one of those unsustainable crap statistics you guys throw out. Here is the equivalent. I tell my neighbor I got this surefire way of keeping alligators out of my yard. I spread flour all around the edges of my yard and it keeps them away. He says to me there aren’t any alligators around here. And I say, see how well it works. There is no plausible way to substantiate your claim or to parse it out. If that is the best argument you have, it is twaddle!

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Instead of criticizing data you don’t even know exists, go to NFPA Statistics for 2011. (Nat’l Fire Protection Assoc)…IF you know how to read.

          • awakenaustin

            Obviously, I am able to decipher your silliness. I went to your suggested site. I saw a lot of stuff about fires. Unsurprisingly, I found out that people die in fires every year. I also learned that you can start a fire with matches. Even some things about car fires. Although I didn’t see anything, I am sure there is something about people dying horribly in barbeque fires and misusing matches. I did miss seeing their statistics on how many lives were saved and rapes and robberies prevented by guns each year. Couldn’t even find that category. Maybe you can give me a little more guidance on where you found that one. Since that is the one I called “bullshit” on. I did dismiss your concerns about matches and barbeque grills as silly and irrelevant equivalancies in any sane discussion of firearm’s regulation and for that I specifiically don’t apologize. You know what I didn’t learn when I went to the NFPA website, I didn’t learn that because people find silly ways to kill themselves and others, I shouldn’t be in favor of doing nothing about about trying to prevent it.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            As long as you focus ONLY on restricting lawful gun owners, you won’t solve the problem of criminals or madmen using guns for bad purposes. That’s why I used the examples I did. Many otherwise useful items can be misused or made lethal by a person bent on destruction. And this dumb focus on so called “assault” weapons is misinformed. Semi-auto firearms have been in use for over 100 years. Just because I put a front pistol grip on a rifle doesn’t change its usefulness in sane hands or its danger in bad hands. Get educated about your subject before you argue it!

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Since you refer to “dangerous items”, consider these facts from the US Fire Administration: Matches cause 81,104 fires per year (and many 1000s of deaths, Gasoline causes 61, 971 fires per year, smokers cause 43,754 fires per year….seems like there are a lot more dangerous items than guns…..

    • geno4red

      Strangely enough it was Bill O’rieley who came up with a workable solution. All guns registered with the Federal Government, caught with an unregestered gun, 5 years in prison, use an unregistered gun in a crime, minimum 10 years in prison plus the crime time. We have got to stop the paranoia and get a handle on the guns. How many more guns need to be loose in this country..I am a gun owner and would have no problem with the rules O’Rieley proposes, though I dis agree with him on most other issuers.

  • Dick

    I love guns, I use to own a many guns. I huntedand and target shot too. The assault weapon designation makes no sense to me as there are a lot of gun platforms that are semi automatic. It does makes sense to me to limit clips-magazines to 10 rounds, as this interrupts the shooter for a brief time and you should not need to have ten rounds to hunt, in fact I even had a couple muzzleloaders. The background check system is a joke. in this country. The only time a background check is done is if you buy a new gun a a store, it only makes sense if you want to limit bad guy

  • Jrigney

    This is an important discussion for Americans to have.

    But many, many points of fact are being omitted from the media discourse (for whatever reason(s) ), and not considering all of the information is no way to make a good decision.

    1st, a more accurate definition of “Assault Weapon”:
    The Firearms Act of 1927 essentially made private ownership of automatic weapons illegal (without a difficult-to-obtain-and-expensive Class 3 Permit).
    Selective-fire (automatic, in other words) is one of the primary defining characteristics of the modern Battle Rifle.

    Secondly, making laws that declare something to be illegal IS NOT the same as making that something unavailable. Stunning how many of our fellow citizens don’t seem to understand this, but there you have it.
    If you are one of the people who do not believe that this is true, then you must go and take a long, hard look at this country’s spectacularly failed “War on Drugs” before rejoining the discussion.

    Regarding firearms, there is a side-point to this: At their base, firearms are low-tech.
    Anyone with a halfway decent machine shop can crank you out as many selective-fire AK’s as they care to build. It’s very illegal to do so…but so is, say…the traffic in Heroin or Cocaine.

    Thirdly, and this is admittedly more subjective, but…..
    In a democracy, is it not horrendously bad public policy to punish tens of millions of law-abiding citizens, in this case, legal gun owners, for the criminal behavior of a few lunatics?

