I never grew up around firearms. My family never hunted. When I was in Boy Scouts I did fire a .22 rifle (rim fire) when at camp, but that was the extent of my experience with any type of firearms until I joined the Army National Guard. Then I had to qualify with an M-16 (which I did, but only marksman), I fired an M-60 machine gun, and even lobbed a live fragmentation grenade. Since I never experienced combat that had to be one of my most terrifying experiences – nothing like holding something in your hand with the pin and the safety released knowing that it could blow you to bits. I digress.
With three kids in our home, still not into hunting, and not feeling like we’ve needed the protection we’ve elected not to have a firearm in the house. That is a personal choice, but I do respect the rights of citizens to “keep and bear arms” as the Second Amendment of our Constitution allows. I’m in favor of background checks of those purchasing firearms, and for a reasonable waiting period. What I’m not in favor of is handgun bans like the D.C. law that was struck down a while back. I think that for the most part all that firearms bans do is keep weapons out of the hands of law abiding citizens. If somebody wants a handgun or an assault rifle or even a machine pistol like say, the MAC-10, for criminal purposes they’ll be able to obtain them
Anyway, I don’t intend on getting into the nuances of the gun-control debate, but merely to affirm our constitutional right to own and carry firearms. That being said. I was able to enjoy that constitutional right yesterday. Lane, one of the guys in the church I am pastoring on an interim basis, wanted to take me to a local firing range to have some fun firing different firearms (He paid the range fees as his gift to me for pastor appreciation month. That was one of the most unique gifts I’ve ever received!)
The first thing I was able to fire was an AR-15 (which certain politicians would want banned), the civilian version of the M-16. The differences were first off it doesn’t have an automatic feature like the M-16 A1 or a 3-round burst feature like the M-16 A2. The rifle that Lane owned had an adjustable stock so I was able to adjust that for comfort. It also had a handgrip with a tripod. Let’s just say if I were able to qualify with it when I was in the Army my scores would have been much improved! I also fired a M&P 9mm and a Buckmark .22 (both are handguns). Let’s just say that at 15 yards the M&P wouldn’t be my choice to defend my homestead. Did all right with the .22 though.
Here’s a video we took of our time at the Banning Shooting Range north of Indianola: