Because I served in the U.S. Marines for 4 years, people have asked my opinion on guns, and more specifically, gun control. Here is my approach to the issue.
Before we take massive action on gun control or have educated debates, we should educate our citizens on weapons. Educated debates are only possible when the debaters are educated…duh.
I believe that American citizens who truly want to understand the power of weapons should fire a few. Think of it as a test drive of different cars. We will call it “Weapons 101”. They should be fired in the following order:
First, they should fire a slingshot, yes a slingshot. It is a weapon you know. The really high-end slingshots can kill birds and small rodents. I speak from experience. They can break windows (experience) and even blind a human (no experience), so obviously they are not toys.
Then our young Americans, but over the age of 18, should shoot air rifles, from the Red Rider B. B. gun “Christmas Story” edition, to the high-powered ones.
Then they should fire/shoot with a bow and arrow.
After that, a crossbow.
Please hang in there with me. I am trying to show you a progression of weapons that are dangerous and fairly easy to obtain in this country. If we want our citizens to have educated debates and discussions on gun control, I believe our citizens should have experience shooting weapons and understand their progression in power and danger. One thing is knowing about weapons, and all the statistics that can be learned about their dangers, and it’s another to have experience handling them. It makes for a better debate.
Next, I would have our citizens fire hand guns of different calibers.
If you have never fired a gun, the picture above may look a little scary, but the fact remains that we have enough guns to arm every adult in this country, and most of our children. Estimates say there are about 250 million guns in America, if not more. Safe to say, guns are everywhere. Yes, they are in your neighborhood too.
The next weapon they should fire is a .22 caliber rifle. In the world of rifles, a .22 caliber rifle is one of the weaker ones, but it can still take a life, animal and human alike.
The next weapon people should fire in my Weapons 101 educational plan, is some type of high-powered rifle. Because of their longer barrels, rifles are generally more accurate than hand guns.
My weapons firing education would stop at the AR-15.
Right now, the most popular rifle being sold in the United States is the AR-15. They are so popular that no less than 30 gun manufacturers currently make them. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 that our military uses. According to an NBC report, there are about 4 million of these weapons in the hands of American gun owners right now. Below is a picture of an AR-15 with all the bells and whistles. It is available for purchase starting at a cool G. That’s a thousand dollars for those of you with limited street vernacular.
Remember the famous Tony Montana line “Say hello to my little friend”? His friend he was introducing you to was an M-16 with a grenade launcher attached to it. In the military it is known as an M203. I fired this weapon in the Marines too. It basically blows shit up. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the grenade launching barrel below the rifle barrel. This weapon is not for sport, it is to fuck your enemy up by blowing him to smithereens. I apologize for the curse words, especially to my young followers. But doesn’t “blow shit up” and “fuck shit up” sound so much more powerful than “destroy something”? It does to me.
Before I go any further, let me tell you what I learned to do in the Marines with an M-16. It is not meant to frighten anyone, it is the reality of what I learned, and the power of an M-16 and an AR-15. Every Marine is a basic rifleman. The M-16 Marines learn to shoot with in boot-camp is the basic model, like the one below. It has no bells and whistles. Sorry, I forgot. It does have one feature that the civilian AR-15’s does not have. It has a switch that can put it in BURST mode. It allows a soldier to pull the trigger and a burst of 3 bullets is fired instead of one.
While in the Marines, from a distance of 300 meters, not feet, I could hit a target called an “Able” target with impressive precision and consistency. The target is only 12 inches across. Go ahead and take out a ruler and see how big, I mean small, 12 inches is. From 300 yards away, it’s a speck. May I remind you that this is with no scope on the rifle. It is just the rifle, its metal sights, my vision, slow pull of the trigger, and pow!, from 3 football fields away I can hit a watermelon, consistently.
You see the target above, that is the Able Target I told you about. I could hit the black part from 300 meters away, easily. It gets better, and more impressive. My point is to show you what an AR-15 is capable of, because M-16s and AR-15s are basically the same weapon.
The silhouette of a man above is called a Modified B Target. It is about 40 inches tall and 20 inches wide. I could hit that target, with precision, from 500 meters away. That is about 5 football fields, or a quarter-mile away! From that distance, you can barely see the target. Remember, this is with just raw vision, no eye correction, no scope, or support, other than my elbows in the prone position.
Let’s talk about other weapons. This is Weapons 101, remember?
The most awesome weapon I personally fired in the Marines was the M2 .50 caliber machine gun. It fires about 500 rounds per minute. That’s about 8 rounds per second! It can “reach out and touch someone” from over a mile away! Seriously? Yes, seriously. This is the M2 being fired…I am not in the picture.
Below are the.50 caliber bullets compared to an M-16’s or AR-15’s 5.56 mm bullets. The M-16 is the rifle I fired in the Marines that I just talked about. The M2 above does two things. First, you go deaf when you fire it. It is loud as hell, even while wearing ear plugs. And then, it just tears shit up. Sorry kids, but it is true.
Oh, before I forget, another cool weapon, cool as in powerful and dangerous, that I fired in the Marines was the M249 S.A.W. (Squad Automatic Weapon). It can fire 775 rounds per minute. That’s about 13 rounds per second! Go ahead and stop what you’re doing and count to 10. The M249 just fired 130 rounds, wow!
Now that the Rambo journalist is out of me, let’s get back to my original point. The point being that hand guns, rifles, and assault weapons are available for purchase in this country, and they are dangerous. In order for us as a society to have mature and educated debates about gun types, their ownership, and rules governing both, we should have some idea, for the empowerment of both sides of the argument, about how powerful weapons are. Adam Lanza used an AR-15 to kill 20 children and 6 adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The AR-15’s bullets, like an M-16’s, are meant to whistle through the air with incredible accuracy, pierce the skin, and tumble once inside a human or animal. Basically, they rip organs apart and shatter bones once in the body. Sorry AR-15 advocates, this is true, and you know it.
I am not against gun ownership. I know that many of them, most of them, are responsible. My question is, where does the type of weapon that gun enthusiasts want to own end? Do they also want to own the “Tony Montana M203”? Do they want to own .50 cal machine guns? What are the limits?
I personally do not own any guns. It is not my thing. Besides, after firing the weapons I fired in the Marines, firing a hand gun and even an AR-15, is like driving a Smart Car after driving a Lamborghini, no thanks. Buzz kill. I do own a slingshot though.
I don’t have to tell you which one is the Smart Car, right?
Stay safe America.