Last week I received an email advertising a “Level II Defensive Carbine Class” that will be held at a gun range in a neighboring state.  The class will be led by a gun trainer whose website offers the usual list of shooting courses, some of which I also teach.  According to the email, you show up with 150 bucks and either an AR or AK-style gun, and before the class is over you will, among other things, learn how to shoot while moving, shoot behind cover, shoot from the side, close-contact with the target and so forth.  In other words, by the time you’re finished shooting upwards of 700 rounds, whether it’s Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, a marauding band of local criminals or anyone else, you’ll be ready to take them all on..

assault                These tactical shoots and classes have become much more popular over the last few years, just as assault-style rifles have supplanted bolt-action rifles and shotguns as the one long gun that everyone needs to have. And while you’re at it, after you buy the gun and the thousand rounds of ammunition, let’s not forget the indispensable gear like a night-vision scope, some extra hi-cap mags, a pair of tactical boots and a camo battle jacket that will hold everything and anything you might need out in the field.  For good measure go online and buy a couple of instructional videos from Daniel Defense or watch and play the latest Youtube tactical video from Combat Arms.

Now whenever the gun control gets together, the first thing they always want to do is eliminate all this fun.  Hi-cap magazines?  Ban ‘em.  Tactical rifles?  Ban ‘em.  And while you’re at it, why not ban night-vision scopes as well?  After all, imagine how much more damage James Holmes might have committed if his assault rifle had been mounted with a night-vision scope.  Never mind that rifles, regardless of design or caliber account for less than 10% of all gun homicides and assaults each year.  Ask the average man or woman who’s active in any kind of gun control organization and they’ll tell you that getting rid of those assault rifles needs to be done.

But let’s get back to the group that’s going to be shooting their AR’s and AK’s in the defensive carbine class.  The truth is that none of these guys (and gals) will ever have to defend the homeland from a terrorist attack.  And if anyone has used an assault rifle recently to shoot someone breaking down their door, it hasn’t made the evening news.  I looked at the stories posted by the NRA on their Armed Citizen website which contains 40 accounts of how good guys shot or shot at bad guys since April, 2014, and there wasn’t a single incident listed in which the gun used was a rifle of any kind, never mind an AK-47 or an AR-15.  Training with an assault rifle to repel an attacker is like getting instructions for putting on the oxygen mask before the airplane takes off.  You have to know how to do it but the odds that you’ll actually need it are somewhere between non-existent and zilch.

The real reason that people are going to show up for this carbine class is because they’ll have a lot of fun.  They’ll get to shoot their gun again and again, compare one gun to another, maybe play a little game to see who can shoot accurately, and spend a day with other folks who share their enjoyment in shooting those guns.  Do you really think there’s any difference between a bunch of guys running around a sand pit shooting at Osama Bin Laden Zombie targets and the way we used to run around the back yard with our Red Ryders pretending there was an Indian behind every tree? Anyone who thinks that 30,000 gun fatalities and 50,000 gun injuries each year isn’t a problem has at least one screw loose if not two, but that problem won’t be solved by taking the toys away from grown-ups who still enjoy acting like kids.