Thursday, February 26, 2009


When my brother returned from Iraq, one of his assessments of the experience was particularly interesting. He said that life would be so much simpler if you could carry an M16 all the time. He went on to elaborate on all the incidental benefits of being in possession of a loaded M16. It can open locked doors, clear traffic, enhance communication, and help maintain focus.

I think the fact that it’s been the primary weapon for our military and other militaries around the world for 45 years is a testament to it’s design. If you consider all the technological advancements made in that span of time, it’s a marvel that it hasn’t been replaced. From all the GI-Joe I watched as a kid, I would have assumed that some variety of laser gun would be prevalent by now. Even still, the versatility and function of an M16 still holds up. Some may point to an AK as a major rival. And the simplicity of it’s design is also quite striking. But, sometimes spraying bullets in a general direction isn’t the ideal procedure.

My uncle Dave was a big time gun enthusiast. Before he died, he took me and my brother to an outdoor shooting range and we fired off rounds from a .357 Magnum, an antique Russian riffle and a few other guns. But squeezing the trigger on his M16 was a revelation. It honestly felt like an extension of my arms. It was extremely comfortable, light and responsive. And I was surprised at how accurate I was with it, especially compared to the .357. I would go so far as to say I felt more complete holding one. Like a knight with a sword or a king with a scepter, ready for action.

Though I can’t justify owning one. And in fact strongly discourage it. I do recommend trying one out. You’ll fall in love and wonder how you’ll get on with the rest of your life without it.


  1. Weapons, no matter how well crafted, are still means to cause harm to others, to kill. They enable bullying and unchecked cruelty. A true gentleman does not need force to express himself. I'd expect this from our brother, but not from you.
    -Kid Sister

  2. A gentleman isn't automatically a pacifist. I discourage casual ownership of assault weapons. But hunting is a fine pursuit. And police officers and soldiers need certain tools to do their jobs. Appreciation of good tools is a noble thing.

    I look at it this way, some aspects of life are unpleasant. Being a gentleman isn't about avoiding them. It's about handling them with grace. Sure, it's about gentility, but it's about manliness too.

  3. Ah...but a gentlemen is never quite complete without some lethal weapon handy...especially on the golf course.

    The AK has 2 major drawbacks: (1)limited range against the 5.56 of the M16 (remember Desert Storm)

    (2) the safety mechanism of the AK is backwards in that the lowest position is semi-automatic. That means that in a panic, a relatively untrained operator will push the safety all the way to the second firing mode which is semi automatic.

    OTH, you barely have to clean the AK, and the M16 has to be cleaned constantly...too many parts.