Republicans Pretty Sure You Need AR-15 To Murder Hogs, Raccoons, Foxes, Occasional Human

Republicans Pretty Sure You Need AR-15 To Murder Hogs, Raccoons, Foxes, Occasional Human

There is no reason a random American citizen should own an AR-15. People’s President Hillary Clinton ruled conclusively on the subject last week.

Clinton is an intelligent person who seriously engages with reality. Republicans have different ideas. Their “run out the clock” gun violence strategy involves dazzling us with absolute bullshit.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida insists civilians totally need AR-15s for the normal, everyday activity of "hog hunting." (This is what he was probably trying to talk about, experienced "hog hunter" that he obviously is.) His version of Charlotte’s Web was directed by Quentin Tarantino, we guess. Rep. Ken Buck from Colorado claimed the AR-15 is the "gun of choice for killing raccoons before they get to our chickens." It’s also good for "killing a fox." When my wife and I visited her college friend in Denver, we saw a fox in her yard but we all mutually agreed to leave each other alone. No one had to take out an AR-15. Wild animals are rarely armed, so you’re not a “good guy with a gun” in this scenario. You’re an unhinged Elmer Fudd.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell rightly mocked Buck: "Cool cool. So that's why our kids have to die in their classrooms. So we can protect the chickens. Makes total sense now.”

Buck immediately whined about Swalwell’s apparent liberal coastal elitism, but it’s not as if Republicans support background checks that ask if the person buying an AR-15 owns chickens or lives within a country mile of a fox or hog. The (shrinking) number of Republicans who’d permit abortions in the case of rape or incest don’t believe those exceptions should prove the rule. Republican voters are also able to make a distinction between medical marijuana use and recreational grooving.

Perhaps the most grotesque defense of civilian AR-15 ownership predictably came from Rep. Lauren Boebert, who tweeted Saturday, “Disingenuous Dems keep asking why anybody needs an AR-15. Ask Kyle Rittenhouse why he’s alive today and get back to me."


Yes, we checked. This wasn’t a parody account. Boebert’s staff couldn’t find some little old lady who held off violent home invaders with her trusty AR-15. No, her test case for civilian use of military weapons is Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people and permanently injured another in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He claims he was defending private property like an upstanding young vigilante, but it clearly all went to hell. People are dead. Rittenhouse himself could’ve died, or at least that’s what he claimed during his Juilliard audition on the witness stand. Either Rittenhouse is a remorseless killer or will have to bear the weight of taking two human lives.

In a sane world where no one has an AR-15, Rittenhouse — like your typical coward who hides behind a gun — would have stayed home, maybe entertained himself with an evening of violent video games and Bible study. But Boebert, a sitting US Congress member, seemingly supports a “society” where easily accessible guns embolden angry, lost young men to go pick fights with strangers, and as long as they shoot first, they win.

Dr. Heather Sher, who treated the victims of the Parkland massacre, described in heart-wrenching detail the damage an AR-15 inflicts:

I have seen a handful of AR-15 injuries in my career. Years ago I saw one from a man shot in the back by a swat team. The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat traveling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. 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.

Dr. Sher thought Parkland would end the debate on AR-15s, but our culture’s only grown sicker over the past four years. The same people who insist on more Jesus in our schools will magically prevent gun massacres openly celebrate Rittenhouse’s desperate act of violence.

Kyle Rittenhouse isn’t a hero, and not even a hog, raccoon, or wily fox deserve the fate that Dr. Sher described. As always, Hillary Clinton was right: No one actually needs an AR-15.

[Newsweek / The Atlantic]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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