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After Another School Shooting: Gun Myths


I first fired an automatic AR-15 when I was fifteen years old. It was 1965 and my older brother was flying out to mine Hyphong Harbor. I received a very high score with the weapon. It was accurate and could fire an incredible amount of rounds per minute on auto. We were told it was a devastating weapon partly due to the fact that the bullet tumbled when striking its target. Later, when the weapon was modified to become the M-16 soldiers used in Vietnam, that modification corrected that tumbling because it was found to violate the Geneva Convention. Still, the 223 round, at such high speed, could kill you by striking almost anywhere on the human body. A wound on the upper hand could tear arteries in the lower arm so that you could bleed to death from being shot in the hand.

As adults, when the semi-auto AR was put on the market, we all got one. But it wasn’t because we ever considered hunting with them. We had been taught to hunt with single shot rifles, being educated to believe that if you weren’t good enough to get close enough to be sure of a one-shot kill, you weren’t really a hunter. We got the AR because it was a weapon of war and we never trusted the government enough to believe that we might not someday end up in its sights. No one wants to say it but I’d guess that ninety percent of the people who own them, or believe in owning them, think like we did. All the other explanations are BS.

I’ve watched in semi-horror, fascination, and increduilty at the President’s suggestion that a certain percentage of school teachers should be armed and trained to conceal-carry handguns to “harden” our schools to face “shooters”. He suggests that twenty to forty percent of teachers would be a good number to protect our students. Of course no one told him that that amount of armed teachers would exceed the number of armed police officers we have in the nation today.

He poses the idea that previously trained “military retirees become teachers” could fill the bill, even though less than only one or two percent of our teachers fit that description.

But most important, the President doesn’t seem to know that anyone with a nine millimeter or even forty millimeter handgun would be insane to go up against someone armed with an AR in a firefight. The only way one could be successful would be to approach the shooter in an extremely slow and patient manner and shoot them from a concealed position, at close range, by surprise, delivering an immediate and fatal shot—a scenario that doesn’t fit in situations when students and teachers are running wildly through narrow halls screaming with the shooter in close quarters; or the shooter is in a dark and crowded nightclub or theater; or the shooter is high in a hotel shooting down on a crowd.

He doesn’t seem to know that this is why we have SWAT teams! Police got tired of being outgunned by bad guys with semi-auto assault weapons with double-taped thirty round clips when all they were carrying were ten to fifteen round handguns! So law enforcement formed their own military hardware platoons carrying assault weapons themselves.

People often seem to be confused as to why police empty their clips into victims. They’re used to watching TV and movies where one shot puts the bad guy down and the hero hardly ever misses. But statistics show the truth and that is that eighty percent of time even trained police officers miss with most of those rounds. The second reason is that shooters often survive, and continue to be dangerous, even after being hit with multiple handgun rounds.
Not so with assault weapons like the AR. Weapons like this are meant to put you down with one shot and keep you there.

I’ll leave you to your own deliberations on the issue of banning assault rifles but arming anyone with handguns to assault them is suicide and dangerously stupid. The only weapon that I’d consider facing such a shooter with, other than a comparable assault rifle, would be a large magazine, twelve gauge shotgun, preferably a StreetSweeper—and even then I’d be outgunned.

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James BlueWolf

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