Think Mass Shooters Are Crazy?


              What I am going to say about that bank shooting in Louisville may sound crazy to a lot of the people who read my blog, but what I don’t understand about how people are reacting to the killing of five employees of bank in Louisville, along with the wounding of eight other individuals, including one of the cops who rushed to the scene and exchanged fire with the shooter is this: How come everyone is so surprised?

              Actually, the shooting killed six bank employees, because even though he was apparently going to lose his job at the bank, the shooter, Connor Sturgeon, was also a member of the bank’s staff when he unlimbered an AR-15 and blew the place apart.

              The reason I can’t come to grips with all the anguish and despair being lavished on this latest example of a uniquely American event that we refer to as a ‘mass shooting,’ is because the shooter used his gun exactly the way his gun was supposed to be used. And not only did he use the gun properly, taking full advantage of how the AR-15 is designed, but he bought the rifle legally just a few days before he loaded it up and took it into the Old National Bank.

              Why else would Connor Sturgeon walk into a gun shop and then walk out with a gun for which he may have plunked down a thousand bucks? And let’s not assume that he only bought the gun. What about some extra magazines, maybe a nice carrying case, some cleaning equipment and maybe a scope?

              The bill for those other items could easily have been another couple of hundred bucks, but the kid behind the counter in the gun shop would certainly have told Connor that he needed to be totally and completely prepared.

              Prepared to do what? To kill someone with an AR-15, because in case you didn’t know it, that’s what the AR-15 is designed to do.

              I love how the gun industry has decided that a weapon which can shoot more than 60 rounds of military-grade ammunition in one minute is a ‘sporting’ gun. And when I use the phrase ‘military-grade ammunition,’ I am talking about ammunition which was designed to create the maximum damage when it hits the human frame.

              The point is that when the World Health Organization talks about a medical threat known as violence, they don’t distinguish between ‘good’ violence and ‘bad.’ It doesn’t matter if you shoot someone else because they were attacking you or you were attacking them. Point an AR-15 at someone, pull the trigger and release a 55-grain piece of lead which exits the barrel at 3,200 feet per second, and you have committed a violent act.

              And who’s to say that someone who crashes into a bank or a classroom or a movie theater and tries to kill everyone in the place is mentally ill?  Since when was Connor Sturgeon diagnosed by a competent physician before or after he shot up the Old National Bank?

              Of course, he was crazy. We all know that. He was so crazy that he knew how to walk into a gun shop, buy the right kind of weapon for what he wanted to do, engage the store clerk in some small talk, answer all the questions on the background-check form, take the gun home and begin to plan his big day.

              Want to see how crazy people behave? Spend an hour or so on the grounds of a facility where people who can’t tell what time it is are living there because nobody in their homes can clean, dress, and feed them every day. Or check out the old guy who trudges up and down every aisle in Stop and Shop pulling every, single item off the shelves to check the price.

              These people are ‘mentally ill,’ and their illness prevents from hurting anyone else. But if I get pissed off enough later today to settle a score with the scumbag who lives down the street and insulted me in some way last year, I’m not behaving like a crazy person if I load up my AR-15, go down and stand in front of his house and blast away. I’m behaving exactly the way that Cain behaved when he killed Abel in Genesis, Chapter 4.

              There’s a reason why you only have to read through three chapters of the Bible to get to where we start killing each other after God put us on the Earth.

Why Do Americans Love the AR-15?


              Whenever there’s a mass shooting where the shooter uses an AR-15, the call goes up for a ban on assault rifles, an idea which was tried back in 1994, but only lasted for ten years and wasn’t really a ban. Not only did the 1994 statute allow current assault rifle owners to keep possession of their weapons, but gun makers could make a few cosmetic changes in the look and the feel of the AR and other assault-style guns which didn’t really change the essential lethality of the product at all.

              The odds that Congress will vote another assault rifle ban are slim, if only because this is the kind of issue where members of the GOP House caucus who might be willing to consider such a law are now beginning to worry about primary challenges next year from the alt-right, and anything which smacks of gun control is a toxic enough issue to determine the outcome of a close vote.

              On the other hand, the shooting this week not only took place in a Southern, pro-gun state, but also took the lives of three children and three adults in a private, church-based school. Which makes it a little more difficult to promote gun ownership as some kind of God-given ‘right.’

              Aside from the fact that the design of the AR-15 makes it a more efficient gun to use when a shooter wants to kill as many people as possible in a public space, what we will also no doubt begin to learn is how owning an AR-15 answers some kind of basic psychological need for white men to prove they are still a privileged group even when the objective basis for privilege, like good-paying manufacturing jobs have all been shipped overseas. 

