Delaware Journalist Shoots an AR Pattern Rifle and Actually Learns Something

The reigning title-holder for the dumbest “I shot an ‘assault rifle’ and OMG!” story by a journalist is held by the New York Daily News’ Gersh Kuntzman. It’s a title he probably won’t give up any time soon. To Matthew Albright’s credit, unlike his laughably sissified New York colleague, he wasn’t moved to near-tears by the experience of pulling the trigger on a scary black rifle. Then again, to be fair, the Delaware Online scribe was putting rounds downrange with an ultra-tame Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22, so there’s that.

Anyway, the Delaware general assembly is currently considering an “assault weapons” ban bill, SB 163. Because guns. And because they think they can get away with it, electorally. So Albright visited the Delaware Rifle and Pistol Club to actually try one himself.

You know how you change the mind of an anti-gunner? Take him or her to the range.

There is a trance-like feeling to concentrating utterly on a target, focusing on the minute muscle movements that separate a hit from a miss. I can quickly understand the appeal of sport-shooting.

More profoundly, holding this firearm is immensely empowering. I understand how it would give its owner a sense of strength in protecting himself and his family.

Shooting this gun, I soon get why gun owners are winning the battle over so-called “assault weapons” in Delaware.

Did he say winning? Why yes. To Delaware gun owners’ credit,

Even as the General Assembly makes bipartisan progress on other gun safety legislation, it hasn’t even been able to get SB 163 out of its first committee. The reason is simple: At the grass-roots level, opponents of an assault weapons ban have turned out in far greater numbers and with far greater fervor than proponents.

I don’t care how many national polls you show a state senator, they’re going to listen to what they hear directly from constituents. And, from what I hear, lawmakers are getting way more emails and phone calls from opponents of SB 163 than from supporters.

Delaware Rifle and Pistol Club president Jim Bowman did a good job of showing Mr. Albright the ropes. It obviously made an impression.

A supporter of an assault weapons ban can think these guns are unnecessary, but a gun owner has felt the kick of the stock into the shoulder, has held its re-assuring weight in his or her arms.

A gun control advocate can believe nobody should have magazines with more than ten bullets, but a gun owner knows how hard it is to hit a moving target in broad daylight, let alone in the dark while your fight-or-flight instinct is in high gear.

Of course there are some gun owners and even ex-soldiers who support SB 163. But, by and large, most who support the ban have never touched the guns they want to ban.

A surprisingly balanced view from the state’s biggest news daily. Albright goes on to note that so-called assault rifles are virtually never used in the commission of crimes in The First State. And he was duly impressed by the degree to which safety was important to the shooters he saw at the range that day.

Visiting the Rifle and Pistol Club also reminded me just how obsessively cautious most gun owners with their firearms. Even when backing up only a few meters to a new shooting position, Bowman and Boyce removed the magazines from their guns, put flags in the chambers and put everything back in their cases.

If my finger moved to the trigger unconsciously, or if my gun dipped down away from the target, even for a moment, they would immediately correct me. Joining their club requires an eight-hour training course and a grueling 3-hour qualifying test, and I could fill a column listing the safety measures it employs.

Is it any wonder that responsible gun owners like these would bristle at the notion they can’t be trusted with these firearms?

Delawareans can only hope that Albright has a good bead on the ban’s chances of passage.

One thing is clear to me: Second Amendment rights are far more than an abstract concept to those who defend them. And I have a hard time seeing how (SB 163) supporters are going to get around that.

 

comments

  1. avatar D Y says:

    Never hurts to let those in the media who actually do their job, and actually try to be impartial or at least understand both sides of the story, know that facts and truth are still appreciated.

    His email is [email protected] (dot com)

    1. avatar Nigel the Expat says:

      As opposed to that ‘other guy’ who shot an AR then claimed it gave him PTSD. Gersh Kuntzman, that was his name. Wanker.

    2. avatar Denny says:

      Those 4 BANS / GUN CONTROL BILLS. Should B REQUIRED 2 GO 2 A RANGE & The SAME INFO Training as the Reporter in the article. IN SMALL GROUPS- 3-4 @ a Time ! ( U 1/2 2 Remember WHAT Your Dealing With lol! IT Should Change a Few Minds.IF There NOT A PURE SISSY!

  2. avatar Swarf says:

    “Is it any wonder that responsible gun owners like these would bristle at the notion they can’t be trusted with these firearms?”

    And there you have it, folks. That is why so many of us say “not one more inch.” Why? Because Fuck you, that’s why. Stay out of my lane.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Stay out of my lane.”

      And off my lawn…

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      arbitrary lane changes. second only to the mopes that think merging is rushing ahead to crowd into the funnel at the end of the entrance ramp. i salute those of you who attempt to block that strategy. it is the good fight. more easily done in a ’71 poncho than on a ’75 guzzi, but possible either way.

