My Assault Weapon and Me
Gun-banners cause us gun nuts to do funny things. They can pressure us into starting blogs to push back their lies. They can also make us buy guns or types of guns that we might otherwise not buy (the sales of .50 caliber rifles shot up in California between the time Governor Schwarzenegger signed the ban legislation and when it became effective). Who among us has not bought a gun or an accessory just to spite them? With every gun I buy, I think, “take that Brady Campaign.” This past October, their bans and lies helped push me to buy what they call an “assault weapon.”
The recovering liberal that I am, I never really liked “assault weapons.” I had a number of reasons all of them well thought out and yet mixed with emotional knee-jerk stuff. I wondered about the need for 30, 50, 100 round magazines. I did not understand why one needed a bayonet mount. It shot a round that is not good for hunting—a varmint round at best. The biggest reason dealt with the guns themselves. They have dull black finishes, rough spots that should be polished, and obscure levers and buttons.
You see I like fine old guns. I am a dyed in the wool traditionalist where my guns are concerned. I like blued metal and wooden stocks with nice figures in the wood. I don’t care if the finish is pristine. I can find as much beauty in a linseed-oil finished military stock as I do in a fine shotgun’s hand-rubbed Circassian walnut stock. In fact, nickel plate or stainless steel is just a little but too gaudy for me. Just as a side note, who could not like the wonderful, deep blue that Colt was able to achieve in the mid 1900s?
So what am I doing with an “assault weapon?” I started reading arguments on both sides of owning these guns and realized that the evil lies not in the gun, “ugly” though it may be, but in the operator. Besides, who gives anyone the right to ban any sort of firearm or accessory?
I bought a Bushmaster XM15-E2S Carbine (here is a catalog entry for it if you are interested). I wanted to buy it on September 14, 2004 as a personal celebration of the end of the assault weapons ban. Unfortunately, I had to wait for my paycheck and make sure the gun store had just the one I wanted. It had to be an “assault weapon” with everything that bunches up a Gun Fearing Wussie’s panties (or manties).
The one I bought has a collapsible stock, a bayonet lug, a normal-sized magazine, a flash suppressor, a protruding pistol grip—the works. The only thing I don’t like about it is the bayonet lug is situated too far back on the barrel support to ever effectively mount a bayonet. After all, the carbine was designed with a shorter barrel than they offer civilians--taxpayers who the government thinks can’t be trusted with a short-barrel rifle.
So here I am with a gun wildly different than all my others—no wood at all, a finish that only a sergeant could love, and a round that some people like Jeff Cooper call a poodle-shooter (see Volume 12 Number 12 among many others). And, I love it. It shoots like a dream, the ammo is cheap and accurate, and the gun-banners hate it. What is there not to love (except for the bayonet mount)?