    Isn’t this how we came to have the absurd “Theater of Security” mess that present-day Air Travel has become?
    Does it make us any safer? (If you answered “yes”, I’m afraid that you’re kidding yourself)

    Fourth, in all of the terrible, awful, sickening crimes we have seen committed recently, our reaction to these events is to…what?

    Make ourselves all the more vulnerable to these dangers?

    That’s questionable logic….bordering on actual incoherence.

    It is important that we discuss these ideas. Obviously we are not all going to agree.
    Sad to say, some are better informed than others…some are smarter—some not so much so…some have other agendas.

    But let’s try to keep it polite.
    Our country has become so incredibly polarized.
    There is so much nastiest, name-calling, and overt rat-f**king, that we have almost paralyzed ourselves as a nation.
    Remember, whenever you are debating someone who starts calling names and hurling insults, you know that it is they who have run out of ideas, and you who have won the argument.

    • johninPCFL

      Most of the discussion today has been about banned versus unavailable. You are correct, the concept is not understood. My guess is decades between banned and unavailable, others here believe that today’s ban is immediate lack of supply. Apparently the last ban was defective, given that somehow today’s weapons survived.

      • http://www.facebook.com/allan.richardson.969 Allan Richardson

        The main tool that registration laws within a state (or city, as New York) give police is the fact that suspects can be held, and threatened with prosecution, for unlawful possession, while evidence is sought to prove whether they are likely to be the criminal or not. I am sure that is the reason such laws were passed, not because anyone though it impossible to import a gun lawfully purchased in another jurisdiction, but because “law abiding” citizens would register their guns, making possession without a permit evidence of SOME kind of criminal involvement, thus providing reasonable grounds for suspicion.

        So, while banned may not mean unavailable, it would mean unavailable through “normal” legal channels such as sporting goods stores, putting all on notice that purchase through “other” channels raises the level of suspicion, as well as removing the temptation for murders of opportunity in a moment of anger, and preventing the mentally ill who are not PREPARING to commit crimes from getting the gun that might TEMPT them to do so. In other words, it is HARDER to circumvent a ban than to buy a gun legally, and requires PRIOR CRIMINAL INTENT.

        • johninPCFL

          Unless you believe that criminal purchases make up the bulk of person-to-person sales, the main reason for purchasing through “other” channels is to save money. The AR15 is $400 cheaper through personal sales than in a storefront business. There are 300 on sale now online versus three in the local stores, including a dozen pawn shops.

    • pat.condray

      For some reason I thought it was 1934. But restrictions on automatic weapons have not proven altogether ineffective. And most of us do not make our own firearms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allan.richardson.969 Allan Richardson

    Mandatory Liability Insurance: it works for cars, most of the time. We still have accidents, including some caused by uninsured careless drivers (who are in most states violating the law by driving an uninsured car), unlicensed drivers (also breaking the law by driving), and car thieves (breaking the law even if they are licensed and insured). HOWEVER, there are far fewer accidents with no insurance available to pay damages than there WOULD be if liability insurance were purely VOLUNTARY. There may be a company or two that writes liability insurance if your gun is stolen, or loaned to someone who should not have borrowed it, but if so, how many gun owners buy it? (That is why I doubt there is such a policy on the market.)

    If Federal law said that all guns must be registered (like cars, and note: A2 would still stand in the way of MASS confiscations, but under the “well regulated” part, guns owned by those who fail the background check could be legally condemned under eminent domain, with compensation according to A5, of course) to an owner who passes the background check, and a gun safety course that is more comprehensive than a one hour “don’t do this or this” briefing (like a drivers license), and can show proof of liability insurance, there would be far fewer cases of stolen (or “borrowed” from a relative) guns being used in crimes. The law should specify that criminal AND civil liability can be avoided only by making a good faith effort to report the theft to police BEFORE the crime is committed, thus creating a duty to check the status of one’s guns regularly (I didn’t know it was missing since I last looked in the closet six months ago would not cut it). Insurance should be by gun, although insurance companies could give a MODEST quantity discount. Oh, and accidental shootings by a child, or suicides by another family member, would also trigger liability by a second party gun owner. If the owner kills only himself or herself, no gun law violations would be involved; if he/she commits a murder suicide, the suicide’s estate and the liability policy would be liable for damages, which would affect the premiums (pay more if you have minor children or a family member who is suicidal or fails the background check living with you).

    As a result, all these law abiding citizens who now own guns would have to prove they can handle them in a “well regulated” way by taking the license test, submitting to a background check, and registering and insuring each gun for liability. There would be a substantial financial incentive to do so, since they would be suspects in the event the gun was used in a crime (as they are now), chargeable with the separate offenses of lack of insurance and failure to make a timely theft report, even if not involved in the crime, and financially liable for losses because of lack of insurance. And the additional premium for additional guns, along with the duty to “rack-check” daily to make sure none have been lost or stolen, would tend to keep collections smaller.

