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I get it. People (mostly guys) want to be heroes. We, as a nation, LOVE the underdog. Our TV shows and theaters are full of stories where the small man has had enough, and makes things right. Our video games cater to that same desire to Be Awesome. They stoke our ego. We want to believe, than when the chips are down that we could step up and BE that Hero.

I can't help but think that many of these 'gun huggers' (stolen from another Kossak, sorry!) are thinking something along these lines. They hunt. They have some survival skills. Heck, many are probably ex-military and might even have a legitimate shot at it.

But many of them have never taken incoming fire in their life. I'm a vet and have never been shot at. I was trained to use a sidearm, and M-16, and M-60, and a grenade launcher; but I have never been presented with the opportunity to use one against an enemy. I DO know from a decade of martial arts training that learning to throw a punch and learning to take a punch are not the same thing. Just because you can shoot targets doesn't mean you can do so under fire.

The hero we want to be CAN do that.

So, what skills do you need to fulfill that dream? Bear with me a moment while I go through a few evolutions of the manned projection of force.

In medieval times, it was the sword or bow. It took years of practice to become proficient. Good swords and armor were gawdawful expensive, and you were probably upper class and in the service of a noble. To be that hero, you would have been a soldier.

Crossbowmen eliminated the knight as an largely unstoppable force. The introduction of gunpowder sealed that deal permanently. However.. these were still a soldier's skill.  If you were to be that hero, you need to have been to war.

In Colonial times, the musket was the tool of the day. It was pricey, but a good one would last you long enough to pass to your children. It was easy to use, but it took regular drilling to get good with it. It was inaccurate at range, and was awkward to reload quickly, meaning that to use it against an aggressive foe you also needed to have drilled with the bayonet as a fall back. This still meant that you were soldier or a militiaman to have that skill set.

In the Civil War, it was the revolver and the Springfield and Enfiled rifle. Still muskets, and still single shot. Early versions of repeating rifles were introduced, but to be good at it you needed to be serious about practicing your skills.  Citizens could have these to put meat on the table, but that wasn't the same as shooting something which was shooting back at you. This was still soldier territory.

During the American Civil War the Gatling gun was introduced, and the skill level required to cut several men down dropped considerably. You pulled the trigger and aimed in the general direction of the foe. This, to me, is a key turning point. No one would have argued that you needed a Gatling gun to hunt. You would have been laughed at as inept. This invention was a man killer, and was meant for nothing else.

As we skip forward through the Spanish-American war and up through our World wars, we see advancing technologies putting more and more firepower into portable packages. We have some amazing weaponry, and have every right to be proud of our inventions. We needed them to fight the demons of the day.

This blur of technology lands us at today, and that AR-15 puts what a soldier needs for killing power in the hands of anyone capable of holding it. You no longer need to be that trained solder, who has been broken down and rebuilt into the kind of person who could be trusted with such power... now you just have to have eyes & fingers.

And that is where it all falls apart. We Americans have 1/3 of the world's firearms, and we are not all former soldiers or special agents. We are 'hobbyists' and 'enthusiasts'. We have dreams. We have this great big belief in our abilities, without a whole heck of a lot backing it up.

Our media is feeding us these tales of the hero standing up and saving the day... protecting the village, rescuing the hostage, fending off the invader. We see archetypal characters like James Bond, Jason Bourne, John Rambo, John Matrix, Jake Dunn, Gordon Freeman, Barney Ross, Jack Bauer, Michael Westen or countless others as examples. I believe we need a portion of that empowered feeling as a species, but really... let's wake up from the dream.

I see three categories.

1) I need to kill animals. Ok.. here are the tools to do that. (A,B,C) Enjoy Citizen!

2) I need to defend myself, my family or property. Ok.. here are the tools to do THAT. (D,E,F) Enjoy, Citizen!

3) I need to kill people. Ok.. What is it that you are doing for work? Who/what/when/where/why?

Unless you are a soldier, cop or bodyguard, I don't see many easy answers to #3.

Heller changed the 2nd Amendment. Ok.. fine. I don't like it, but lets deal with that reality and categorize types of guns for specific roles. We don't need someone full of big ideas and no practical experience to have access to machines capable of things only a trained soldier in a war zone should need.

What say you, Citizen?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever. - Thomas Jefferson

    by MightyMoose on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:50:26 PM PST

  •  I see no practical purpose for AR-15 types (4+ / 0-)

    of weapons.

    Literally and figuratively overkill.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:08:22 PM PST

  •  My idea of a hero was more like Commando Cody... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, DeadHead, kevinpdx

    ...science first, then bring out the ray pistol.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:24:28 PM PST

  •  As I have thought and researched (4+ / 0-)

    I think hunters require only a bolt action rifle and a basIc shotgun.  Personal defense requires no more than a basic revolver. Anything in excess of those guns should be banned, bought back, and destroyed.

    Oh, and no concealed carry (open carry at most), gun registration, licensing, mandatory training and periodic retraining.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:29:53 PM PST

    •  Bought back by whom? (0+ / 0-)

      the manufacturer?

      States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

      by happymisanthropy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:35:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  expand that a bit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel

      to include lever-action hunting rifles and pump shotguns, and mandate open carry for everything.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:40:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can live with that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        I am actually working on a slightly different way to write the bill.  Rather than ban specific technologies, ban specific capabilities.  So, rather than ban semi-autos, ban guns that can shoot more than 12 bullets a minute with impact energies equivalent to good hunting rifle (number pulled from ass, basically I want to make the requirement at the same level as a decent bolt action rifle).

        Rather than ban technologies, ban capabilities--that way gun makers can't make superficial changes to skirt the law.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:47:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Empty Vessel, if you make it so a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel

          Springfield 03-A3 is the standard (that won't involve a number like you describe) ... I think you'll find you've reached a good starting place.
          Using the 03-A3, or even the M-1 Garand, as a "standard" semiauto rifle gives you options -- up to 8 rounds between reloadings, and slightly slower reloading than the "tap and slap" used with the AR-15 variants.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:49:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, I will take a look at it. (0+ / 0-)

            I've been looking at a Winchester model 70 as a model ( forget caliber right now). But thought it might be a bit small...I will look at the one you suggest.

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:01:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Dreams of "larger" ... errr ... "equipment". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bisbonian

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:47:55 PM PST

  •  Plenty of soldiers, cops, and bodygaurds have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinpdx

    proven themselves untrustworthy with these weapons, as well.  Joe six-pack?  No way.  Visions of Rambo (otherwise known as Delusions of Grandeur, well defined in DSM-IV).  Lots of them are either insistent on the right to protect themselves from their own government (good luck with that, since they keep voting for more funding for the military, etc.) or for the big uprising that is coming to take their food and property away (anybody familiar with Charles Manson's version of "Helter Skelter"?)

    I say there is no need for them to have an AR-15.  If they really want to take on the US government, the Russians would gladly supply them with all the AK-47s they could need, free of charge.

    When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

    by Bisbonian on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:51:16 PM PST

    •  "...the Russians..." Not right now, of course, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kevinpdx

      but if there was widespread armed insurrection, I think they would be likely to take advantage of the opportunity.

      When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

      by Bisbonian on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:54:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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