Backyard, Be Less Stupid, The Latest, Video — February 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM

An Unbiased Look at Guns

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A few times in the recent past, I went to a gun range and fired the AR-15. It is a powerful, accurate & deadly weapon. And I liked shooting it.

But, before I tell you what I learned about guns, I need to tell you this:

According to a recent NIH report, 14 percent of boys conceived on Long Island in 1966 were born missing the gene for “how mechanical stuff works.” I believe the medical literature refers to this malady as: Being Jewish.

Regardless of the study’s veracity, I was born without the gene for understanding how the internal combustion engine works, how to install a new light switch, and how to hang a curtain rod without drilling 17 “test” holes first.

My deficiency is easily overcome in most cases. When I need curtain hung or a switch installed, I just suffer with either too much or too little light. And when my car makes a funny noise… I pretend I can’t hear it, because I got the gene for “ignoring stuff” in triplicate.

Anyway — guns are another thing I knew nothing about.

Until recently, I thought guns were made for just one purpose. To compensate for a small penis.

I didn’t know the difference between a .9mm bullet and a .223. I knew nothing about muzzle velocity. No idea how the projectile comes out the front when a weapon is fired… and how the shell spits out the side. Not only am I clueless as to why one gun is considered more dangerous than others, I can’t figure out how mobsters keep a gun tucked in their waist prevent it from falling down the inside of their pant leg. My guess: velcro?

Until recently, I was fairly certain all guns were made for just one purpose: to kill.

And to compensate for a small penis. Okay, two things. (That’s a joke, NRA.)

Although the debate over guns has died down in the media — despite the horrific tragedies that have been inflicted on too many kids and families in too many towns — I discovered myself in a number of situations discussing the subject and I realized… I don’t know enough facts on which to base a cogent opinion.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to take an unbiased look at guns.

On one hand, I believe Americans have a right to defend ourselves:

  • From whoever might come for us
  • Our family
  • Our things
  • Our guns
  • Heck, I think it’s okay to shoot the guy who knocks on my door to sell me magazines — as if anyone is still reading.

On the other hand, guns kill people and well, lots of people are dying. Which I’m against.

Much of the media — and even many of the people I know — have made it seem like this issue is black and white. Some say:

  • Get rid of guns… people won’t die.
  • Others say: Ban assault weapons, people won’t die.
  • While still others say: The Second Amendment says my right to own a gun will not be infringed.
  • And a few people said, “Muzzle velocity. What the?” Side note: most of my friends were born on Long Island in 1966.

This debate is not black and white. Answers aren’t easily found, “problems” aren’t easily identified, and band-aids won’t cure the horrible plague of gun violence.

It’s this murky combination of difficult questions and my own selfish interest in facts that lead me to a gun range in Torrance, California, where I shot the AR-15 for the first time.

Gathering facts. You may remember “facts.” Facts are things that are true and incontrovertible. Facts are what media types, reporters and even politicians used to gather before “talking points” were invented.

It my case, finding some gun facts took two hours… leaving me plenty of time in the afternoon to play Candy Crush.

(Note: I’m not so naïve as to think that two hours at the gun range has given me all the facts… but it’s a decent start if you’re interested in forming an opinion on guns.)

It made me feel very powerful. It made me feel like I could very easily kill someone if I wasn’t careful. It made me feel safe.

Anyway, at the Torrance Gun Range I met with an NRA member and former U.S. Army paratrooper who is also a 40-year gun specialist/instructor. He answered my questions and supervised as I fired the AR-15. So, what was it like firing the AR-15? 

It made me feel very powerful. It made me feel like I could very easily kill someone if I wasn’t careful. It made me feel safe. 

Better yet, check out the video.

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