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Femininity, Patriotism and the AR-15

New York Daily News reporter Gersh Kuntzman has gotten way too much attention for his little stunt in which he went to a shooting range to fire an AR-15…to see what it was like. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of him and his ridiculous comments by now. In describing his experience with the AR, he stated, “It feels like a bazooka—and sounds like a cannon. 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.”

It’s absolutely shameful and irresponsible that he overdramatized his “terrifying” experience and then claimed to have had temporary PTSD. And hundreds upon thousands of commenters have made it very clear to Kuntzman that this kind of comparison is unacceptable.

Commenters also pointed out that his stunt was pretty lame, weak and farfetched. From youngsters to grandmothers, those who have shot an AR-15 know that it’s not at all like the petrifying and painful experience he described. Many people find firing this type of firearm to be invigorating and exciting and equally as satisfying as a self-defense tool. And many of these same people have called Kuntzman out on his claims of the recoil bruising his shoulder and the “smell of sulfur and destruction” making him sick. Some questioned his honesty. Others questioned his masculinity. His response? Even more absurdity.

He wrote, “If masculinity is defined by the power to commit violence on a wide scale, I proudly choose femininity.”

So…being a man means being a violent murderer? That’s what this journalist came up with for a rejoinder? That’s a pretty poor definition…not only of masculinity, but also of femininity. Are women, then, by contrast, just passive, panicky wimps? Females put up with levels of discomfort and discrimination that many men couldn’t dream of, much less tolerate. And females are good with guns. And many females I know love the AR-15. I love using my Armalite rifle (design 15) in competitions. Ladies from my chapter of The Well Armed Woman recently got together to shoot them. It’s a simple and fun firearm to learn and use. It’s also consistent and versatile…and customizable. And it’s an appropriate and effective choice for home defense.

Oh, but Kuntzman continued in his anti-gun propaganda: “We need more real men in power taking on bullies like the NRA, which seeks to bolster the Second Amendment by shutting down opponents’ right to the First.”

Don’t you love that? He resorts to calling everyone in the NRA a bully and claims that all of us are out to silence free speech, perhaps while waving our firearms around in triumph. (Wait…is that just more shows of masculinity by his definition?)

The reporter then finalizes his comeback with even more small-minded statements. “I simpered because my experience with the AR-15 bruised me, body and spirit,” he wrote. “But there’s nothing unmanly about reminding my readers that mass murder is much easier to commit with a semi-automatic killing machine than it is with a hammer. If that makes me a girl, well, maybe we should have a girl running the country.”

The logical fallacies here are so preposterous, they make me sick! And all questions of masculinity or femininity aside, I believe there is definitely an issue of someone being completely out of touch with reality here. That’s why it’s been so refreshing to see all the videos, pictures, and posts supporting the Second Amendment…and supporting AR-15s. So, in my response to all this madness: there’s nothing unfeminine about reminding my readers that mass murder is almost always committed by a radical, unstable terrorist, not by a law-abiding citizen. If that makes me a patriot, well, maybe we should have a patriot running the country.

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