War weapons do not belong on America’s streets

During my service in Vietnam, I had the opportunity to witness the use of a variety of weapons that were specifically designed to kill or maim as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. My heavy artillery battalion could kill hundreds of Communists at a time with 200-pound high explosive shells, ferocious white phosphorus rounds, and cluster munitions that scattered grenade-sized bomblets over a wide area.

There were beehive rounds used in close combat that contained dozens of small flechettes, which looked like tiny darts. They were designed to tumble upon impact and rip an adversary’s innards apart. American forces were equipped with the M-16 assault rifle, which could spew out hundreds of rounds per minute. The M-16 has a high velocity round designed to cause maximum damage to the bodies of enemy soldiers.

The M-16 round comes out of the barrel going almost three times faster than a bullet fired from a typical handgun. Consequently, they have much more energy and cause much more damage in a victim’s body, virtually liquifying flesh and nearby organs. A non-lethal hit can cause catastrophic damage. For military purposes, taking an enemy soldier off of the battlefield with such an injury is next best to killing him. Do we really want this kind of horrendous injury to be inflicted on our friends, neighbors and children?

A surgeon who treated victims of the Parkland School shooting in Florida, which involved an AR-15, the civilian version of the M-16, observed that the “high velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange.” That is exactly what these war weapons were designed to do.

The surgeon noted, “One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15… Nothing was left to repair–and utterly, devastatingly, nothing could be done to fix the problem. The injury was fatal.”

When I visited the War Remnants Museum in Saigon in January of 2018, I saw exhibits denouncing both the M-16 and the beehive rounds as war crime weapons. The Communists were obviously aware of the grievous injuries these weapons inflicted on their troops. But, they were weapons of war specifically designed to do maximum damage to human bodies. It is doubtful that anyone could have imagined 50 years ago that the civilian version of the M-16 would be commonplace on the streets of civilian America.

The rapid rate of fire of AR-15 style firearms, as well as their excellent killing power, have made them the weapon of choice of mass murder enthusiasts in the United States–Parkland (FL), Newtown (CT), Las Vegas (NV), San Bernardino (CA), Pittsburgh (PA), Aurora (CO), Sutherland Springs (TX) and, most recently Dayton (OH), where the shooter managed to kill 9 people and wound 17 others in just 32 seconds with an AR-15 pistol. Seems the Dayton guy was going for a world kill record with his 100-round magazines. Darn lucky the police were on the ball and able to end it quickly.

It is high time to get war weapons out of the hands of civilians and off of the streets and school grounds of America. We need to ban sales of assault rifles–all variants of the M-16, the Communist AK-47 and its variants (used recently in El Paso), and similar weapons designed to kill human beings quickly and effectively. In the process, all high capacity magazines should also be banned. This won’t stop all mass shootings, but it will start making a dent. We simply can’t sit on our hands and allow these war-weapon-assisted mass killings to continue devastating communities across the country.

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6 thoughts on “War weapons do not belong on America’s streets”

  1. Once again Mr. Jones has opened the envelope wider, with the results that we all think more broadly! I believe Americans as a whole may not want the right to bear arms to go away but I am convinced they want these guns of mass destruction to be removed from our streets. This includes Red states as well as Blue states. When we keep hearing that “guns don’t kill people, people do” lets reread the article from Mr. Jones. The muskets of old could not have killed 9 people and wounded 17th others in 32 seconds!! Come on folks, lets get these guns off the street and out of the hands of the mentally ill.

    1. I appreciate your comments M. Langton. Idahoans treasure their guns and there is nothing wrong with that. I grew up hunting but never had any need to use military armaments for sport. Assault weapons are for killing human beings as efficiently as possible and that is why they have become the favorite of mass shooters.

  2. GREAT article on war weapons. How about NO guns in America except for the Revolutionary War flint lock – one shot at a time and then reload. Doubtful, but this might appease the 2nd Amendment folks.

    1. Reed: There are a number of other things we need to do to reduce the gun violence in this country. Banning assault weapon sales and prohibiting possession of high capacity clips would be a good start. Thanks for your comments. Jim

        1. I appreciated your comment, Reed. It would have gone over the heads of the originalists on the Supreme Court who made an exception to their originalist stance for modern-day firearms. They also overlooked the militia part of the Second Amendment. Some have been so bold as to suggest a result-oriented decision.

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