A wimp writes in the New York Daily News:
It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.
One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.
But mostly, I was just terrified.
Many gun shops turned down our request to fire and discuss the AR-15, a style of tactical machine gun popular with mass killers such as San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook and Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen.
He loves the AR-15 for cops, soldiers, hunters and target shooters. “It’s fun to shoot something like that,” he said.
Not in my hands. I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).
The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
I happen to have two daughters in the United States Army Reserve, and they are just like thousands and thousands of other women who have gone through, and passed, Basic Combat Training. Both of my daughters have scored as sharpshooters with their rifles, M-16s, and both have carried, and fired, the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, including being the only squad member carrying the SAW during Operation Victory Forge, the culmination of BCT. They have both fired the M19 grenade launcher, and I have yet to hear either of them complain that their weapons are too loud or have hurt their shoulders, or that the “smell of sulfur and destruction made (them) sick”.
Now, my daughters have never been deployed to a combat zone, but many other women have:
Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester is the first female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star medal for valor in combat.
By Ann Scott Tyson | Washington Post Staff Writer | Friday, June 17, 2005
Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester fought her way through an enemy ambush south of Baghdad, killing three insurgents with her M-4 rifle to save fellow soldiers’ lives — and yesterday became the first woman since World War II to win the Silver Star medal for valor in combat.
The 23-year-old retail store manager from Bowling Green, Ky., won the award for skillfully leading her team of military police soldiers in a counterattack after about 50 insurgents ambushed a supply convoy they were guarding near Salman Pak on March 20.
The medal, rare for any soldier, underscores the growing role in combat of U.S. female troops in Iraq’s guerrilla war, where tens of thousands of American women have served, 36 have been killed and 285 wounded, according to Pentagon figures.
After insurgents hit the convoy with a barrage of fire from machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Hester “maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds,” according to the Army citation accompanying the Silver Star.
“She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader where she engaged and eliminated three AIF [anti-Iraqi forces] with her M4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members,” the citation stated.
When SGT Hester was looking death in the eye, killing three Iraqi insurgents who were out for her blood, and controlling the squad under her command into winning that engagement, she probably didn’t have time to worry about whether her M-4 might be kind of loud or bruised her shoulder. We have strong and brave American women out in the field, in the blood and the mud, unafraid to carry heavy packs and shoot really loud weapons, in actual combat, but this whiny excuse for a
man male was “just terrified” and even got “a temporary case of PTSD,” just by firing an AR-15 “just a few times,” with hearing protection and in the safety of a licensed firing range.
Mr Kuntzman is a disgrace.