I read this post and thought wow. Finally, someone who speaks the truth.

(As written by Brandon from a Facebook post)

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Hi. I’m Brandon and I am a responsible gun owner.

My weapons training began in college while in Army ROTC. While there, I enlisted in the Army National Guard Infantry. A few years later, I commissioned as an officer in the Army and in my career did tours in Afghanistan and Africa, was Airborne and Air Assault qualified, and commanded a support detachment for the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). I am now a civilian and hold concealed carry permits in the state of Florida and Colorado. I own two pistols and a (M16 variant) Colt LE6920 M4 “SOCOM” – a higher end ‘M4 model’ rifle with ‘military grade’ elements. It has a stronger barrel than the lower end models and it rotates the bullet more times in the barrel which results in a more accurate weapon.

In this weapon system, I pull the trigger and one round (bullet) fires. There is no manual reloading or charging required. It is semi-automatic and reloads a new round itself using the energy of the previously fired bullet and a spring at the bottom of the magazine to push another round into the chamber. The typical magazine capacities are thirty-round and ten-round. When I load a full thirty-round magazine, I have damn good accuracy to take down targets 300 meters away, thirty times. This is about three football fields away.

I don’t need this thing at all. However, I want it. It’s cool. It is an amazing piece of machinery that along with its other high-capacity semi-automatic rifle cousins have decided national boundaries. I want it because it is a very familiar tool that I feel a nostalgic connection to given how much training I have had with it. The other reason I desire this rifle is a fantasy of lugging it around in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world where accurate headshots (of zombies and humans) are the difference between living and dying. 1) It is cool 2) It is familiar and 3) zombie apocalypse. I say again… I don’t need it.

Along with anyone else who has been to war, I understand how dangerous it is. Given the past few years everyone else in the world should know as well. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria… Newtown, France, Orlando… It is an instrument of war. It was made to kill large amounts of people… in war. Police forces have it because now civilians do. The police need to meet force with equal, comparable force. The militarization of police agencies is occurring but how much can we blame them when the populace has access to these kinds of weapons?

This is an assault rifle. I understand there is much derision in certain gun owner’s circles regarding this term, but that is the truth. This rifle was not made to go hunting. No one needs to take down thirty antelope inside of a minute to feed their family. This rifle was made to kill many people very quickly and it is very good at that one specific task. Handguns also fall into this category. They are made to put down people in close range very quickly. I own them because other people have them and I refuse to be in a situation where my life is in danger where I can’t nullify the situation. The question that remains, though, do I need a 10, 12, or 16 round pistol? Am I carrying that 16-round pistol to also protect myself from someone else carrying a 16-round pistol or three people carrying seven-round pistols?

How far does that literal arms race need to escalate?

Everyone should have the legal right to protect themselves from being assaulted. Everyone should have the right to shoot someone they feel is threatening their life. But the question we have to ask is, “Do we really want to live in a society where personal protection means being able to fire up to sixteen rounds in five seconds?” “Do we really want to live in a society where someone out of their mind can run into a dark, happy, loud environment and kill 49 people, injure 53 others, and not be stopped until a SWAT team sets off a diversionary explosion and has a shootout with the terrorist where one police officer takes a round to the helmet?”

This is our society. We can ask these questions. We can also answer them if we get our heads out of our asses.

If the laws change and this assault rifle I own became illegal, I would turn it in. I would turn it in to the authorities because as a responsible gun owner and citizen, I understand I live in a society that has rules. If I want to fight those rules, as a responsible gun owner and citizen, I will do so with words. As a responsible gun owner and citizen, I know that living in an atmosphere of paranoia of and isolationism from my government is the easiest path toward failing myself and my family.

It’s time to grow up and have the discussion on gun reform. It’s time to grow up and realize that the world is a very different place from when the Constitution was written. It’s time to grow up and realize that none of us have any business owning an M4 or other high-capacity human assault rifle.

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