ďF you, I like guns.Ē

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ďF you, I like guns.Ē

Post by T on Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:15 pm

ďF you, I like guns.Ē



America, can we talk? Letís just cut the shit for once and actually talk about whatís going on without blustering and pretending weíre actually doing a good job at adulting as a country right now. Weíre not. Weíre really screwing this whole society thing up, and we have to do better. We donít have a choice. People are dying. At this rate, itís not if your kids, or mine, are involved in a school shooting, itís when. One of these happens every 60 hours on average in the US. If you think it canít affect you, youíre wrong. Dead wrong. So letís talk.

Iíll start. Iím an Army veteran. I like M-4ís, which are, for all practical purposes, an AR-15, just with a few extra features that people almost never use anyway. Iíd say at least 70% of my formal weapons training is on that exact rifle, with the other 30% being split between various and sundry machineguns and grenade launchers. My experience is pretty representative of soldiers of my era. Most of us are really good with an M-4, and most of us like it at least reasonably well, because it is an objectively good rifle. I was good with an M-4, really good. I earned the Expert badge every time I went to the range, starting in Basic Training. This isnít uncommon. I can name dozens of other soldiers/veterans I know personally who can say the exact same thing. This rifle is surprisingly easy to use, completely idiot-proof really, has next to no recoil, comes apart and cleans up like a dream, and is light to carry around. Iím probably more accurate with it than I would be with pretty much any other weapon in existence. I like this rifle a lot. I like marksmanship as a sport. When I was in the military, I enjoyed combining these two things as often as theyíd let me.

With all that said, enough is enough. My knee jerk reaction is to consider weapons like the AR-15 no big deal because it is my default setting. Itís where my training lies. It is my normal, because I learned how to fire a rifle IN THE ARMY. You know, while I may only have shot plastic targets on the ranges of Texas, Georgia, and Missouri, thatís not what those weapons were designed for, and those targets werenít shaped like deer. They were shaped like people. Sometimes we even put little hats on them. You learn to take a gut shot, ďcenter massĒ, because itís a bigger target than the head, and also because if you maim the enemy soldier rather than killing him cleanly, more of his buddies will come out and get him, and you can shoot them, too. Heíll die of those injuries, but itíll take him a while, giving you the chance to pick off as many of his compadres as you can. Thatís how my Drill Sergeant explained it anyway. Iím sure there are many schools of thought on it. The fact is, though, when I went through my marksmanship training in the US Army, I was not learning how to be a competition shooter in the Olympics, or a good hunter. I was being taught how to kill people as efficiently as possible, and that was never a secret.

As an avowed pacifist now, it turns my stomach to even type the above words, but can you refute them? I canít. Every weapon that a US Army soldier uses has the express purpose of killing human beings. That is what they are made for. The choice rifle for years has been some variant of what civilians are sold as an AR-15. Whether it was an M-4 or an M-16 matters little. The function is the same, and so is the purpose. These are not deer rifles. They are not target rifles. They are people killing rifles. Letís stop pretending theyíre not.

With this in mind, is anybody surprised that nearly every mass shooter in recent US history has used an AR-15 to commit their crime? And why wouldnít they? High capacity magazine, ease of loading and unloading, almost no recoil, really accurate even without a scope, but numerous scopes available for high precision, great from a distance or up close, easy to carry, and readily available. You can buy one at Wal-Mart, or just about any sports store, and since theyíre long guns, I donít believe you have to be any more than 18 years old with a valid ID. This rifle was made for the modern mass shooter, especially the young one. If he could custom design a weapon to suit his sinister purposes, he couldnít do a better job than Armalite did with this one already.

This rifle is so deadly and so easy to use that no civilian should be able to get their hands on one. We simply donít need these things in society at large. I always find it interesting that when I was in the Army, and part of my job was to be incredibly proficient with this exact weapon, I never carried one at any point in garrison other than at the range. Our rifles lived in the arms room, cleaned and oiled, ready for the next range day or deployment. We didnít carry them around just because we liked them. We didnít bluster on about barracks defense and our second amendment rights. We tucked our rifles away in the arms room until the next time we needed them, just as it had been done since the Armyís inception. The military police protected us from threats in garrison. They had 9 mm Berettas to carry. They were the only soldiers who carry weapons in garrison. We trusted them to protect us, and they delivered. With notably rare exceptions, this system has worked well. There are fewer shootings on Army posts than in society in general, probably because soldiers are actively discouraged from walking around with rifles, despite being impeccably well trained with them. Perchance, we could have the largely untrained civilian population take a page from that book?

I understand that people want to be able to own guns. Thatís ok. We just need to really think about how weíre managing this. Yes, we have to manage it, just as we manage car ownership. People have to get a license to operate a car, and if you operate a car without a license, youíre going to get in trouble for that. We manage all things in society that can pose a danger to other people by their misuse. In addition to cars, we manage drugs, alcohol, exotic animals (there are certain zip codes where you canít own Serval cats, for example), and fireworks, among other things. We restrict what types of businesses can operate in which zones of the city or county. We have a whole system of permitting for just about any activity a person wants to conduct since those activities could affect others, and we realize, as a society, that we need to try to minimize the risk to other people that comes from the chosen activities of those around them in which they have no say. Gun ownership is the one thing our country collectively refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people.

I canít drive a Formula One car to work. It would be really cool to be able to do that, and I could probably cut my commute time by a lot. Hey, Iím a good driver, a responsible Formula One owner. You shouldnít be scared to be on the freeway next to me as I zip around you at 140 MPH, leaving your Mazda in a cloud of dust! Why are you scared? Cars donít kill people. People kill people. Doesnít this sound like bullshit? It is bullshit, and everybody knows. Not one person I know would argue non-ironically that Formula One cars on the freeway are a good idea. Yet, these same people will say itís totally ok to own the firearm equivalent because, in the words of comedian Jim Jeffries, ďf you, I like gunsĒ.

Yes, yes, I hear you now. We have a second amendment to the constitution, which must be held sacrosanct over all other amendments. Dude. No. The constitution was made to be a malleable document. Itís intentionally vague. We can enact gun control without infringing on the right to bear arms. You can have your deer rifle. You can have your shotgun that you love to shoot clay pigeons with. You can have your target pistol. Get a license. Get a training course. Recertify at a predetermined interval. You do not need a military grade rifle. You donít. Thereís no excuse.

ďBut weíre supposed to protect against tyranny! I need the same weapons the military would come at me with!Ē Dude. You know where I can get an Apache helicopter and a Paladin?! Hook a girl up! Seriously, though, do you really think youíd be able to hold off the government with an individual level weapon? Because you wouldnít. One grenade, and youíre toast. Donít have these illusions of standing up to the government, and needing military style rifles for that purpose. Youíre not going to stand up to the government with this thing. Theyíd take you out in about half a second.

Letís be honest. You just want a cool toy, and for the vast majority of people, thatís all an AR-15 is. Itís something fun to take to the range and put some really wicked holes in a piece of paper. Good for you. I know how enjoyable that is. Iím sure for a certain percentage of people, they might not kill anyone driving a Formula One car down the freeway, or owning a Cheetah as a pet, or setting off professional grade fireworks without a permit. Some people are good with this stuff, and some people are lucky, but those cases donít negate the overall rule. Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars arenít good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Letís fix that. Be honest, you donít need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and itís time to stop f-ing around.

T

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