I own and have in my closet…wait for it…an ASSAULT WEAPON! Oh, my God! The man is a killer! We need to take that gun away from him. He’s liable to start killing innocent school children at any moment!

Yes, I admit it. I do have an AR-15, and I love it. The AR-15 is similar to the M-16 we used in the Vietnam War, except that it is not one that fires automatically. The Vietnam version was automatic. That meant it would fire continuously as long as you held the trigger back and as long as there were cartridges in the clip. Of course, if you, in the heat of battle, fired it automatically the barrel became red hot and would become distorted and unusable. Late in the war the M-16 was modified so that it would only fire three times with each trigger pull. I think that was Westmoreland’s idea to “save” ammunition and rifle barrels.

Mine just fires one time with each trigger pull. In case you don’t know, automatic fire weapons have been outlawed in this country since the 1930s. It is possible for you to obtain an automatic weapon, but the licensing process is long and drawn out and requires a ton of paper work and takes years and huge fees and demands background checks by every department of the government except maybe the Agricultural Dept. But I’m not sure about them.

The AR-15 normally fires .223 bullets. That is a lead slug that is just barely larger than the .22 caliber shells you used as a kid to hunt squirrels, rabbits, crows, or coyotes. In fact, you can buy an accessory that allows you to fire .22s in your AR-15.The only difference is that the .223 has more powder behind the slug so it has a higher velocity factor than the old .22. That means it goes faster, farther, and has more striking ability.

So I guess we should outlaw these ASSAULT WEAPONS! I hate to tell you, but that won’t stop people of all kinds from having them. The AR-15 is, perhaps, the most popular rifle in the country. It is not as good as the 30.06 if you are going for big game and the 30.06 would also kill bigger people farther away. But you don’t hear the media harping about 30.06s, do you? That’s because the phrase “AR-15” has a nice ring to it when CNN reports on how dangerous they are. I don’t know. Mine sits in the closet and it hasn’t attacked me yet. But I check on it every day to see if it has moved closer.

I bought mine from a gun store for about $800 and procured a carry handle/sight that added another $100 to it. All the publicity about it has now made it worth about $1200 so I consider it a good investment.

But you don’t have to buy one at a gun store, which would have to do a background check on your qualifications to own such a weapon. You can build one. Yep, you read that right. You can buy ALL the parts that make up an AR-15 and assemble it yourself. And there is no restriction on buying “parts.”  The fact that more people are killed in this country each year by knives than AR-15s seems lost on the media. You can kill persons with a baseball bat, a hammer, a car or your bare hands,

But the poor little AR-15 has gotten a bad rep and it is an easy target for vote-happy politicians and Wolf Blitzer. I promise not to kill any school children with my AR-15, if you will just quit calling it an ASSAULT WEAPON!! It’s embarrassed by that misnomer.



About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on and available from . .
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