Assault Weapons Are Not Toys

Only in America do we let civilians play with weapons of war

A friend told me a few days ago that one of her family members plans to buy their adult (in years only) son an assault weapon for Christmas. As you can guess, my first reaction was the word “Why?”.

My friend’s reply was that the young man wanted to use it “just for target practice.” I wonder how many of you are echoing my reaction when she told me this. Practice for what? Hunting? These weapons tear animals into pieces.

As our conversation continued I learned that apparently he is a prime example of an American male brought up in many parts of our country to believe that owning guns is simply part of American manhood.

We hear in commercials that American men like relax in their man caves. In rural and Southern regions, the man cave cannot compete in popularity with male ownership of a gun safe. Many of these are beautifully made pieces of fine furniture, worthy of displaying their treasures.

If the gun safe(s) can be displayed as part of the man cave, i.e., the den, basement, or garage, that is truly fine living.

But back to the example of the young man who wants an assault weapon for Christmas, my mind is still replaying that conversation with my friend.

Two of my delayed reactions have jelled since we ended our phone conversation. The first appalled reaction is that many people don’t find it ironic, if not deeply disturbing, that gifts of weapons of mass destruction are now part of celebrations of the birth of the Christian Prince of Peace.

My more long-lasting reaction is one that I intend to speak of more openly in the future. It’s so obvious that it sounds like a throw-away line. But, here goes. If these guys (and some gals) want to play with these lethal weapons, why don’t they join the Marines or at least the Reserves?

I think I’ll leave it there. I’m not joking. Look a the countries that require some form of government service as part of reaching adulthood. We can join those countries and combine military service with learning to use and respect military-type weapons.

Let me know if you agree, or question my loyalty to the basic form of the Second Amendment (as some surely will).

You can reach me at my email address,

Writing on whatever strikes my mood, from politics to humor (or a combination of the two), to spirituality, or whatever else shows up. Retired, not in retreat.

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