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    Posted December 19, 2012 by
    Arlington, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

    Why Some Own Military-Style Rifles

    It's being asked a lot now: Why do you need to own so many firearms or in particular, or why do you need a military style rifle like an Ak-47 with a high capacity magazine? As the legal owner of several types of these firearms, I cannot offer any explanation that will likely placate those opposed to such firearms. As with most divisive topics, battle lines are already drawn and almost no one defects to the other side. At any rate, I'll try to logically lay out why I bought them and operate them.

    Reason 1: The Threat: America has a very violent culture, with sensationalized reporting on violence, with hyper realistic violent video games and movies, an absolute horde of weapons and criminals, people with mental illnessand a chronic lack of preparedness for emergency situations.

    Reason Two: Risk Mitigation. Many gun owners are focused on increased self-sufficiency and reducing risk to their persons or familes, especially in the area of self-defense. It's the reality that police are often minutes away when you need them in seconds. They don't want to accept the risk of hoping the police will make it in time to offer protection in the very unlikely case lethal force is needed.

    One can train, as I do, to the point where you are effective with a weapon. I shoot every week, drawing from my holster. I have practice regimen. I have taken multiple classes from very, very good instructors. These classes can involve very realstic scenarios and stress. I've shot next to police at the range and they are simply not necessarily any better with their weapon. Judgment, most likely, but not necessarily skill.

    Reason 3: So-called assault weapons. If you have a firefight, you want to have the most firepower. Bad guys may have assault weapons so one becomes involved in what essentially is an arms race and purchaes one himself. I'm not going to own a pistol and think it will be very effective against someone with an AK-47 who might threaten my neighborhood or my home. Further, if there's any kind of societal breakdown (the aftermath of Katrina showed just easy looting began and how many police stayed home with famliies), even temporary, one will want to simply fill the void law enforcement might leave. If a community needs to be protected, it's owned armed citizens can in lieu of law enforcement. Again, it's about self-sufficency, wanting to win any possible fight, and risk-mitigation. In sum, since so many other bad guys out there have access to such high power weapons, regular citizens will want to protect themselves with equal firepower.

    The only ultimate soluton is mandatory gun-buy back, like Austrialia did. Otherwise, I see little change to this mindset.

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