  3. avatar MDB says:

    Well….he probably isn’t going to see any promotions anytime soon….if he gets to keep his job 😛

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Yup. This is not ‘balanced,’ it is solidly pro gun (by virtue of adhering to facts and experience, but still). The editor won’t make the same mistake twice.

      Hopefully he learns to bump fire next

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        Reality has a pro-gun bias.

  4. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    “Joining their club requires an eight-hour training course and a grueling 3-hour qualifying test,…”

    Well, that’s a downer. I’m afraid to ask what the fees are. Do you have to sing “I’m a Little Teapot”?

    1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

      Sounds like extremely miserable conditions to shoot under…Give me, my own private property to shoot on…With lots of acreage….

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        It’s just Fudds, to be expected where he is, and frankly oppression is a good environment for new shooters.

    2. avatar greymas says:

      The course is the NRA Basic pistol. Fees extremely inexpensive. Access is 24 hours, so you are your own range officer. We don’t have many places to shoot in what is the most densely populated county in a small state and there are many who would want to close down the club. Mr. Bowman and Mr. Boyce are fervent supporters of the Second Amendment.

    3. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      No, you just have to fire your gun into the air to talk to the invisible man.

  5. avatar jwtaylor says:

    That’s one of the firearms everyone should own. I have an integrally suppressed version that is so quiet, even indoors, all you hear is the action cycle. I’ve shot raccoons with it off my back porch while one of the kids was asleep not 5 yards from me. I take it to the blind with me when I hunt so I can shoot coons and pigs with it, and it won’t scare the deer off. I probably shoot it every day.

    I talk to journalists and reporters often. There’s only been one ever that didn’t leave the range wanting a gun, and it destroys a whole lot of myths. By the way, that one that didn’t want a gun, cried just holding one. She took one shot, (44spl cowboy action load out of a Ruger Bisley Hunter), couldn’t stop shaking, and left. Clearly, there was something going on there other than shooting a gun.

    1. avatar D Y says:

      It’s called irrational fear. Some of them have psyched themselves out so much that they believe evil will contaminate them through osmosis.

      Not to start a debate, but great on you for helping the cause as you have. The NRA is on to something with their mentor a new shooter idea, I think. We really need to try our best to get as many people as possible at least some range time. Because whether they end up owning one or not, being aware that law abiding gun owners are by and large great people, and that guns are not going to jump off the table and shoot people randomly, helps mitigate the efforts to marginalize gun owners, and eliminates the thought that guns are somehow able to turn good people into bad.

      We help each other when we change the attitudes of people towards firearms and firearms owners. Without that, we will eventually lose the war. There aren’t enough gun owners to stop the legislative processes against guns as the population centers gain more and more control of the vote.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      “She took one shot . . ., couldn’t stop shaking, and left. Clearly, there was something going on there other than shooting a gun.”

      It probably reminded her of a penis.

    3. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      We need to try to get more people introduced to shooting with this particular rifle. Why?

      Because it’s affordable to own and shoot.
      Because it’s accurate.
      Because there is so little recoil a young child or journalist can handle it.
      Because it’s quiet, especially with subsonic.
      Because it’s reliable.
      Because it’s fun.

      And because it’s something antis want to ban as an assault rifle. If this is the rifle the public gets introduced to scary black rifles that has a shoulder thingy that goes up, they’re not going to support a ban.

    4. avatar barnbwt says:

      Just wait until you show/help someone build a gun of their own; that’s when the veil is really torn back on the arbitrary stupidity and uselessness of gun control

    5. avatar hiso says:

      Well, you scared her off using the .44 Spl. Would’ve used the .22 instead. Don’t understand why shooters let new people fire larger calibers or pocket guns first, of course you’re gonna spook them easily.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Hiso, the .44SPL cowboy action load out of a Ruger Bisley Hunter has the same felt recoil as a .22LR out of a Ruger MkII. This is a reduced power load, out of a minor power factor round, in a large, heavy revolver. It is so soft shooting that it is what my son learned to shoot on, at 5 years old.
        The advantage over a new shooter is that it is a single action revolver, greatly increasing the safety level for a new shooter. It is also subsonic, and quiet. It’s probably the perfect combination for a new shooter.

    6. avatar Sian says:

      Maybe starting someone who is clearly terrified of firearms with a .44 spl wasn’t the best idea. Suppressed .22 LR bolt action rifle would have been where I’d want to start with someone like that.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        See the comment to Hiso above.
        As far as the suppressed 22 rifle, there was no way she would even go near a rifle of any caliber, much less an “assault rifle”.

  6. avatar Mark N. says:

    Dang, eight hour training course? Egads! The course would more likely kill me that an ND.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      I’ve joined several clubs in the real world thru the years and none took more than a signed check. “Asking” for any training would get you a number of insults, ridicule, and laughter.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        I tried to arrange for Jeff Gonzalez to teach a pistol course at the range I belonged to a few years ago. With a slate of officers and board members steeped in Fudd tradition, it was an uphill battle – “We don’t want to promote ‘that kind’ of shooting around here!” Even though they had combat pistol matches there every month.