              This is an argument made by a Professor of Psychiatry, Jonathan Metzl, whose book, Dying of Whiteness, is a clever approach to understanding how Donald Trump was able to capture white, working-class support. He references studies which see the ownership of guns, particularly assault rifles, as affirming masculinity at a time when ‘broad-shouldered, white men dominated the culture’ as well as holding those well-paying factory jobs which have disappeared. [p. 74.]

              The idea that the assault rifle is a symbol for masculine pride and authority may sound kind of obvious, but it happens to be an argument which has little, if anything, to do with why assault rifles are popular to the point that they wind up in the hands of people like Audrey Hale. In fact, the gun really started selling when the gun industry began referring to the AR-15 as a ‘modern sporting rifle,’ precisely to obscure its history and development as a military gun.

The idea that a weapon which could fire 90 military-grade rounds in less than 3 minutes would be sold as ‘sporting’ equipment was a brainchild cooked up by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which had been getting reports from big-box chain stores like Cabela’s that women were reluctant to bring their children into retail locations which sold military guns.

The picture at the top of this page is from the website of Daniel Defense, the company that made the assault rifle used to kill 19 students and 2 teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX last May.

I owned and operated retail gun shops in three states (SC, NY, MA) between 1981 and 2014. Did I sell hundreds of assault rifles over that span of years? I did.

I can’t recall a single customer who bought one of those guns from me and said that he was either affirming his manhood, or trying to protect himself, or any of the other reasons which are given out to explain the popularity of this gun.

Customers bought assault rifles in my shop for the same reason they bought any other kind of gun: they had some extra cash in their pocket and they wanted to buy another gun.

The entire gun industry rests on the simple truth that every consumer item either develops a following or the item stops being displayed on store shelves.

Which means that the only way to get rid of the violence caused by the use of an AR-15 is to take the gun off the shelves.

The Washington Post Explains The AR-15.


              So, the Washington Post, whose readership is certainly not a major slice of the people in this country who own guns, has now published a study of the AR-15, which they claim is based on a seven-month research project that involved interviewing more than 200 people with relevant firsthand experience, including “firearms industry executives and lobbyists, gun owners, shooting survivors and victims’ families, lawmakers, trauma surgeons, first responders, activists, armed militants, academics and ballistics experts, among others.”

              This research was then combined with a national survey of hundreds of AR-15 owners, along with reviewing more than 1,000 pages of documents, including “internal company records, court and regulatory filings, and autopsy reports.” Together, the three articles which comprise this study engaged 14 reporters, 11 video and pictorial staff and 20 others who are identified as having supplied ‘additional support,’ whatever that means.

              I hate to break it to the WaPo, so I’ll do it gently. One person could have walked into a gun shop just about anywhere in the United States, plunked a tape recorder down on the counter, spent an hour talking to the shop owner about the AR-15, and would have learned as much as these 45 people claim to have learned working on this issue for six months.

              Notice incidentally, that the lengthy list of people with ‘relevant experience’ didn’t include one, single individual who earns his living by selling AR-15 rifles to anyone at all. How do you do a serious study of any consumer product and not spend one minute talking to the people who are ultimately responsible for getting that product into the consumer market? You don’t.

              You get away with such shoddy and shabby journalism when you publish an article for a reading audience which knows as much about guns as you know about guns, which to quote Grandpa, is ‘gurnisht helfen’ (read: not a goddamn thing.)

              To show you how far away from anything even remotely close to reality this article ends up, take a quick look at the demographics of the Ipsos poll, which was allegedly answered by hundreds of AR-15 owners. Now take a look at the demographics of gun owners in a survey published by Pew in 2021.

              Guess what? Know how much of a difference there is between the demographics of the general gun-owning population as opposed to the population which owns AR-15’s?  There’s no difference. And the reason for this is very simple. Most gun owners own multiple guns because they like guns.

              This is the same population which ran out and bought polymer-based, bottom-loading handguns when those types of weapons began to appear and quickly replaced steel revolvers in the 1980’s. This was the same population which ran to the gun shows and bought up all the ‘sporterized’ M-1 rifles after World War II.

              Of course if the Washington Post, which every gun nut knows is anti-gun, asks gun owners how come they went out and plunked down six or eight hundred dollars to buy a new ‘type’ of gun, the AR-15 owner isn’t about to say something like ‘I wanted to buy another gun,’ or ‘I had some cash in my pocket from plowing last week so I walked into the gun shop while the wife was doing grocery shopping down the street.’

