I was the test director for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps M16A2 operational test and evaluation.
Congressman (Rick) Nolan’s opposition to “assault weapons” for hunting is wrong. Those who desire to ban so-called “assault weapons” for hunting are naïve, ignorant, or politically motivated. Assault describes a military or law enforcement operational environment. Sport hunting describes a civilian operational environment. “Ruggedized” is the more appropriate term for a firearm used for both civilian and military applications. The ruggedized firearm is designed for abuse and prevents unintentional discharges that can result in loss of life, injury or a broken firearm.
The M16A2 was designed to have a Marine fall on it with the safety off and not discharge, to drop out of a truck and not discharge, to have an effective sight picture after moving over and under logs and rocks, to be used by persons crawling through the mud, moving through the brush, banging into rocks while rappelling, operating in snow, rain, extreme heat and cold, and in a wide variety of adverse conditions. A ruggedized firearm is designed to be operated by people with a variety of body sizes.
Due to these attributes the ruggedized firearm is far superior in safety and accuracy for a hunter. Firearms dropping out of deer stands, falling off trucks or cars, discharging during falls, having sights rendered ineffective after walking through brush or bumping into objects are minimized with a ruggedized design. Rail systems on these firearms allow the user to tailor them for their hunt and environmental conditions. Rail systems also allow for cost-effective upgrades. The very features that make these firearms safe for our soldiers to operate make them safe for hunters. There is no supported, contrary argument that says the ruggedized firearm design is not beneficial for hunters.
Regulating video games that reduce the human, God-given physiological response to killing innocent individuals is a far greater threat to society than a ruggedized firearm. The entertainment industry is using the same technology developed to inoculate soldiers and Marines against fear and emotional responses in combat and resulting PTSD impacts. These same technologies can physiologically affect some violent video game users, with a likelihood of producing killers.
Killers will use weapons that support their intent. The list of effective killing devices is lengthy, but once again, opportunistic and misinformed politicians, shooting from their politically correct hips are trying to take away firearms used for safe effective hunting.
The first step to ensuring our safety is to properly enforce existing laws to keep firearms out of the hands of those not responsible enough to use them correctly.
Lt.Col. USMC retired
Senior Operations Analyst
See READER OPINION, Page 7A