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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:29 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Talk of the Town: Do we really need our semi-automatic guns?

Virtually everyone has an opinion regarding gun control. It has become much too political, it’s us versus them. It’s an extension of the presidential election, Republicans vs. Democrats. Who will make gains in the mid-term elections and control Congress. Which means clear thinking, common sense, and wisdom, have pretty much been taken out of the equation.

This gun control issue has morphed into “The Gun Fight at U.S. Schools.” Subsequently, we have little boys and girls trying to tell us what guns we should be permitted to own. Because they attend schools, were even shot at, or know someone who was killed, by no means make them an authority on guns.

Common sense dictates that we definitely need stricter background checks to tighten the sale of guns. Gun show dealers are legally selling what amounts to “black market guns.” There is little if any oversight or control. Its equivalent to selling guns on the street out of your trunk.

We need to get off our gun butts and get to work!

Tim Anderson wrote an article in Saturday’s Courier stating that Chicago, population 2.7 million, had over 500 murders by firearms. You may be interested to know that Chicago has some of the most stringent firearms laws in the country.

He also stated, “I have yet to hear one common sense reason from anyone, as to why they need a semi-automatic rifle. They simply want one, period!” If that’s their only reason, perhaps they shouldn’t own one. But please allow me to attempt to give some reasons that may make sense, at least to some.

A few years ago, law enforcement went through some strict budget cuts, their numbers were drastically reduced. At the same time, more and more criminals were being released from prisons, many of whom went on to commit even more heinous crimes.

There was a bank robbery and firefight in downtown Los Angeles. The robbers had semi-automatic weapons and flak jackets.

The LAPD had pistols and shotguns. The perpetrators were outgunning the police. LAPD, to survive had to go to nearby gun shops and ask to borrow their semi-automatic weapons. Days later I spoke with some of the gun shop owners.

During the Rodney King riots in L.A., rioters were looting, lighting stores, cars, and trees on fire, and hitting people on the head with bricks. Rioters were trying to break into gun shops to steal semi-automatic guns so they would have a higher grade firepower. Gun shop owners had to defend themselves and their businesses. It was a war zone in the streets, kill or be killed. Days later, I spoke with shaken and wounded gun shop owners, there were blood stains everywhere, the smell of gunpowder still permeated air.

There are many professionally organized gangs and drug dealers throughout the streets of America. They have bad intensions and big-time firepower to back them.

There are terrorists in our midst, both homegrown and foreign. With the lax enforcement of our immigration laws, some organizations estimate that there are at least 10,000 radical terrorists roaming our communities. Some may be our neighbors. You can bet your hot air rifle, they have semi-automatic and automatic weapons. The FBI still maintains that some 9/11 terrorists attended Embry Riddle flight training right here on the Prescott campus. So they were our neighbors.

Experts and media often speak about the possibilities of enemies attacking our grid, nuclear plants, water sources, etc. Many foreign powers are hacking our computer systems. Do you think if they move to attack mode, they will be using pea shooters and BB guns?

Quoted from movies, “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.” Translated that means, try never to be outgunned by your adversary, whomever that may be.

We have had many riots where police were unable to control the uprisings, the military was called in. If that happens, you must be totally prepared to defend your family, yourself, and your property. Like many of you were taught in scouts, “Always be prepared.” If you rather throw your hands in the air, and say, “just shoot me,” it’s your choice. But don’t expect, or try to force me to do the same. Always remember, when the masses are rioting, pillaging, and creating havoc in the streets, while your neighbor with his AK-47 is trying to steal your food, water, and supplies, and law enforcement and the military are in chaos, neither will be able to protect you.

That’s when you need an AR-15 or AK-47.

J.J. Volpe is an expert with the AR-15/M-16 military version. He trained people to fire this weapon who were headed to Vietnam, when it was still a secret weapon. He has been a poker pro for 38 years and now resides in Dewey.