In the past weeks I have had many friends that are not familiar with the “gun culture” ask me why I need a so-called “assault rifle” or high capacity magazine or pistol grip. Some don’t understand why I own a gun at all. So I thought I would write down a few thoughts on this with the hope that some might better understand.
I am not a competitive person, nor a sports fan and I truly find it ridiculous that grown men are paid millions of dollars to chase each other around a field with a ball. My sport is the shooting sports. It is an amazing challenge of skill to launch a projectile from a few feet or hundreds of yards away and hit your target. It takes so many different skills, gear and knowledge to achieve this. For me guns are things of both mechanical and physical beauty. The complexity and simultaneous simplicity of a combination of plastic, wood, metal and glass that come together with a man to achieve this feat of combined skills is amazing.
Shooting is an exhilarating experience that allows me to test myself increasingly in speed, accuracy and distances. Using hand, eye coordination to accomplish a goal is a worthy test of skills for anyone. It also involves physics, geometry, judging distances, keeping a steady hand, knowing your eye dominance and hand dominance traits.
Shooting the semi-auto version of the AR-15 carbine allows me to duplicate most of the functions of the current issue rifle and magazines of our Armed forces and prepare for participation at events like the National Matches. The National Matches were first held in 1903, moved to Camp Perry, Ohio, in 1907 and continue to take place every summer at Camp Perry. The National Matches have become a huge, national shooting sports festival with well over 6,000 annual participants including school students and competition event shooters ranging from beginners to many of the world’s best.
What many people do not know is that most advances in shooting techniques and tactics often come from the private sector. The US now has most of the world’s finest shooters that compete and practice nearly every week of the year to improve speed, accuracy and gear to win events. As a competitive shooter myself I have had the opportunity to train with and compete against many of the top men and women shooters. I count several of them as my friends. When not competing or practicing some of these great Americans are training our most elite fighting forces the same secrets, drills and skills they use to win national and international contests. Without the availability of the AR platform weapon system to all citizens, we would loose this valuable resource.
Knowing the history of guns in our nation and the history of particular firearm designs and the genius minds behind them is of great interest to me. My father did mechanical work on automobiles, heavy equipment and was a Watch and Clockmaker. I spent much of my youth assisting him and learning mechanical skills and how things work. What I learned from him is now expressed in my beloved hobby of the shooting sports. I use my mechanical skills in cleaning, modifying and upgrading the tools of my sport.
All this talk about high capacity magazines, barrel shrouds and pistols grips is nothing more than a giant distraction. Once you understand the origins of the term “assault weapon” you will see it is all smoke and mirrors. Educate yourself on this subject here http://www.assaultweapon.info/ The real problem behind the mass shootings and violence in America are Mental illness and our US addiction and the over prescribing of psychotropic Drugs.
Dealing with the mental illness issue is complicated and expensive and dealing with the pharmaceutical side is difficult because of all the money and the huge lobby behind it.
The tragedy that occurred not far from my home and claimed 26 innocent lives will not soon leave the minds of anyone. It is this phenomenon that will allow the opponents of our firearms sports and freedoms to get normally reasonable Americans to adopt the idea that gun laws will stop violent acts. They will not.
We know through history, statistics and hard evidence that this simply is not true and that the opposite effect will be the result of any new gun control laws. Without exception the most violent crime occurs where the gun laws are the strictest. Schools, government buildings, malls and business where signs are posted banning firearms like the Aurora Movie Theater. These areas become “criminal safety zones” or “defenseless victim areas”. Cities like Chicago and Washington DC have the most restrictive gun laws and some of the highest incidences of gun crime. England now holds the distinction as the most violent country in the European Union and even out shines South Africa in violence. Yes, you guessed it, some of the strictest firearm laws in Europe.
Here is the irrefutable evidence from the past 5 years proving the case that more guns in the hands of private US citizens, equals less crime. FBI Vital Statistics Report
I believe that many people do not understand the firearms culture and are easily swayed by the rhetoric and false claims by those that would have us all disarmed. Make no mistake about it, the leaders of the fight to remove firearms from American citizens are well aware of the hard evidence and don’t care. The goal for them is all about removing firearms from law-abiding citizens and has nothing to do with reducing violence. Gun Control has always been all about control and never about guns. This horrific situation that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School is just the serious crisis they have been waiting for and they won’t let it go to waste. Thanks Rahm Emanual
The second amendment and the right to keep and bear arms is simply about a balance of power between the government and the “we the people” that have elected that government. Without access to the most current technology in firearms that can equal that of the police and military that “we the people” have employed to protect our nation, the scales of that balance are tipped in the favor of the government. We all know and have seen time and time again throughout history that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! Just during the past 100 years, 170,000,000 citizens (yes that is millions) have been murdered by their own governments, almost all within 10 years of those citizens being disarmed.
On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. On the night of April 18, the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III to suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 British soldiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn, to seize the colonists’ military stores (to disarm the citizens) in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston. At Lexington Green, the British were met by approximately seventy American Minute Men led by John Parker. At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, who forced the British to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. By the end of the day, the colonists were singing “Yankee Doodle” and the American Revolution had begun.
The founding fathers guaranteed us this God given right in our Bill of Rights. They were incredibly insightful and intelligent and knew that without the balance of power our Republic would be doomed. Who are we to allow this last line of defense against tyranny to slip out of our grip? Stand up and fight now with phone, pen and keyboard. Before the fight becomes blood, bullets and mud.
I am a lifetime member of the NRA and a member of the GOA (Gun Owners of America). I intend to spend the value of a new firearm ($1200-$1500) supporting the second amendment through contributions to these organizations this year. Writing letters, faxes, emails and making phone calls on a federal and state level every week until the battle for our rights is an absolute victory! Attack this fight with everything you have in your intellectual arsenal!
While I have had the luxury to enjoy my second amendment rights in a recreational way that is not why it appears in the Bill of Rights. The second amendment is about shooting at the government, not shooting at paper targets or deer.
The shooting sports are about so much more than putting rounds down range. Until you have engaged yourself in a little shooting, you just won’t understand. In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer the highest form of ignorance is reject something you know nothing about. So if you’re a shooter, make an effort to introduce a friend or relative to this great sport we all love. Even better take a young person and educate them before they are indoctrinated.