              No, he’s going to give the WaPo pollster some answer to make it appear that the decision to add an AR-15 to his collection is based on some real thought, like the importance of the 2nd Amendment or maybe the need to be more serious about armed, self-defense.

              I notice, by the way, that the Ipsos/WaPo poll does not include a single question which would give us any idea about how many guns the respondents own, or what kinds of guns they own, or anything else which might actually inform us about the motives or reasons why people bought an AR-15. And the whole point of this story, or course, is to continue building the argument that we need to find some way to regulate this gun more strictly because it is the weapon of choice for those shitheads who charge into a public space and try to shoot the whole place up.

              I have been saying for years that the AR-15 is too dangerous to be sold just like any other sporting gun, so don’t get the idea that I’m being critical of the WaPo because they have published an article which is clearly aimed (pardon the pun) at advancing the idea that a ban on the AR-15 would be a good thing.

              My issue with the WaPo is simply this. Here is one of America’s most respected and respectable sources for informing us about important issues which has dressed up a discussion of this issue with all kinds of falderal derived from interviews with all kinds of experts, supplemented by a national survey which makes absolutely no sense.

              Gun-control Nation gets it wrong again. Gee – what a surprise!

Thanks ToJo.

If Mass Shootings Are a Uniquely American Event, Let’s Not Forget the Gun.


              I have written almost 2,000 columns for my own blog, as well as more than 500 columns for the aggregate blog Medium, and between 2013 and 2018 I wrote somewhere around 250 op-ed columns for the Huffington Post. But in not a single one of those comments did I ever wonder whether what I was discussing was actually true.

              Today’s column, on the other hand, is based on news accounts which are so crazy, so bizarre and so out of this world that I just can’t believe the story behind these sources is actually true. 

              I’m referring to the news that a GOP House member, Barry Moore from Alabama, has filed a bill to declare the AR-15 assault rifle the national gun of the United States.  Not national flower, not national bird, not national dessert – the national gun.

              And better yet, although the bill hasn’t yet been formally submitted so we don’t know the actual text, the law has picked up three co-sponsors – Clyde Andrew from Georgia, Lauren Boebert from Colorado and – ready? – George ‘I got away with lots of lies the last time I ran’ Santos from New York.

              Boebert we all know from the Christmas greeting she sent out showing her kids happily playing with the assault rifles which they found under their X-mas tree. When Clyde Andrew ran for Congress in Georgia, he campaigned for the complete elimination of background checks, which would save him some time and money running his gun shop. As for Santos, there’s nothing to say.

              If those idiots were serious about wanting to memorialize a gun which really did make a positive difference both for the United States and worldwide, they should consider celebrating the invention of the M-1 Garand rifle, which was designed and manufactured at the Springfield Armory and distributed to our troops during World War II. My office is located one block from the Armory and I wish they would erect a sign telling everyone who comes to the site (which is now a vocational-technical college) that George Patton called the M-1 the ‘greatest battle implement ever devised.’

              But those four GOP schmucks promoting the AR aren’t engaging in such nonsense for anything having to do with history, or gun culture or anything else which could be even remotely connected to rational thought or beliefs. They got themselves a quick headline on some of the digital news outlets followed by the MAGA crowd, along with various liberal news sources which immediately get outraged by anything the alt-right says.

              If the GOP wants to commemorate any unique American issue which is connected to the AR-15 assault rifle, maybe they should consider coming up with a new postage stamp that would celebrate all the mass shootings which occur routinely throughout the United States. Maybe USPS should issue a series of mass shooting stamps, with each stamp showing the location of a slaughter such as the supermarket in Buffalo or the elementary school at Sandy Hook.

              Both of these massacres resulted in massive numbers of injuries and trauma because the shooters used an AR-15. But of course everyone knows ‘for  fact’ that the AR-15 is a defensive weapon which we need to keep handy just in case one of those bad guys tries to break down the front door, right?

              When I was a kid, which was sometime during the last Stone Age, it wasn’t unusual to find a Daisy Red Ryder bb-gun under the Christmas tree. When you were old enough to use a real gun, the bb-gun was replaced by a 22-caliber, bolt-action rifle, usually a lookalike for the rifle which Dad trained on before his unit got shipped overseas.

              In many respects, the AR-15 is now America’s third generation of ‘the kid’s gun.’ It’s cheap, it can be customized with all kinds of plastic doodads, and with a hi-cap mag, it’s a lot of fun to shoot.

