Ed and I have known each other since Basic, way back at Fort Benning (aka Fort Beginning). Ed is one of the smartest guys I know. While I stayed in and ruined my health (and sanity) in the Army, Ed got out, went to college and got an engineering degree and these days he’s in charge of a huge operation and he’s pulling in the big bucks. Ed is African-American – the reason this is significant is that over the years he has opened my eyes to a few realities that never occurred to me.
I am a big 2nd Amendment guy, but a question I struggled with for years was the whole thing about justification for a semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine. There is no sporting application for such a firearm. When I got out, I didn’t get myself an AR-15 – I was trying to decompress, and I didn’t want to own a sinister looking black rifle. I made do with my Lee-Enfield for any long-range applications, and a shotgun for home defense.
Then one day Ed explained it to me.
Ed said, “There used to be this thing called lynching, in this country. People who form up lynch mobs, go after black men, and string them up in trees. And when they did this, they used to take group photos in front of the lynching tree, and the county sheriff would be there right alongside everyone else. And often, state governors would either turn a blind eye to it, or outright endorse this behavior.”
I got it immediately. What Ed was describing was the epitome of tyranny, contrary to the freedom that is referenced within the Second Amendment:
“Imagine,” my friend Ed said, “that if every black man in America had an AR-15 with seven 30-round magazines; the era of lynching would have been over before it even began.”
I get it now. Imagine if, prior to the Krystallnacht in 1938, every German Jew had a Luger pistol with three 8-round magazines; the Holocaust would have been over before it ever got started. And if every Jew and Slav in Eastern Europe had a Mauser M98 or a Mosin-Nagant rifle with a basic load of ammo, with instructions to kill just one German soldier each then go home and bury their rifle in the back yard, the Third Reich would have never taken Poland, much less launched into the Soviet Union.
When President Biden announced that he was going to ban AR-15s, I went right out and purchased an AR-15.