    As a side benefit, gang-bangers and career criminals, who obviously would not register or apply for a license or insurance for their guns, could be charged with those offenses if caught with guns, EVEN if they had not yet used them in another crime, thus getting those individuals off the streets for awhile, breaking up gang communication and preventing SOME crimes. Illegal gun holders could bargain away information on other gang members to lighten their sentences, helping further to break up gangs.

    It would also be good public policy to require all of the above for retail purchase of ammunition. Although, to use the car analogy, it is not illegal to buy gasoline if one does not own or drive a car, there are few ways to store and transport gasoline as safely as inside a vehicle’s fuel tank. But ammo can be stored and sold illegally even more than guns, and a “gang” could use “designated non-shooters” to buy small amounts in multiple stores and pool their purchases. Even a single fanatic can save up a box here and a box there for months under current laws without raising suspicion.

    And now a new threat appears on the horizon, which has already turned up in a fictional form on a major TV series: 3D printing. It has already been demonstrated that the “lower receiver” of an “assault rifle”, the part that currently has a serial number and must be registered where local laws require it, can be duplicated with 3D printers, which are coming down in price, if the “template” file exists, so that an unregistered and untraceable gun could be “printed”. Thus, it may also be necessary to put a strict, automatic government “copyright” on such files, and enforce a prohibition on making gun template files available to anyone who is not licensed as a gun manufacturer to produce, serialize, and register the resulting weapons.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    What struck me about this article was that this guy couldn’t afford to live by himself and pay for an apartment, still living with his parents, but he sure could afford a $3500 people-killing weapon.

    This is the same analogy one would use for the old Welfare Cadillac; can’t afford a house of your own, but you’re in rent and own a brand new squeaky clean Cadillac.

    This is all about what we place on values. Little man living with mom and dad but acting like a man owning weapon that takes more responsibility than this jerk has……….

  • http://MichaelBenjamin2012.wordpress.com/ Michael A. Benjamin

    I knew 30-somethings who spent $3500 on lightweight carbon fiber racing bikes. No different, except I lived alone. An AR-15 would’ve been a better longterm investment.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Yea, you could probably double your investment in a AR-15 in less than 5 years.

      But, the Bile won’t kill anyone. The motorist you cut off could – maybe even with a AR-15.

      • http://MichaelBenjamin2012.wordpress.com/ Michael A. Benjamin

        Since it’s motorists who cutoff bicyclists, I am more likely to be endangered by a motorist’s vehicle than his/her AR-15. In NYC, few thugs are armed with AR-15s or any long guns. If we had AR-15s in NYC, we’d likely use them to mete out vigilante justice to the drug dealing thugs creating mayhem in our nabes.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Bike Riders cut off motorist constantly in NYC. And, yep, lots of them get clobbered as a result. It’s a game these delivery guys play over there. I’ve seen what they do. It’s pretty crazy. The one that has the most wheels usually wins.

          Regardless…………..

          Your comment sort of reminds me of the Bronson Movies – meter out your brand of justice. Believe me, real life don’t work that way.

          Hint: You don’t want to “invest” in this gun as a profit motive. If you had one, you would love the opportunity to use it on humans and probably not only on the Thugs. I’m not saying you would, but, maybe the rest of us are lucky you don’t.

          I honestly believe most people who own these types of weapons have a inner desire to use it in the same fashion if they could get away with it. They’ve immersed themselves in playing too many first shooter video games. They’ve lost all sense of reality.

          • http://MichaelBenjamin2012.wordpress.com/ Michael A. Benjamin

            The Beltway shooter and his teenage accomplice did not engage in FRS games. The fact remains that urban crime is committed with illegal handguns, not AR-15s. When I wrote “invest,” I meant the rifle appreciated in value and had continued utility.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I would assume you are correct. Most urban crime, any crime involving a gun, is by handguns, not the ARs. Hell, even most home shootings by a member of a family is by handguns. I have no doubt about this at all.

            Then using that logic, maybe we ought to ban All handguns and let anyone have the ARs, or military styled semi autos.

            You know, this can get crazy after awhile. But, even you have to admit, the ones that do the MOST damage with the most people killed at any one time is the semi auto military styled weapons.

            Personally, I don’t think there is a solution. This country is far too gone to have any sort of sane solution.

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