I generally try to stay away from politics, but sometimes I just need to say something.
I enjoy guns. The wall of my office is a collection of antique firearms–most too old to safely fire, but interesting pieces nevertheless. I have other firearms I enjoy taking to the shooting range at a nearby USMC Base to blow holes in paper targets.
In the past, when deployed, I’ve carried a .45 caliber M1911, a 9mm Beretta, and an M-16. In each case, I was in a combat zone.
Nevertheless, there are rules relating to firearms and they are basic and sensible rules. These are true whether in combat, when you hear a noise in the middle of the night, and any other context.
- Treat every gun as loaded
- Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill.
- Identify your target.
- Always be aware of where the muzzle of the weapon is pointed (see above).
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Here is the most important one:
- You only fire your weapon when there is no other option. Unless you’re in combat in a legal war zone, this means that you can only fire when your life is in danger and you have no other option. That means that your back is to the wall.
- Someone running away is not a threat to your life.
As I said, I have been armed with an M-16. However, to all the people who insist that they need an AR-15 (the civilian version of an M-16), I have the following advice.
- If you need a high capacity magazine, you must be planning on killing many people.
- If not, it means you’re a truly lousy shot who needs 30 rounds to ensure that you hit the broad side of a barn.
Either way, you should not have an assault rifle with a high capacity magazine.