True story! Retired Air Force Colonel Dean L. Winslow was the aspiring Assistant Secretary of Defense for eadsealth Affairs. Testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing, Col. Wilson felt compelled — compelled I tell you! — to express his support for gun control. Writing for the unrelentingly anti-gun rights washingtonpost.com Col. Wilson explained his motivation:
I arrived in Washington for my hearing the day after the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Tex. I heard about it when I got off the plane from England, a country with effective gun control and minimal gun violence. As a devout Christian, a parent, a doctor and an American, I was deeply troubled by yet another loss of innocent lives, this time in the sanctity of a house of worship.
I was jet-lagged! Sad! I’m a devout Christian! I wasn’t in my right mind! WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!
I gotta say that’s not the best defense for a man who wants — make that wanted to be principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for health issues; the guy in charge of administering the Military Health System’s $4.3 billion dollar annual budget. A defense for the following outburst:
Then, I blurted out what was in my heart: “I’d also like to . . . just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semiautomatic weapon like an AR-15.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) interrupted, warning this was not in my “area of responsibility or expertise.” Soon after, my confirmation was put on hold.
Hang on. If the Colonel “blurted out” what was “in his heart” when he pissed on the Second Amendment to the Constitution — a document he’d sworn to protect and defend during his military career — then he said what he meant, right? And how!
I am a marksman, rated expert in both the M-9 pistol and the M-16 rifle (the fully automatic military version of the AR-15). During one of my tours in Iraq, I spent hours with my Special Operations forces colleagues who were training Iraqi teams on our base, firing an array of military weapons. Using a powerful gun at a firing range is a real blast, and I support civilians experiencing that thrill at licensed ranges.
What a punny guy! And isn’t that nice of him to support our right to fire a “powerful gun,” at a gun range, under licensed supervision?
However, as commander of an Air Force hospital in Baghdad during the surge, I have seen what these weapons do to human beings. The injuries are devastating. In addition, because of their high muzzle velocities, assault weapons are challenging for untrained civilians to control and are not optimal for home defense. A pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, with its excellent stopping power, would be far better.
Are these “devastating injuries” caused by “assault weapons” more devastating than the injuries created by larger caliber handguns? ‘Cause ARs sure are a lot less common when it comes to criminal activity; rifles account for three percent of all firearms-related homicides.
But I guess we can safely say that AR-15s are FAR more dangerous than 12-gauge shotguns . . .
Even with imperfect aim, a shotgun will hit its target, while the pellets won’t go through a wall to endanger someone in the next room. Assault rifles are also poor hunting weapons due to low accuracy beyond 100 yards.
Fake news! Or, if you prefer, an idiot’s ignorance revealed. By his own hand, no less. In The Washington Post, of all places.
Heads up, WaPo after-the-fact fact checkers! Depending on the load, 12-gauge shotgun pellets DO go through walls (quite easily in fact). And AR-15s make excellent hunting weapons, some well beyond 100 yards.
But with a standard 30-round magazine, assault rifles are perfect for mass murder. From 1995 to 2004, assault weapons were severely restricted in the United States. During that time, mass shootings were far less frequent — 1.6 compared with 4.2 per year after the ban lapsed in 2005.
The experience in Australia is even more dramatic: No mass shootings have occurred there since assault weapons were outlawed in 1996. Assault weapons in the United States are not being used to kill “bad guys” in self-defense or to provide for a “well-regulated militia” but for entertainment, mass murder and domestic terrorism. Is this really the intent of the Second Amendment?
What drugs is this man taking, and is my tax money paying for them? Or did the Colonel simply drink some anti-gun Kool-Aid back when he was attending Delaware’s Dover High School, “where students respect and accept diversity in a multicultural setting”?
Colonel Winslow finishes his diatribe by channeling his inner Edith Piaf:
I have no regrets. Having semiautomatic weapons makes no sense. It is a public-health issue that, as a doctor, I felt compelled to bring to the Senate’s attention. As a citizen, I am saddened that our government has become so dominated by pro-gun lobbyists that an appointment such as mine — which has no responsibility for gun control — can be sidelined by a single sentence of informed, personal opinion. And that really is insane.
Or is it a sign that our system of government works, at least occasionally?