Academia vs The Real World
The more I read and the more real world experiences I acquire I cannot help…
So I posted a few pictures on Twitter which are below as well and asked the question, Which of these weapons is scariest?
As the gun debate rages on I wanted to put in my two cents of things and do somewhat of an experiment. I want to make this post as objective, meaning I am do not want to persuade you one way or the other, which is going to be hard but I basically just wanted to share information.
Guns are scary for most people and will certainly get the majority to have a strong opinion one way or the other. But for the average person I would say that most of the information that they receive comes from the media, which is both good and bad. For me personally, with something like a weapon I do not want someone telling me what to think about it until I have done my own research and perhaps even fired said weapon. Then I can make my decision about said thing. So my first point is that do not let someone, including me, sway your opinion about something that you have never held or used, no matter the product. It’s like saying you hate Chinese food and it should be banned, yet you have never tried it. Does not make sense, does it?
To start let’s get into the pictures that I tweeted out earlier.
The first weapon I posted listed a A is a M1A Carbine. This weapon was designed and used by the US military during WWII, The Korean War, and in Vietnam. In terms of the fear factor I would assume that none of you chose this weapon as the scariest. Yet it fits two of the criteria for being an “assault weapon.” It is semi-automatic, has a detachable magazine, but does not have a pistol grip. So therefore it is not an assault rifle. Still I would say that despite not having a pistol grip that it is could easily be used in a mass shooting. But again it is not classified as an assault weapon, so if we did ban all assault weapons this one would still be available for purchase by the general public. I also wanted to note that it was specifically designed by the military to kill people.
On to picture B, which I would imagine is the weapon that most people chose as the scariest. This is the picturesque AR style assault weapon. The same style that has been used over and over again in mass shootings and the same weapon everyone is talking about that needs to be banned. It was designed on the 70’s as the M16 for the military, I believe to replace the heavier M14 (which is picture C). It was made of plastic or polymer and aluminum which made it lighter and easier to handle for soldiers. This weapon again was designed by the military specifically to kill people and is still in use today but as the newly redesigned M4 model. It is an assault rifle so it has a detachable magazine, it is semi-automatic, and has a pistol grip. If we were to ban assault style weapons this one would be on the list and would no longer be available to the general public.
Picture C is the M14. This weapon was used in the Korean War and Vietnam, and for a while many soldiers preferred this weapon to the M16 because of the larger round that it fired. However, this weapons is no longer in use in the military active duty, as far as I know. This weapon is not an assault rifle, as it does not have a pistol grip, therefore if we were to pass a law that would ban all assault weapons this one would not be banned as it does not satisfy the definition of an assault weapon. Yet again this weapon was designed by the military and its purpose was to kill. I doubt any of you chose this one as the scariest.
Picture D is a Mossberg MVP. This one has almost nothing in common with the others. It is a bolt action rifle meaning after each shot you will have to move the bolt to remove the spent casing and load a new round. This rifle has a very low rate of fire and is mostly used for target, long distance shooting, and hunting. It is made of polymers and lightweight metals making it look pretty cool and or scary. I would imagine that many of you may have chosen this one as the scariest. If you did chose this one as the scariest, it is the only weapon on the list that was not designed for use in the military, meaning it was not weapon designed to kill people. It was designed as a target shooting rifle and if we banned all assault style weapons this one would not be on the list as it is a bolt action rifle, not a semi-automatic. This weapon despite its “scary” design is the least likely weapon to be used in a mass shooting, in my opinion.
Picture E is a FN Fal. This weapon was designed by the Belgium company FN and is an assault weapon designed for the military and police forces. It has been in service for I would say at least 30 years and is such a rugged and reliable rifle has found its way into many terrorist organizations. This weapon again was designed for military use and its purpose was to kill people. Despite its wooden stock and fore grip, it is an assault rifle as it is a semi-automatic, has a detachable magazine, and has a pistol grip. It would be banned if there was an assault weapons ban.
I would be interested to see how many chose picture B or D as the scariest even though D is a purely civilian rifle. I am sure most chose B as that is the one most have seen on television and are familiar with. The others I doubt anyone other than gun enthusiast would know. Despite which weapon you chose as the scariest they all will kill you just as dead, that I assure you. So in my eyes they are all have the same scare factor to me of, wait for it…..0. Guns do not scare me, no gun assault rifle or not scares me. I have never seen on go off without an operator. The gun needs someone to load it, aim it, and fire it. I have never, ever, in my life seen a gun load itself, aim itself, and fire itself. Until I see or have proof that that has happened I will never be afraid or scared of any gun.
So what does all this mean. I just wanted to provide some information to those that know little to nothing about guns. I also want to say that I am not an expert but I do know a few things. I also wanted to make the point that banning assault style weapons in theory may solve a problem or two, but as you can see there are various other high capacity, cheap weapons that could be purchased and used to inflict maximum damage in a crowded area. Someone could purchase an M1A Carbine and do just as much damage with that rather than an AR 15. That is the point I was trying to make. So if we ban assault weapons where does it stop? If we start down that path I do not know where we will stop and am not sure that is such a good idea.
In saying that I will also say there is no rhyme or reason that anyone, ANYONE needs an assault style weapon. No matter what you use it for you can accomplish the same thing with a different gun. With that being said they are not illegal and it is their right to own one. I have no problem with that whatsoever. I somewhat put them in the same category as exotic sports cars. They get terrible gas mileage, like 6 miles or less to the gallon and maintenance it ridiculously expensive. Why does anyone need a care that goes 250 mph and that has 800 horse power? They will never even have to shift out of second gear in that car. So I would argue that no one needs a Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, or a Lamborghini Aventador, it makes no sense. No one needs a car like that. Yet lots of people have them mainly because they can, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Honestly I have no idea how to solve this problem, however I am not going to let the media tell me what to think about it either. Be educated no matter the situation and feel free to reach out with which weapon you thought was scariest.