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Kevin in NY writes:

I am a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter living in New York. I also own an AR-15 rifle that is ban compliant. This means that I have spent well over a thousand dollars buying and modifying the rifle to make it legal in NY State, something that people in other states with less violent crime do not need to do. My AR-15 is the best home defense weapon possible for me to own in NY. As I am not yet 21, I cannot apply for a permit to purchase a pistol. Even so, I believe that my rifle is perfect for me. I hope I never need to use it to protect myself or those I love, but I know that it is the best possible firearm to do so with. Why does a person need a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine that contains over 10 rounds? It is because it is the best thing available for me to protect myself and my family with. As a firefighter, I feel that all first responders should have the best and most protective gear and tools . . .

Even if I was not a firefighter, didn’t Governor Cuomo say in his State of the State speech that all citizens are first responders?  I am the person that goes into your house when it is burning, so why should I not be able to protect myself in the best way possible?    A semiautomatic rifle in .223 caliber is the best tool for a citizen to protect oneself at home against a violent person.

Why a semiautomatic rifle?  There are several reasons why I believe that a semi-automatic rifle, specifically one in .223 caliber, is the best defensive weapon at home.  Here is why:

It has been shown that a rifle shooting .223 is much less likely to cause collateral damage when compared to a shotgun or even a pistol shooting most common calibers. This means that a .223 bullet carries much less energy after going through a wall or window than a pistol bullet or a shotgun pellet. In the event of a missed shot, a .223 rifle is less dangerous than almost any other effective firearm. The round is also fairly small, much smaller than most other common rifle rounds, allowing for a person to easily fire without losing control of the weapon.

Also, because NY State forces law abiding citizens to swap a flash hider for a muzzle brake, my rifle is even more controllable. Basically, a muzzle brake reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb whereas a flash hider reduces the flash when firing, lessening the damage to a person’s vision in darkness. NY outlaws flash hiders. An AR-15 with a muzzle brake is perfect for most people, including women because it has less recoil than a handgun yet is more powerful and safe.

A shotgun has massive recoil and easily goes through walls and kills the people on the other side. A shotgun also fires multiple pellets that spread out when fired, greatly increasing the chances of injuring or killing any people behind the target. The semi-automatic in .223 is safer to use than a pistol or a shotgun.

An AR-15 or other semiautomatic rifle is simply more manageable to use in a house than most other rifles or shotguns. Most AR-15s, such as mine, have 16 inch barrels, and are considerably shorter than a shotgun. My rifle is 36 inches long. Most common shotguns have a barrel length of 26 inches and an overall length of 48 inches. A shorter rifle is much easier to use in a house and has much less area for a violent criminal to grab if attempting to take my weapon from me.

The pistol grip that is commonly pointed at as an evil feature also greatly increases my ability to maintain control over my rifle, both when shooting and in the event of a violent criminal trying to take it from me as I protect those I love. And no, it does not allow for “accurate spray firing from the hip.” Having a pistol grip would make my rifle illegal if the upcoming ban passes.

Why else is a rifle similar to the AR-15 such a superior home defense firearm?

Attachments. The design of an AR-15 allows for a person to mount a staggering variety of attachments to it.  For example, my rifle has a holographic sight and a flashlight on it.  Both of these things increase the safety of all people near me if I ever needed to protect myself and my family.  My sight greatly helps me aim accurately in the dark or in bright sunlight.  Most shotguns and many rifles are not able to have optics such as holographic sights mounted, making accurate and safe use in the dark extremely difficult and slow.  The flashlight enables me to identify anyone in the dark, completely eliminating the possibility of friendly fire.  Once again, most firearms cannot mount a flashlight.

The final advantage is the ability to use a magazine. I can easily check to make sure that I have ammo in my rifle. I can also easily swap for a full magazine if I do not. My magazines, which were rather costly to purchase because of NY ban on “high capacity” magazines produced after 1994 hold 20 rounds.

Why so many? My question to you is: would you rather have more than you need or not enough? Even if all I had were 10 round magazines, the fact that it can accept detachable magazines would ban my home defense weapon if the upcoming ban happens.

I have shot roughly 2500 rounds this year through my rifle and am completely comfortable with it.  I have not injured, killed, or threatened anyone with it.

I used my own money to purchase and train with my rifle. I am a firefighter who doesn’t get paid to save people. I use the best possible tools available to protect you and your loved ones in an emergency, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to use the best tools available to protect myself and my loved ones?

