Each week, the editor’s of LA Progressive pick what they regard as a particularly insightful comment from one of our readers, both to draw attention to one particular reader’s thoughts and to encourage more readers to weigh in with their opinions. This week’s pithy "Feedback Friday" response comes from Wes Bill Sims, who commented on Anastasia Bernoulli's "“F*ck You, I Like Guns”"
Glad you wrote this – too many gun nuts pretend to believe an AR 15 is just another gun. It’s not – it’s a dedicated killing machine, but one that is easy and fun to shoot, even by a 12 year old boy or girl who would be reluctant to shoot a deer rifle or shotgun.
Your observations square with my experiences with the M 16 as a Vietnam era draftee. We were told that in the Korean War a shockingly low percentage of soldiers fired their rifles in combat and that the M-16 was designed specifically to solve this problem as well as being light and easy to carry by small people.
It’s hard to explain, but when you shoot a deer rifle or shotgun you know that you are shooting a deadly weapon. But the Vietnam-era M16 looked and felt like a Mattel plastic toy and when you shoot it, you are just playing a game, not dealing death.
One of my experiences in basic training illustrates this. Our company was at the firing range under strict order not to shoot on full auto. A young deer, a little older than Bambi ran across about 300 – 400 yards down range. Suddenly the steady bam, bam, bam of the range turned into brrrrrrt, brrrrrt, brrrrrrrt as 5 or 6 soldiers put their weapons on full auto and shot at the deer. The drill sergeants went berserk, rapping soldiers with their. Batons and dragging them out of their foxholes. (The deer was unscathed. Full auto is wildly inaccurate at that range particularly for an inexperienced shooter.)
Later, when I read the accounts of My Lai describing how our soldiers had gone berserk and shot water buffalo. Pigs, goats and chickens, in addition to massacring the villagers, I knew these accounts were true.
I think the AR 15 or similar weapons are almost indispensable for a mass shooting in a crowded venue and that many of these shootings would not have occurred without easy availability of such weapons.