        After finally taking no for an answer, I found another venue. The short sightedness still pisses me off.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Let me guess, ARC?

      2. avatar Martin B says:

        I had to go through a lengthy safety course in order to be considered for a firearms license in New Zealand. One of the amusing things was the instructor stressing the rules on limitations on magazine capacity (5 rounds for centre fire, just like Canada), by demonstrating this with an ex-army Lee-Enfield, which holds ten rounds! There are so many Lee Enfields here that the rules look ridiculous, especially when you consider all the lever action arms used for dense bush pig hunting. They hold a lot of rounds, too! Still, one can’t publicly criticize the rules made by politicians, at least if you want to keep your license. One has to spend way more money and jump several more hurdles to qualify for the kind of license where one can load up an AR or AK with regular full size magazines. Most have little interest in doing that.

  7. avatar KBonLI says:

    Just sent him an email.

  8. avatar FlamencoD says:

    “Feel the recoil in the shoulder…” from a 6 lbs .22lr firearm? Hahaha. I shot 12ga magnum slugs last week-that is recoil. At least he could have shot a 5.56 AR to hear the boom (because they are extremely loud). That might have made him cry if he thought .22lr had recoil. But, it’s cool he had an enjoyable experience. I’m not surprised, as I really like my .22lr rifle (Walther HK416 clone in .22lr).

    1. avatar Howdy1 says:

      .22LR is the best gateway drug in this industry.
      Find your own huckleberry and do it your own way and share your experience here.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      These city slickers have never heard a loud noise in their lives that wasn’t music; we are naturally highly sensitized to shockwave booms, and spook the same as dogs or horses the first few times. I wouldn’t hold that against them, necessarily.

  9. avatar Owen says:

    Another good way to influence the DE legislature was having a 2nd amendment rally in front of legislative hall (on the village green) with lots of good folks open carrying long guns. Capital police were very gracious. Dick Heller spoke. So did with Kaya Jones. Great weather, great speeches, and good times.

    https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/14/delaware-gun-rights-rally/518082002/

  10. avatar Jon in CO says:

    It’s nice to see someone actually think about what they’re doing and saying before just following the standard lines of speech. I’m glad he had (fun) some joy out of his experience. The task is now, to take all of his colleagues down with him for the next time.

  11. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    I’ve found revolver shooting is a great intro as it’s less complicated than a pistol. 686 revolver shooting .38 special is pretty tame, and transitioning to a 9mm pistol feels like the 9mm is less powerful.

    Honestly a lot of the hysteria is from misinformation (thx Hollywood) and ignorance. Antis really believe thousands are killed every day by fully automatic rifles which shoot hundreds of rounds without reloading and can shoot through entire buildings. That scene in Thor Ragnorok had an anti-hero shooting “AR-15’s” with what looked like 10 rnd magazines yet shot full auto (impossible) and what seemed like hundreds of rounds without reloading (unrealistic). I’m surprised Antis haven’t banned hammers because if you swing them really fast people could fly right off the ground and into the air.

  12. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Is it any wonder that responsible gun owners like these would bristle at the notion they can’t be trusted with these firearms?

    Clearly, he expected to see a bunch of whacked out yahoos yelling “YEEHAH”, grabbing their crotches and then yelling “GET SOME!!”

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    Gov. Ruth Mitner was a NRA member and a true friend of sportsmen and gun owners. She left 10 years ago and today DE has a deep blue legislature and a gun hating governor.
    Only a matter of time.
    They will probably out law open carry too. It’s legal only because it’s not illegal now. The magazine limits will make it hard to own anything.
    Sad for a state that has a rifleman on it’s flag.

    1. avatar greymas says:

      Gov. Minner was also a Democrat. Today I don’t think an NRA A+ rated democrat could win a primary. At least not in the fist state.

      1. avatar Owen says:

        They can’t ban open carry. It’s lawful based on the DE constitution and that has been upheld in the DE supreme court. A recent ruling made open carry available now in state parks and forests. The court said the legislature can either control open carry or concealed carry but not both. DE is not as blue as the news and Killmington elite will tell you. Only the top tip is really blue the rest is red.

        Gov. Ruth Man was the worst. It was her policies that drove out Chrysler and almost killed DuPont. We are not better with the scumbag Carney but she was crap also.

        It’s funny how they always try to get signature Dem gun-control laws passed in DE but the always fail or are amended to the point of weak-sauce. We don’t have much but the NRA/Del State Sportsman Assoc do a lot to protect our rigjts.

  14. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    Glad he agreed, even if he hadn’t at least he can come from a more experienced and educated stance on the issue unlike 99% of those that are against firearms.

    Then again if he hadn’t agreed we would probably all be saying he should have tried something other than just an M&P 15-22!

  15. avatar Sian says:

    Wow he wasn’t given PTSD by the thunderous report and punishing recoil?

  16. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    “…They’ve heard the sproing in their ear.”

  17. avatar little horn says:

    wow. feel good read of the day. a mind changed forever.

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