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  1. Hear Hear! An exemplary letter. This young man needs to be the poster child for the gun rights community, ASAP. No more of this James Yeager stuff.

    • • First they came for the lazy Injuns,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a lazy Injun.

      • Then they came for the hemp smokers,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a hemp smoker.

      • Then they came for the “Occutards,”
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an “Occutard.”

      • Then they came for me,
      and there was no one left to speak for me.


      Is it too late for Robert Anton Wilson’s Guns and Dope Party?

      Both the pro-gun people and the dopers [medical, religious and/or receational] feel like minorities, and the TSOG [Tsarist Occupation Government] agrees with this estimate of their weakness. Our contention holds that in the West both groups working together make a MAJORITY. Ergo, they have much to gain and nowt to lose in combining forces.

      We advocate:
      [1] guns for those who want them, no guns forced on those who don’t want them (pacifists, Quakers etc.)
      [2] drugs for those who want them, no drugs forced on those who don’t want them (Christian Scientists etc.)
      [3] an end to Tsarism and a return to constitutional democracy
      [4] equal rights for ostriches.

      • Thank you for posting this! I’ve read some of Wilson and his Discordian friends too, but I didn’t know he had a political platform.

    • As he is a volunteer firefighter, I will make the supposition that he hails from a small upstate community. While NY State is dominated by the politics and the population of NYC, most of the rural counties and small towns support the principals of individual liberty and self-sufficiency. It is a common mistake to paint the whole state with the same brush as NYC.

      I believe the residents of downstate Illinois feel the same way about Chicago. They however are not burdened with the prejudice that comes from their state and largest city having the same name.

      • GoldiGlocks, you’re 100% right about the downstaters in Illinois. I grew up in Southern Illinois, and the grip Chicago has on state politics sickens most of us.

  2. When is was speaking to Calif. State Sen. Leland Twee (Yee) about banning “detachable magazines” SB 249, defeated, he clearly had no concept of how a rifle operates.

    He has now reintroduced. Federally, we’ll get background checks for ammo buys. And taxes on guns and ammo to fund mental health initiatives. This last one you can count on.

    • Why should gun owners fund mental health initiatives when mental health issues are everyones issues? That makes absolutely no sense.

      In a way they are saying you guys are all mental and you are paying for your healthcare. This, is pure BS!

    • “taxes on guns and ammo”

      Really! Why stop there? Let’s have a tax on voting (poll tax) or political speech! Hell, let’s tax all of our rights!

  3. Let’s face it! The 2nd Amendment is not about self defense, home defense, family defense, or the type of firearm that you want to own. The 2nd Amendment is about the “Security of a FREE State” where anyone that is a enemy to freedom (foreign or domestic) could, and would, be effectively repelled by a well armed citizenry.

    i.e. any attempt to modify, change, amend, or dismantle the U.S. Constitution without the appropriate 2/3rd vote of the States would make that individual an “Enemy-Combatant against the States” and therefore subject to “Rules of War”.

    Lock and Load!!!!

    • “any attempt to modify, change, amend, or dismantle the U.S. Constitution without the appropriate 2/3rd vote of the States”

      correction: changing the U.S. Constitution requires 3/4ths of the states, not 2/3rd. In other words 38 states have to approve a change to the U.S. Constitution.

  4. Great article and it would actually be better if the MSM wasn’t against freedom. Unfortunately this letter will not be given any airtime and therefore no one other than us avid gun enthusiast will read it. Our world would be different and a hell of a lot better if we actually had real journalist. I have been saying for years that the MSM is our number one enemy, it’s too bad more people don’t realize this.

    BTW: here is a link to the speech the NY governor gave today. I wish someone would shut this guy up.

  5. That certainly reinstates a little faith for me in the next generation of rifle owners. I did the first responder thing for a bit, and I think my thoughts on guns changed at about the same age, too- when you come face to face with some of the evil things people will do to other people, it makes all the utopian crap you learn in college fade real quick.
    But I doubt I was any where near this level-headed or articulate at 19.
    Keep up the good work, Red Menace!

  6. A great letter, but do you think the Gov cares?

    I am positive the Cuomo understands the gun debate and has chosen to maliciously attack the second amendment because that is the nature of all elite liberals. He understands full well that government will never be as powerful as the people until the people no longer have the ability to protect themselves from government.

    These gun grabbing socialists know full well that they will never have a force capable of controlling the public as long as the public has guns. In order to even the playing field and make “domestic security teams” efficient at LEADING the people to the right choices, the opposition must be made more docile by reducing their ability to counter small rapid force federal security.

