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In the wake of the June 12 massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people and left dozens more wounded, New York Daily News, a newspaper that has historically taken a strong stance in favor of assault rifle bans, dispatched one of its journalists and an intern to a gun range in Philadelphia to “better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons.”
Fair enough. After a tragic event like Orlando, people often turn to journalists for answers. Here was an opportunity to give readers of the Daily News an objective assessment of what it’s like to fire the same rifle thought to be used in that shooting. If that was the goal, the journalist, Gersh Kuntzman, who, according to the Daily News’ website, is the paper’s deputy features editor, utterly failed to do his job.
After sharpshooting the shop owner with questions about gun control — “Why is this such a popular gun?” — Kuntzman decided to try his hand at shooting an AR-15, the weapon that initial reports claimed was used by the gunman in Orlando. That has since been disproven. According to The Washington Post, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen was armed with a Sig Sauer MCX. But Kuntzman isn’t a stickler for the facts. As proof, I present to you the opening sentence of his article — titled “What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, dangerous and very very loud” — which offers up this curious assessment of what it’s like to fire a weapon that became the U.S. military’s standard-issue rifle largely because it’s light and easy to shoot:
“It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.”
Yes. That was written by a full-grown man about a rifle I once saw a 2-year-old child shoot with ease on a private gun range in Colorado. This leads me to immediately assume three things: First, Kuntzman has never fired a bazooka. Second, Kuntzman has never heard a cannon. And third, Kuntzman’s ability to use his five senses to assess the physical world is impaired to the point of uselessness, or at least for a guy whose job is to report on and write about that world.
However, Kuntzman’s overblown assessment doesn’t stop there. Not only does he claim the rifle’s recoil bruised his shoulder — which, unless you have the skin of a newborn baby is nearly impossible — he claims the “explosions” of the rifle’s report gave him a temporary case of PTSD.
Let that soak in for a minute. This adult man. This journalist who was dispatched by a credible newspaper to report on the experience of shooting an AR-15 claims that doing so traumatized him so profoundly that he now suffers from a disorder suffered by many of those who’ve used the AR-15’s military-grade cousins — the M4 and M16 — to kill actual human beings in combat, and which many of the men and women who were present in Pulse the night Mateem stormed through the doors with a Sig Sauer MCX will likely suffer for years to come.
“Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two rounds before you even know what has happened,” Kuntzman continues. “In fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling front of your barrel.”
Yes, it does. It takes a lot of imagination. Just like it takes a lot of imagination to compare shooting an AR-15 to shooting a bazooka. That’s like comparing a July 4th fireworks display to Hiroshima, or eating a Wendy’s jalapeño bacon cheeseburger to drinking napalm. It’s not simply inaccurate. It’s pure fantasy. In all likelihood, Kuntzman probably took a few shots at a paper target with the AR-15 and thought, “Oh, well, that was pretty anti-climactic,” and then decided to toss the facts out the window and replace them with the exciting stuff: Bazookas! Canons! PTSD! Bodies!
If gun reform is what you’re after, Kuntzman, and I know it is, you’ll have to do a much better job than that.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Packages containing suspected heroin were found in the home of the driver charged with killing seven motorcyclists Friday in the North Country, authorities said Monday.
Massachusetts State Police said the packages were discovered when its Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Hampshire State police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his West Springfield home. The packages will be tested for heroin, they said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the North Country crash on Friday evening that killed seven riders associated with Jarhead Motorcycle Club, a club for Marines and select Navy corpsmen.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.