              There’s only one little problem, however. The gun is also a formidable man-killing machine which can easily deliver 20 or 30 lethal rounds in a minute or less.

              But maybe mass shootings should also be celebrated, not condemned. After all, the whole point of the 2nd Amendment is to give every American the opportunity to protect their community with a gun. And who’s to say that those six-year-olds shot at Sandy Hook wouldn’t have all grown up to be violent criminals themselves, right?

It’s People Not Guns That Win Elections.

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            I’m waiting until tomorrow to write anything about the Tuesday primary results because a couple of the races have not yet been called. But I did want to sneak a story in about one race, which was the Senate GOP primary in Missouri, where the lawyer Mark McCloskey, received less than 3% of the primary vote.

            McCloskey and his wife were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment in June 2020 after standing in front of their home as a Black Lives Matter group marched by in the street, and waving their guns at the crowd, because according to them, their house was about to be attacked.

            Nobody else in the vicinity of their suburban home outside of St. Louis saw anything which even remotely resembled an assault against either their property or against the couple themselves. But appearances can be deceiving and who knows what mayhem might have occurred if McCloskey hadn’t come out with his AR-15 to uphold his 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

            What McCloskey got for his stand in support of the Constitution was an invitation to speak at the GOP convention and a digital pat on the back from the NRA.  They were interviewed by Dana Loesch, who used to be a big deal on NRA-TV, where they said they had a ‘right to bear arms,’ among other things.

            I have to give my friends at The Trace credit for digging up some very interesting news about McCloskey and his wife. It turns out that these two stalwart defenders of gun ‘rights’ have actually made a nice buck suing gun companies whose guns misfire and in one case resulted in the shooter’s death. In fact, the gun held by Patricia McCloskey in the picture just below looks suspiciously like one of the guns that was a defendant’s exhibit in a liability case.

            You’ll also notice by the way in the picture above, that both the McCloskey’s have their fingers on the triggers of their guns, which is an absolute no-no even among the gun-nut population which sent in money to help the McCloskey’s pay for their defense.

            So, these two schmucks are found guilty, are sentenced but then their sentences are commuted by the Governor and this act paves the way for McCloskey to run for Senate this year with a really original campaign sloganNever Back Down!

            On his website, McCloskey states that “a violent mob stormed onto his property and threatened his family,” although we’re still looking for that violent mob. For that matter, so is just about everyone else, given that McCloskey got less than 20,000 votes out of nearly 620,000 votes cast.

            Ever since Orange Shithead got up at a campaign rally in January 2016 and said that he could shoot someone dead in the street and he wouldn’t lose any votes, some of his most enthusiastic supporters have been trying to prove him correct.  The way they do it is to show up at public events brandishing their guns, like the Nazis who marched down the street in Charlottesville VA waving their AR-15’s and chanting anti-Semitic slogans on August 12, 2017. That’s when Trump said there were ‘good people’ on ‘both sides, a comment which basically guaranteed that he would only serve one term and never win another election again.

            The point is that anyone who tells you he needs to wave an AR-15 around in public for any reason at all is basically just full of shit. And if nothing else, yesterday’s GOP primary vote in Missouri tells me that even in a red state like the ‘show me’ state, which is also a big gun state, nobody’s buying that nonsense at all.  

What’s Next After Sandy Hook?


There’s a company out there, Wolfe Publishing, which publishes books and magazines about outdoor sports, which means hunting and sport shooting, in case you didn’t know. If you scroll through the Wolfe website, you’ll notice that it’s almost entirely focused on hunting and sport shooting, the latter subject covered by articles and books on handloading ammunition, customizing hunting rifles, discussions about where and how to hunt different species of game.

Ever hear of paper-patching ammunition?  I just bought a book on the subject from this website – I didn’t think there was anyone still alive who knew anything about paper-patching ammo at all.

              This website and the products it sells would be typical of the gun business were it not for the fact that the United States is the only country in the entire world which allows law-abiding residents to purchase, own and walk around the neighborhood with guns that are designed and used as weapons of war, i.e., guns whose sole purpose is to be carried into battle by military troops.

              Now I can understand how and why a military trooper isn’t going to patrol a street in a place like Kabul or Baghdad without carrying an AR-15 or a Sig M-18, which happen to be the guns currently issued to U.S. troops but can also be bought at any gun shop that you choose.

