6-15: Orlando, It’s Personal

There is no sense for me here to promote a reasonable dialog on gun control. It won’t happen, it never does. Our elected officials have morphed into a pandering class of cowards, especially on this issue.

There was a 19-year-old Puerto Rican in my squad in Vietnam who died horribly in an ambush. He is on my mind today because, while driving and listening to the radio, the host was reading a partial list of names of those who died in Orlando. One name was identical to my buddy’s . . . and it all came back. Angel was 19. He lay dead on the ground, his body riddled with bullets from an assault weapon. Why?

Parse the words. Assault is a combat term, meaning “us” against the “enemy.” Weapon is a person-to-person term. Hunters and target shooters don’t refer to their pieces as “weapons.” They use their rifles and guns to shoot game or paper targets. Weapons are reserved for homicide. Assault weapons are used to kill the enemy. I see the flashes, I hear the bangs and the screams, I smell the powder.

A demented individual travels to a club with his weapons and opens fire on an enemy that does not know it is at war.

Rest in peace, Angel.

One thought on “6-15: Orlando, It’s Personal”

  1. “Assault weapon” is a term freely used by people today, and it can be very misleading. If you’re talking to a person who is familiar with guns, they will tell you that it’s a rifle that is capable of fully automatic fire. That is, keep the trigger depressed, and the gun keeps firing rapidly til it runs out of ammo. This is an advantage in warfare, for obvious reasons. Fully automatic guns are not readily available the public. Collectors can own them, but they are closely watched by the ATF, and the tax on them is quite expensive. Typically, only the military uses true assault weapons. If you’re talking to a person who is not familiar with guns, they will tell you that an assault weapon is a gun that looks scary, and they probably saw one in the movies, and that’s the limit of their exposure. An AR-15 rifle is one that looks like a military rifle, but can only fire one bullet for each time you squeeze the trigger. That’s why they’re called semiautomatic. Whether they have a magazine that holds four rounds or thirty rounds, it doesn’t make them any more or less dangerous. If someone was attempting to break into my house in the middle of the night, I’d certainly want a semiautomatic weapon with as big a magazine as possible. I wouldn’t want to run the risk of not enough ammo in an emergency. With millions of people in the US with concealed carry permits, and many millions more with at least one gun in their household for personal protection, if the public was a threat, there’d be millions of crimes committed every week. But there arent. Virtually every time there is a school shooting, or a terrorist attack, it’s perpetrated by a mentally ill person who was never allowed to legally own a gun. In the Orlando night club shooting, a person who was known to FBI and homeland security Dept was legally allowed to buy guns and passed the background check. That’s a failure of our government agency to use common sense. He openly voiced threats of wanting to kill people. Sounds to me like a mentally unstable person or an aggressive terrorist. When I hear talk of banning things, I think of prohibition of alcohol. It was maybe well intended, but it helped to cause an explosion in illegal liquor. And organised crime. Recently read about a school district that banned any book that mentioned any objection to global warming theories. So now, we’re banned from thinking about important topics, unless we agree with certain viewpoints. I really think we should be talking about banning politically correct statements.

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