We all need to cool off and take a step back for a moment.  It is never a good idea to have an emotional knee jerk reaction from either side of the fence.

I often get asked why I am here.  I am a libertarian and I am educating myself.  Many people band together and only discuss things with people on their side of the fence.  I have learned nothing ever changes that way.  People don't want to have a debate, they want to be accepted and to have their views accepted and echoed back at them.  So yes, I am here to not only learn, but to share my beliefs, and be challenged by yours.  I hope that my beliefs can challenge all of you as well, and that we can learn from each other.  

With background in the military, law enforcement, and working contract in the private sector I like to believe I am at least modestly qualified to speak about guns and gun control.  Certainly I feel I am more qualified than someone who has never held or fired a weapon.  I am more than a little confused by this 'gun racism' that is going on.  The definitions of an 'assault weapon' are perplexing to me.  A folding stock?  How does that make a weapon more dangerous?  It does not make a bullet travel faster or straighter.  A pistol grip?  Again, this does not make a weapon more dangerous or accurate.  Over 90 percent of crimes are commited with a handgun.  Over 98 percent are commited with 3 bullets or less.  We are talking about reducing gun crime by under two percent with a magzine ban, probably less considering that crimes that use more than 3 bullets almost never use more than 10.  I liken this to the New York law.  You can only buy 16 oz soft drinks, what if I want a 32 oz?  Fine, I'll just buy 2 of them and I get my 32 oz drink, oh and I get to throw more garbage in the landfill, hurray for two straws and two lids.  If I want 30 rounds, I will just carry three magazines.  I have timed my reload time in at just under .7 seconds, trust me, a magazine change is not slowing anyone down, believe me.  

Whats the difference between a 10 round semi auto hunting rifle and a 10 round AR?  Anyone?  The answer is not a thing.  If you understand how a rifle works, a semi automatic is a semi automatic.  I will spare you the details on mechanical function on how these weapons cycle and keep it simple here.  Each time you pull the trigger, it fires.  AR-15s are not automatic, just as hunting rifles are not automatic.  If you pull and hold the trigger back, it fires once.  The trigger must be released to what is called 'reset' before it can fire again. In operational terms, they are the same.  Differences are primarily cosmetic.  'It's Black' is not a reason to hate it guys.  I'm afraid there is a terrible miscommunication between our politicians, the media, and the public about these weapons.  We are focusing on folding stocks, vertical grips, pistol grips, and other accesscories.  But in function, no different than a semi automatic hunting rifle.  So why have an AR then if it is the same as a hunting rifle?  To me it's a comfort issue.  I appreciate the stock in that it reduces recoil.  This means my baby brother can fire it (12 years old) when we go out shooting.  It means my sister can fire it.  I like that it is light weight.  And just like when you get to decide between buying a mustang or a pinto, it is nice that it is kinda sexy.  None of these factors make it more or less dangerous.  It fires a .223, or for our European or military friends, a 5.56 NATO round.  This round is a small round initially designed as a varmint round.  It is considered ideal for coyote sized threats.  It is not over the top destructive, and in fact is not even considered a legal round to hunt deer with in most states.  This is because the round does not insure a clean and humane kill on the animal.  If you want to talk about scary rounds lets talk about the .30-06, a favorite of deer hunters.  This round will put most bears down...

I would really like to see folks educate themselves.  Go out and ask a conservative or a libertarian to take you out to the range some time.  Kindly express to them that you would like to educate yourself on firearms.  You will find that 99% of them will be happy to bring you to a range and let you use their weapon.  In fact, you will find that most of them will even let you use their ammo and ear protection and even lend you a set of eye protection.  They will show you how to safely use a weapon and explain its capabilities and 99% of them are very patient instructors.  Ask them to fire a semi-automatic hunting rifle and then fire their AR-15.  Again, most of them will happily educate you, and you might even have a little bit of fun in the proccess.  

This is my challenge to everyone here who has a beef with guns or is in favor of an 'assault weapons' ban.  Assault weapons are fully automatic or three round burst weapons used in the military.  The AR-15 would never be used by our military in combat, because it is not an assault weapon.  Don't hate it because it looks like a military rifle.  You can put a car kit on your honda civic to make it look like a race car, but it is not a race car.  Go out and try it, get educated, meet a conservative and see how generous he is with his knowledge and his equipment in sharing it with you.  

I am sure I will get plenty of responses like "I hate them and I dont care to get educated and I still hate them".  I would say thats the attitude that kept the civil rights movement from happening much earlier in history.  Don't be ignorant guys.  Take me up on this challenge and you will walk away from it a more educated and well rounded person, I can promise you that.  Hope to hear some interesting stories and view points when I check back for responses.  God Bless, and I hope everyone is having a safe and prosperous new year.  

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