              Of course, gun makers like Sig, Glock and Bushmaster will tell you that such weapons are necessary for civilian ownership because we have the God-given ‘right’ to protect ourselves and use a gun for armed, personal defense. The only problem with this nonsense is that title notwithstanding, the Bill of Rights doesn’t grant any ‘rights’ at all. In this country, ‘rights’ are defined not by God but by laws.

Want to live in countries where God has the last word when it comes to ‘rights,’?  Move to Afghanistan or Iran.

              The fact that our legal system and the laws covering gun ownership doesn’t differentiate between guns as ‘sporting’ products versus guns being designed solely for the purpose of killing a human being is what yesterday’s decision about Remington and the Bushmaster AR-15 is really all about.

              What the gun industry has been hiding for years is the idea that a gun specifically designed and used by the military in combat situations doesn’t represent a danger to society when placed in civilian hands. 

              If you think the AR-15 manufactured by Remington didn’t represent a danger when it was shot more than 150 times in less than three minutes and killed 26 adults and children who happened to be sitting in a public school, then I suggest you open up your dictionary and see what the word ‘danger’ really means. 

Yesterday, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which happens to be located in the same town where the slaughter at Sandy Hook took place, had the balls to announce that Remington would have been found innocent if the case had gone to trial in open court. They can’t be that dumb. No – not that dumb.

              What yesterday’s agreement really represents is the possibility that gun makers who sell weapons of war as ‘sporting’ guns may find themselves facing similar lawsuits in other states which hold sellers liable when they sell a product which they know is too dangerous to be sold or owned.  I mean, how difficult would it be to find a couple of families in any state who have lost loved ones to gun violence and initiate a lawsuit against Sig or Glock?

              Actually, the guns currently manufactured by companies like Sig are being used exactly the way they were designed to be used. Ditto the companies which manufacture assault rifles like the AR-15 that was used at Sandy Hook.

              The truth is that every gun which shoots real ammunition can be used to end a human life. But that’s like saying that every car rolling down the highway can be used to smash into another car and end lives in both cars.

              But cars are made to get the driver and/or the passengers from here to there. And many guns are designed to put some venison stew on the dinner table or knock a bird out of a tree.

              What the Sandy Hook versus Remington case may mean is that the gun industry should consider getting out of the business of making products which punch holes in human beings rather than holes in paper targets hanging downrange.

Will The AR-15 Disappear From California?


Yesterday the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced a novel and significant approach to gun violence which, if it becomes law in California, I can only hope will spread.  The initiative, according to Newsom, was copied from the new Texas law which allows residents to sue someone who offers abortions which violate the state’s new abortion ban. In California, the state has passed a ban on assault rifles, and Newsom wants state residents to be able to sue anyone who ‘manufactures, distributes or sells’ an assault rifle in the Golden State.

When this initiative was announced, members of Gun-nut Nation in California immediately began whining about how such a law would deprive gun owners of their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

There has never been a gun-control law announced anywhere in the United States which doesn’t violate the s0-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ Of course, the fact that the 2nd Amendment happens to be an amendment and not a ‘right’ is somehow always left unsaid. A reader sent me a message stating that I was just a typical example of the ‘insidious, Left-wing mentality’ that has been destroying American life since World War II.”

There are actually people sitting around who think that way. Luckily, I suspect that most of them live in those red states where nobody is vaccinated which means they won’t be around to vote in 2022 or restore Trump to his rightful place in the Oval Office in 2024. Oh well. Anyway, back to Newsom.

The history of the United States is usually written to show that the country developed from East to West. So, for example, with the exception of the West Coast, we added states from East to West. We also opened the frontier to farming and human settlement from East to West.

But when it comes to nuttiness, things usually go the other way. After all, the shift of the GOP to nutty, right-wing ideas started in California with Ronald Reagan when he first ran for President in 1978. And what food product has ruined billions of cups of coffee? Half and half, which the dairy industry started selling in the 1960’s but was also first produced in the Golden State.

Except I don’t think that Newsom’s idea of giving residents the legal authority to express how they feel about the guy next door sitting there in front of his TV with a can of beer on the coffee table and his AR-15 on his lap is nutty at all. In fact, to the contrary, and let me tell you why.

When the first assault-rifle law was proposed, and it was also in California, by the way, the gun industry attacked the law because the AR-15 was a semi-auto design and hence, a ‘sporting’ gun. Semi-automatic guns had been used for hunting and sport since the semi-automatic design was developed by John Browning in 1898, and the AR-15 was just a ‘modern’ adaptation of Browning’s original design and the ‘modern sporting rifle’ had no connection to assault rifles sat all.