    Cuomo doesn’t care about this firefighters personal right to self protection because Cuomo truly believes that a gun in the hand of someone with an opinion contrary to his own is a bigger threat to society than any criminal.

  7. This letter is seriously flawed. He is speaking logically and making sense. To liberals this letter is written in Chinese.

  8. “didn’t Governor Cuomo say in his State of the State speech that all citizens are first responders?”

    Politicians want others to be the first responders, the cannon fodder, and their tax-burdened working serfs.

    • The rifle cant vote, proving more over that it is in fact an inanimate object. The author regarding his rifle can vote.

  9. Yea, Bloomy and Cuomo just made sure to put this guy at the top of the list for when they start kicking in doors to seize guns.

  10. $5 says that NY state puts in exemptions for law enforcement and firefighters to keep them on the government’s side.

    I wish I were kidding…

    • They can throw whatever exemptions they want at me, Im not for sale. Ill come to the evil black gun side and patch up our wounded.

    • They’ve been putting in those exemptions for decades, and even for retired cops. NYC is a prime offender. Bloomberg, himself, called the NYPD “his army.” Here’s a puzzle for you: All the talk is about semi-auto rifles and magazine sizes. We know, though, that there are several hundred thousand fully automatic assault rifles and machine guns out there, taxes paid. Why isn’t the first worry the fully automatic weapons? Yes, they are rarely used in crimes, but so, too, are AR rifles, which were non-NFA from their beginning in 1959 as civilian firearms, four years before any military unit decided to buy them. There is an answer to the puzzle.

      • Roping – Two points on your comment about full autos.

        First, “taxes paid.” Thats one reason they probably are not making a big stink over it.

        Second, does the average citizen even know that full autos are in fact legal to own?

        • No. But the point of my “puzzle” is that the items have always been expensive. Back when the full-autos cost less, the tax was a major burden. Lately the items themselves have been very expensive. In short, the full-autos are in the hands of trusts, corporations, and fairly rich or politically stable locally connected people. In other words the items are in the hands of the financial upper class and local establishment people. No fear of them among the current administration, apparently. Civilian full-auto guns are essentially a hedge against rebellion, a hedge in the hands of the groups with the greatest stake in the status quo. I think it’s an interesting fact. Once the number of efficient semi-autos started to become very large, this hedge started to lose its value. For example, a pair of Gatling guns in 1863 could let the NYT steer a huge anti-draft mob away. Today? The publisher manning the gun wouldn’t stand a chance. Technologies, laws, and power interests interact over time. The worries of the “power elite” thus shift.

        • “Second, does the average citizen even know that full autos are in fact legal to own?”

          The average citizen thinks that all AR style rifles are fully auto and able to spray heat-seeking bullets by the thousands.

  11. This system of government make me sick in so many ways. The political scumbags just go right ahead and make their senseless laws, then they sick their law enforcers paid mercenaries on peaceful people and then leave us waste time and money trying to reverse their damage.

  12. The Way to write and speak the truth. Thank you…

    We are the militia, for the security or a free state, for the security of a free family, for the security of a free individual. And this shall not be infinged. With freedom, no “need” shall be required, explained or described.

    Nous Defions

  13. an amazing letter, too bad the Gov. of NY will never see it, or if he does he’ll laugh it off, maybe make a joke about it at his next $10k-a-plate fundraising dinner.

    • Roping,
      Do not confuse ‘The Herald’ with ‘The Boston Globe.’ The Herald will occasionally wander to the left of center but The Globe is a statist, leftist, New England edition of Soviet Pravda. Their columnists, save Jeff Jacoby, are all neo-socialist, utopian-believing pontificators.

  14. January 10, 2013

    “What’s the answer?”

    (A loved one asked me this question; I will now do my best to answer it)

    Dear Governor Cuomo,

    Mr. Cuomo your six point plan will not save one life should a madman decide to fulfill his perverted lunacy. Any more then keeping the wasteful COBIS system running would have; which you thankfully put out of its misery. In NYC the daughter of a wealthy radiologist had successfully stockpiled enough weapons and bomb making material to do massive harm. Last I checked the Sullivan Law was in full force there and so were hundreds of other regulations with regard to the transportation and use of explosives. President Obama after every horrible event like this has caused the same reaction in the public thanks to his irresponsible comments. Horror happens, he tries to soothe the broken hearted and the lost (I sincerely thank him for that) then he uses some of the worst language a President could choose and the whole show starts again; and then you get in the act and do the same immature dance. Firearms clear the shelves, ammunition is sold by the truckload, and then the factories get cranked up to do it all again. Because so long as we dope our kids up on these drugs, fail to turn boys into gentleman, and girls into women we can guarantee that these acts of terror will continue. Let’s try to stop the next one by not creating the very thing we all want to avoid in the first place. In the long run we want our children to pick up an iphone find out where there friends are and to grow up in peace; while they try to sort out life’s challenges, just like we did.

