Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Washington Post Profile of Texas AR-15 Owner

Sunday's Washington Post had this profile of Fabian Rodriguez, a Texas gun owner who just purchased his first AR-15.  Given it is the Post, the article has a few things to quibble with (noted below) but it mostly did not put Rodriquez in a bad light given how vociferously anti-gun the editorial page is on the subject.  There was an inference that people who purchase or own AR-15s are mostly people who support the military but didn't serve, and that owning an AR-15 allows them to connect with that service without serving.  That came from the former ATF agent turned gun control proponent, David Chipman, who now works for the Gabby Giffords gun ban group.  He told the author, Abigail Hauslohner, that owning an AR-15 was a way to "kind of act patriotic without having to do it."

For his part, Rodriquez represented the gun owning community well.  He has been a shooter since he was eight and purchased his first gun when he was 18.  He explained why he wanted an AR-15:
But this is a gun that Rodriguez has wanted for a couple of years now, a gun that he thinks has been unfairly maligned because of a few people’s bad actions, and a gun that he believes is his right to own. He’s here this weekend not because he worries about an imminent ban, but because he just sold his Mustang and finally has the cash.

Rodriguez is among the sprawling population of American gun enthusiasts who own or aspire to own an AR-15, the semiautomatic weapon that the National Rifle Association has designated “America’s rifle.” Some say the weapon can be useful for hunting or home protection. For others, like Rodriguez, the sleek, easy-to-use design and customizable features make the high-powered rifle simply fun to own.
As usual, there were signs that Hauslohner knowledge of firearms is limited, with the description of the AR-15 as "high-powered", and later in the article when she described it as a "a gun that can fire 45 high-velocity rounds per minute, bullets that travel so fast that their shock waves mimic an explosion as they enter a body."

If there is one thing that should give us pause, it is Rodriquez's acceptance of some gun control proposals that give many pro-rights proponents concern.  It is likely he is not the only gun owner willing to give up some of his freedom:
“I’m a law-abiding, gun-owning citizen,” Rodriguez says. “If there was a procedure that said I have to go to a class and learn, I’m going to do it.”

If the government said he needed to produce a character witness, provide access to his Internet search history or submit to a home visit or a rigorous mental-health evaluation, he’d comply.

“If it takes a little more to have it, that’s fine,” he says.
We've all seen the recitation of "poll results" that show a large majority of gun owners, including NRA members (these have to be self identified because the NRA does not sell it's membership list) support background checks.  It's likely because we've all gone through them for over 25 years that is the case.  But, it is also probably true that if you start detailing what is entailed in the various "universal" background check proposals that the numbers would significantly decrease.  I also don't think I should be required to have my home searched or undergo a "rigourous mental-health evaluation" to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

Overall however, it is an article worth reading.


m444ss said...

The ignorance of youth. His education has clearly been lacking.

Mad Fiddler said...

It is fascinating that many Anti-Gun proponents feel it's appropriate to impose criteria such as mental health evaluations, review of one's internet search history, or possibly eyeballing one's dietary choices as though these provide some index of the person's soul, or at least one's tendency to mayhem.

You need not have have a criminal record nor documented mental health issue; merely being judged to have the wrong interests, attitudes or beliefs disqualifies you.

Who shall choose the choosers?