This article written by a rabidly anti-gun reporter about his recent experience shooting an AR-15 takes things to a whole new level.
Gersh Kuntzman, a unabashed anti-gun reporter from the New York Daily News, recently wrote a piece that is currently making a lot of waves in the shooting community. In his article, he makes a show of attempting to learn about and understand the appeal of the AR-15 and similar modern sporting rifles, but ends up making himself look like a fool by writing such a blatant and poorly researched hit job.
His article has no shortage of hyperbole, and he really starts laying it on thick from the opening lines.
It felt to me like a bazooka -- and sounded like a cannon.
One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.
But mostly, I was just terrified.
Really? You've shot a bazooka before and shooting an AR-15 feels the same way?
As someone who has experience shooting AR-15s and other similar rifles, as well as modern anti-tank rocket launchers similar to a bazooka, I can definitively say they do not feel anywhere close to the same, and he clearly has no idea what he is talking about.
Additionally, he uses one of the favorite rhetorical devices of anti-gun zealots: "military-style assault weapons." Once again, he only further demonstrates his ignorance of the subject by using a completely made up term that was invented specifically to frighten people who aren't familiar with guns. The term "assault weapon" is utterly meaningless, but it sounds scary, and Kuntzman uses it to get his point across.
When a person begins an article by using intentionally inflammatory language like that, it's really tough to take them seriously. He wants to convince people to heed his thinly veiled calls to ban "assault weapons," but he really just comes off as another clueless, out of touch, anti-gun reporter to people who know anything about guns.
That doesn't stop him from trying to sound like a credible source. He uses another favorite tactic of gun control advocates by referring to his previous experience with firearms.
I've shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).
The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions -- loud like a bomb -- gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. If modified to fully automatic mode, it doesn't take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.
Yes, rifles are very loud, especially when you shoot them at an indoor shooting rage. However, as someone who has been in close proximity to an actual bomb that went off, the experience is nothing like shooting an AR-15 (or any other rifle I've used).
Shooting an AR-15 gave you a "temporary case of PTSD"? It bruised your shoulder? Really? I highly doubt it.
It sounds to me like the writer, in another fit of hyperbole, is greatly exaggerating how he felt after shooting the rifle (some would even call what he did lying). After all, one of the reasons the AR-15 is so popular is that it has such mild recoil that small-framed shooters like this 15-year-old girl can easily handle it.
Another thing that often gets conveniently overlooked when gun control advocates talk about "high powered" or "high caliber" (whatever that means) "assault weapons" is that many states prohibit using the .223 Remington cartridge for deer hunting because of concerns that it is not powerful enough to quickly and cleanly take big game animals. When you look at it that way, it really takes takes the wind out of that argument and those guns don't seem quite so scary.
Did you notice the other, somewhat subtle dig he made about the AR-15 in his statement referenced above? He used another tactic of gun control advocates by casually attempting to blur the line between the semi-automatic AR-15 and true assault rifles which are capable of automatic fire.
While this is not news to anyone with a reasonable amount of knowledge about guns, there is a gigantic difference between an AR-15 and a true M-16 rifle capable of automatic fire. Automatic weapons are highly regulated, difficult to obtain, and there has been exactly one crime committed with a legally-owned machine gun since the National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed.
No matter what hyperventilating anti-gun reporters like Gersh Kuntzman would have you believe, banning "assault weapons" would not solve any of the gun related problems we have in the United States. The guy clearly has no idea what he is reporting on and it appears as though his whole knowledge base of guns comes from watching movies and reading opinion columns written by other breathless gun control advocates.
While the United States does have some very real crime issues that must be fixed, the most effective solution would address the root societal problems that are responsible for the violence, not banning or restricting any kind of gun. Articles like the one Mr. Kuntzman wrote would be funny if they weren't so tragically distracting people from the real solutions to our problems.
Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams on his hunting blog. Follow him on Facebook The Big Game Hunting Blog, Twitter @TheBigGameHunt and on Instagram The_Big_Game_Hunter