    Now, New York is one of this nations primary “melting pots” and has some spots of extremely high density of population. Thus, it must have fairly restrictive laws to allow residents time to understand what citizenship is all about before they decide to pick up a firearm, much less understand it’s not for hunting deer. As I’m certain you are aware of the history of the Sullivan Law and what happened to Mr. Sullivan I won’t trod through old ground or even train tracks. But we must deal with the here and now in a nation that is going in the other direction no matter what happens here with regard to firearms. Because we are not going to leave The Union and drop the bridges and inspect every package like in the old East German days. What you seek to ban will find it’s way here and it is only raw luck that it has not hit one of our schools yet considering how some children are raised and how some parents have abandoned the responsibility to be good parents. Our modern world has many casualties; one of them seems to be selfless parents. Regardless let’s proceed in the spirit of compromise and wisdom that our parents once had; because that wisdom was hard won and it would be a shame not to apply to the reality we face today. We all can all read the statistics on crime. We all now historically what races and economic classes engage what kinds of nefarious behaviors, and that it has high odds of putting them in the morgue. We all agree in New York that we have accepted our egalitarian responsibility to do what we can to lift those up and we provide a ladder and push them up that ladder in an effort to break that cycle. Some say that we are nuts for doing this. But when I’m at Carmines and I listen to the stories of my fellow NY’s it tells me that we are tough as nails for doing this, but we have hearts of gold. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t easy or cheap. But we do get it done and we turn out some very tough Americans of every race, color, or creed.

    Let’s apply the same focus on firearms. Let’s acknowledge that we need good guys and gals with pistols near schools as a permanent fixture. Please don’t forget we lost the Twin Towers because we took guns away from pilots. That’s a sobering thought. That one act of disarmament changed world history. To allow the insane even that much breathing room is too much and we have an obligation to defend our children from this foreseeable risk just like we do airplanes. Pistol permits are a disaster in New York. On the one hand the “rich and famous” get them but they live lives of ease and comfort and the odds of them needing one are astronomically low unless they want to end it all, but the odds of that business woman who is on the train heading home to her husband and kids might he not need one late at night? The answer is yes – she might need one. So let’s find a way to make that happen for those who want to shoulder that awesome responsibility. Finally, “military style firearms and their accouterments.” Whatever they may be. Whatever they may look like. It would be far easier and less costly to institute a simple requirement that says NY’s must present a CC permit from any State (assuming it requires the basics) to obtain such a firearm than trying to ban them. Just look at a map or hang out at a rest stop on I95, preferably not with Jim McGreevey. These thoughts ought to be expressed as a compromise between both Democrats and Republicans at the State level and at the Federal level as well. Simple solutions that are the least costly will provide the best results. They always do, it’s why you are not married, and it’s why I am. By the way? Why is that? You should make an honest women out of her. People like weddings.

    They like Presidents with wives.



    Joe Doakes

    (See that I’m still here . . . 🙂 . . .)

  15. If I could only afford one rifle, the AR15 would be it. It may not be perfect for every purpose but does a reasonably good job for all its uses. It is very adaptable and (at least until recently) easy to find parts & ammo for. It is just about the best package of design compromises for its likely uses.

    To those that say they can’t imagine why anybody would need an AR15 I say:
    You’re either not very imaginative, you never watch movies, TV or read the news; or you’re being purposefully deceiptful (i.e. you’re lying). Which is it?

  16. The sad thing is everyone here shouted down the Occupy movements for being dumb kids, or just straight up traitors to America. How are any of you any different from those kids? You all want change in discourse, thus keeping your guns legal, while threatening to rebel or succeed if your ideas are not followed (which was much father than the Occupy movement ever went). Hypocrites, hypocrites everywhere.

    So please go back to imagining gooks in your spaghetti or legions of black criminals charging through your hedges to rape and pillage, because the rest of us will be making meaningful change on this issue.

  17. Well written. Thank you.
    Sadly, Cuomo and his ilk could care less. This war on freedom and liberty has nothing to do with criminals and nut jobs. Ok, maybe just a little if only for image and symbolism. Control of the governments servants (citizens) is the real goal.


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