This was a good argument, a clever argument, an argument to keep the AR-15 design from being thrown on the ash heap of gun designs by liberal gun-haters like Michal Bloomberg, et. al.

There was only one little problem. The argument that the AR-15 was no different from any other semi-automatic rifle was simply wrong.

What makes the AR-15 dangerous and a threat to community safety is not whether only one round comes out of the barrel every time the trigger is pulled. The issue is how many rounds can be fired out of the gun before it needs to be reloaded and how much time is required to reload the gun.

The kid who blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 adults and children in less than 3 minutes because over that period of time he fired more than 90 rounds! He got off that many shots in such a brief period of time because the AR-15 is a bottom-loading gun, so he was able to attach magazines holding 30 rounds to the bottom of the frame and switch from empty to full mags in two seconds or less,

If anything, firing a semi-auto gun is easier and more accurate to control than a full-auto gun, which is why the assault rifle currently issued to our military troops, the M4A1, can be fired in semi-auto mode.

If you are convinced that the AR-15 represents a danger to life and limb, the only thin you can do right now is send an email to your Congressional rep or send some dough to one of the national, gun-control groups which is trying to ban the gun. In other words, you can only express your worried and fears on a second-hand basis.

But let’s not forget that for every gun owner out there, there are probably two adults who don’t own guns. And if a bunch of them were to send a message to the powers-that-be about some guy wandering down the street with his AR-15….

Should We Celebrate The Holidays With An AR-15?


              Back in 2008, I played around with the idea of importing a modern sporting gun. It was a 22-caliber, bolt-action target rifle with Olympic-grade accuracy but a moderate price. So, the first thing I did was to try and get some internet presence for my product by applying for a trademark like the trademark I own for Mike the Gun Guy™.  

The Patent & Trademark Office turned me down. They said the phrase, ‘modern sporting gun’ had been in public parlance for too long and therefore couldn’t be consigned to a particular individual like me.

              So, then I did the next best thing and purchased modernsportingrifle.com. I figured that if I decided to import the rifle without the trademark, the URL was the next, best thing.

              The following year, 2009, I had a booth at the big gun trade show, the SHOT show, because I was importing a pistol but had decided that I wouldn’t bring in a target rifle the following year.

              At some point during the show, a gentleman came up to my booth and said he was a counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which owns and runs the SHOT show. He asked if I would be willing to sell the modernsportingrifle.com to the NSSF, but instead of selling the URL, I just gave it to the NSSF in return for a better booth location at the 2010 SHOT show.

              Why did the NSSF want to own modernsportingrifle.com? Because they were going to start a campaign to promote the idea that the AR-15 wasn’t an assault rifle but was just another sporting gun.

              Why did they want to start this campaign? Because, according to their counsel, the NSSF was getting reports that big-box stores like Cabela’s were concerned about stocking the AR-15 because their stores were family destinations and mothers wouldn’t want their kids to go into a location that sold military guns. You can see NSSF’s description of the AT-15 as a ‘modern sporting rifle’ right here.

              That was then, this is now. And now we have a member of the U.S. Congress, Tom Massie from Kentucky, sending out a holiday greetings tweet surrounded by his family, three of whom are women gleefully holding up their AR-15’s.

              On the other hand, when it comes to using an assault rifle to score some political points, Massie’s a rank amateur compared to Mark McCloskey, who brandished his AR-15 at a group of BLM protestors marching peacefully by his house. He’s now running for Senate and his campaign website seems to be less a promotion for his candidacy and more an advertisement for his gun.

              Back in June, McCloskey held a political rally to mark the one-year anniversary of his stand against the forces of Socialism, Communism, Soros-ism and all the other isms that marched past his house. Want to read a great piece of journalism? Try a description of the rally in a local paper which drew a crowd so small that the reporter almost missed the event entirely because almost nobody showed up.

McCloskey rally.

I bought my first AR-15, a Colt Sporter, back in 1978. The dealer gave me a $30-dollar discount to move the gun off the shelf. In those days, people didn’t walk around a state capital building in Madison, WI or march down a street in Charlottesville, VA carrying their AR-15’s, and no candidate would ever have used a positive comment about assault rifles as a verbal prop in a national campaign.

What did Trump say when asked if he would ban assault rifles in the wake of the massacre at The Pulse? He claimed that AR-15’s were necessary because people needed protection, a stance which directly reversed an assault-rifle ban that he supported in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve.

By pretending to be in favor of using assault rifles for personal defense, Trump was cynically trying to take advantage of what he perceived to be the mood of voters whose support he needed to win the 2016 campaign.

Except it turned out that even if Trump grabbed a few extra votes in 2016 by stoking the belligerent mood, the mood hasn’t lasted vey long. I have sold a lot of assault rifles and I can tell you that I don’t think a single AR-15 purchaser walked out of my gun shop ready to go into battle against the forces of international terrorism or the shock troops of ANTIFA and BLM.

Customers bought an assault rifle because someone else had bought one, and they didn’t want to be the only guy without this newest adult toy when they showed up at the range.

For the first time since Charlton Heston raised a flintlock over his head at the annual meeting of the NRA, the gun industry has come up with a product that tells everyone which way you plan to vote.

Back in 2016, Jason Kander, a Democrat, ran for Senate in Missouri against the GOP incumbent, Roy Blunt. He put out an ad showing him assembling an AR-15 while he explained why he supported expanding background checks. Kander lost to Blunt by less than 3 points.

Let’s face it. Assault rifles have become as much a partisan issue as mandating masks or getting the vaccine. Which is fine with me because every week the number of people who have gotten their vaccinations keeps going up.

What Does Walking Around With An AR-15 Really Mean?


              The same day the Rittenhouse jury began trying to figure out how to come up with a verdict in this case, The (failing) New York Times gave its readers an interesting perspective on in the form of an op-ed by a guy who usually writes about technology, but this time wants to inform the paper’s readership about the AR-15.

              In case you didn’t know it, the gun that Kyle Rittenhouse used to kill two people and injure a third, happens to be the same kind of gun, in terms of design and function, that our troops use out in the field. Except in this case the gun was carried and used by a 17-year old who had never undergone the slightest military training at all.

              For that matter, the op-ed columnist, Farhad Manjoo, also has no practical experience with assault rifles – I can tell that from how he talked about the AR-15.

              Actually, he didn’t really talk about the AR-15, even though his op-ed says that he’s going to give his readers “the truth about Kyle Rittenhouse’s gun.” Instead, what we get is the standard, liberal response to the narrative promoted by the gun industry, namely, that owning this kind of gun doesn’t give you an ‘effective’ and ‘necessary’ weapon of self-defense, nor does it help you shield yourself from the ‘tyranny’ of the state.

              These arguments are what Manjoo refers to as the “foundational tenets of gun advocacy,” and they are all wrong. The AR-15, in the hands of someone like Kyle Rittenhouse, actually engenders violence and loss of human life, rather than keeping society safe and secure.

              I’ve been listening to this argument from Gun-control Nation for years and on occasion I have indulged in it myself. But enough is enough. Want to know the real reason dopey kids like Rittenhouse show up at a pitched battle between the cops and the demonstrators with their AR-15?

              I’ll tell you why. And I’ll tell you based on my own thoughts and reasons which have led me to buy and own more than one AR-15.

              I bought my first AR-15, the Colt Sporter model, back in 1978. I bought a second Colt AR, the heavy-barreled ‘target’ model in 1993, or maybe it was 1998. I also bought a Bushmaster in the 90’s, and at some point, I traded a Browning semi-auto, 7mm Rem Magnum for a Stag Arms AR-15.

              Why did I own four AR rifles over the last forty-some odd years? Because I’m a gun nut, and gun nuts always buy more guns than they would ever need.

              In fact, I never really ‘needed’ any of these guns. For that matter, I had no real ‘need’ for the several hundred guns that I have bought, sold, and traded since I paid some old guy fifty bucks for a Smith & Wesson 22-caliber handgun at a tag sale on Highway 441 in the Florida Glades back in 1956.

              The difference between me and a pea-brain like Kyle Rittenhouse is that I never, ever thought that I might use an AR-15 or, for that matter, any of my other guns to shoot someone else. But here’s the dirty little secret about the gun business which someone like Farhad Manjoo would never know. And he would never know this little secret because he doesn’t really know anything about guns.

              Kids like Rittenhouse want to own and walk around with an AR-15 because they enjoy fantasizing about the idea that maybe, just maybe, they’ll get a chance to shoot someone else with their gun. Of course, they never, ever imagine that such behavior is wrong. They will only shoot someone who is threatening them or someone else. After all, let’s not forget that we have a ‘right’ defend ourselves with a gun. That’s what the 2nd Amendment says we can do.

              Except the 2nd Amendment doesn’t say that at all. What It says is that you can keep a gun in your home in case someone tries to break in and do you harm.

              Rittenhouse claimed that he took his AR-15 with him to Kenosha to help some car dealer protect his cars. But the real reason he showed up in Kenosha with his AR-15 is that he was hoping he would get a chance to defend himself with his gun. And how do you defend yourself with an AR-15? You aim the gun not at some paper target on the range, but at a living human being, pull the trigger and the guy you hit goes down.

              Guns like the AR-15 don’t get bought because someone wants to go into the woods and take a shot at Bambi or Smokey the Bear. They get bought because some of the people who buy them want to believe that walking around with that kind of gun makes you a big, tough guy.

              Actually, all it really does is show everyone that you’re a self-proclaimed jerk. Unfortunately, being a jerk has never disqualified anyone from owning a gun.

Want To Get Into Politics? Learn How To Shoot An Assault Rifle.


              Way back in 2000, Charlton Heston stood up at the annual meeting of the NRA, raised a plastic version of a flintlock musket over his head and vowed that in order to take away his gun, the government would have to take it from his “cold, dead hands.”  I was at that meeting, but I didn’t attend Heston’s speech. What I do remember is that after the speech, lots of kids and even some adults went walking past my booth with a clenched fist in the air and shouted, “from my cold, dead hands.”

              The use of a musket to represent what makes America ‘great’ has been a fixture of American culture for years. After all, it’s how Davey Crockett ‘kilt’ him a bar when he was only three.’ Or maybe he was six. I don’t remember which was which.

              Then of course there was the Alamo where Crockett, James Bowie and William Travis held off Santa Anna’s Mexican Army for almost two weeks with their trusty flintlock guns.

              But time moves on and things change. And one of the things which appears to be changing is the use of AR-15 rifles as prop in campaign ads for candidates from both sides.

              As of last week, six Republicans have announced their intention to run in the 2022 election to replace Missouri’s retiring GOP Senator, Roy Blunt. One of those candidates is none other than Mark McCloskey, the idiot who stood in front of his house and waved an AR-15 at some BLM protestors who were marching by. He and his wife, who was waving a pistol at the crowd, copped a misdemeanor plea last week so McCloskey immediately went out and bought himself another AR-15.

              How do we know he now owns another AR-15 to replace the gun taken from his ‘cold, dead hands’ as part of his plea deal?  Because he immediately posted a pic of himself with the gun on his Twitter page, where else?

              It goes without saying, of course, that McCloskey’s Senate campaign will probably be based on trying to get every gun-nut in Missouri to show up and vote to protect their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ I mean here’s a guy who used a gun to defend himself, his wife, and his home from a Black ‘mob.’ Which trigger-head in Missouri wouldn’t vote for him?

But let’s not sit back, my fellow members of Gun-control Nation, shake our heads in dismay and assume that only members of the red team believe that using a gun as a stage prop is a quick and easy way to pile up the votes.

Back in 2017, Montana held a special election to fill a House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke who was picked to run the Interior Department for Trump. Both candidates ran TV ads showing them shooting guns. But the guns in their ads were old-style, lever-action rifles right out of the Old West. You don’t see guns around like that anymore. Those lever-action guns are just as old-fashioned as the flintlock that Charlton Heston held over his head.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming, however, that it’s usually a GOP candidate like McCloskey who runs campaign ads featuring what the gun industry calls a ‘modern sporting rifle,’ even though it’s really just an assault rifle known as the AR-15.

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District is currently represented by a Democrat named Conor Lamb. The 17th District is about as rural and country as you can get. What kind of TV ads did Lamb run when he won his Congressional seat in 2018? An ad showing him banging away at a shooting range with his trusty AR-15.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a gun as a prop in ads for political campaigns. But that doesn’t mean we have to let civilians own those guns. After all, nobody who saw Charlton Heston raise a flintlock over his head at the NRA show went out and bought one of those guns to keep around the house for self-defense.


   What Is An Assault Rifle?: Weisser, Michael R.: 9798728410980: Amazon.com: Books






Don’t make the mistake of assuming, however, that it’s usually a GOP candidate like McCloskey who runs campaign ads featuring what the gun industry calls a ‘modern sporting rifle,’ even though it’s really just an assault rifle known as the AR-15.

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District is currently represented by a Democrat named Conor Lamb. The 17th District is about as rural and country as you can get. What kind of TV ads did Lamb run when he won his Congressional seat in 2018? An ad showing him banging away at a shooting range with his trusty AR-15.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a gun as a prop in ads for political campaigns. But that doesn’t mean we have to let civilians own those guns. After all, nobody who saw Charlton Heston raise a flintlock over his head at the NRA show went out and bought one of those guns to keep around the house for self-defense.

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