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Sisyphus Pushing a Boulder up Second Amendment Hill

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Sisyphus Pushing a Boulder up Second Amendment Hill

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In Sean Davis’s latest Dispatches From the Apocalypse, “Sisyphus Pushing the Boulder up Second Amendment Hill,” Davis laments yet another horrifying mass school shooting.

“Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.” —Albert Camus

Two days before a class full of nine- and ten-year-old students in Robb Elementary School left for summer break, an 18-year-old kid decided to enter their class and murder nineteen children and their two teachers with a high-powered assault rifle designed to be used in modern warfare.

Everyone calls it a “tragedy,” but as soon as the “thoughts” are thought and the “prayers” prayed, the inevitable talking heads come on the television and say this is a mental illness problem, not a gun problem. The country cries for action and the politicians on both sides give reasons for their inaction.

The mentally-ill shooter used one or two AR-15s that he bought legally on his 18th birthday in a state with eight mass shootings in the last thirteen years and after each one has made it easier for people to buy guns. This weapon has been the weapon of choice for school shootings for over a decade now (of course it is, that’s what it was literally created for, killing a lot of people quickly). I thought as a combat veteran who has carried this weapon on the battlefield and fired it at other humans a number of times, I could educate some people on it.

US soldiers carried the M16 in the Vietnam War, the M16A2 in the ’80s and ’90s, and the M4 for the last twenty or thirty years. They are all military versions of the AR-15. Weapons manufacturers ArmaLite and Colt specifically created the AR-15 for the military for combat in the late 1950s. This is an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle created with no other purpose in mind other than killing people, as many people as possible, as fast as possible.

The only difference between the military style and the civilian style of the weapon is that it’s illegal for the AR-15 to be fully automatic, which then people got around that law by using bump stocks. These assault rifles fire a round that is 5.56 mm. The casing itself is 5.70 mm in diameter, but the round that flies from the casing is 5.56 mm. That is what hits the target. The AR-15 proved to be the best combat rifle in history so far, and it’s the longest continuously serving weapon in US military history because it is so good at killing.

[The AR-15] has been the weapon of choice for school shootings for over a decade now (of course it is, that’s what it was literally created for, killing a lot of people quickly). I thought as a combat veteran who has carried this weapon on the battlefield and fired it at other humans a number of times, I could educate some people on it.

A 5.56 mm round leaves the barrel of an AR-15 at three times the speed of a bullet leaving a pistol. That is 2,970 feet per second (fps). In comparison, an F-16 jet fighter’s fastest speed is 2,200 feet per second. The round literally will turn bone to dust on impact. If it hits a major organ like the liver, “the liver looks like a jello mold that’s been dropped on the floor” and could leave an exit wound the size of an orange.

As a combat veteran, I cannot fathom why anyone who hasn’t been trained on this weapon for years would need this type of rifle in their home. If you’re hunting with this weapon, you’re most likely just killing things for fun. If you’re using it for home defense, move, you live in a war zone. I will tell you this bluntly and honestly, this weapon is only good for killing other people. It should only be used for war, but for some reason this weapon system (the assault rifle, the magazines, the optics, and all the “tacti-cool” gadgets you can put on it) has become the poster child for a person’s God-given Constitutional Rights.

First off, the Second Amendment, where this right to own a war machine springs from, is only twenty-seven words long and written two hundred thirty-three years ago, in the time where most people owned muzzle-loaded weapons or muskets. When firing a musket, you pulled the trigger, an explosion behind the ball occurred, and the musket ball flew inaccurately at an inconsistent speed of 1400 fps to maybe 1700 fps, and sometimes they wouldn’t fire at all. Properly trained, a person could fire maybe four rounds per minute at a maximum range of 50 to 100 meters.

The M4 has the ability to fire up to 950 rounds per minute at a max range of 3,600 meters (maximum effective range of 800 meters, and this means as far as you could effectively aim it). Please click the link and read about this weapon. The better educated you are on these weapons, the more effective you will be when you speak to people about gun control. I’ve heard so many media personnel and politicians quote wildly inaccurate facts while speaking for smarter gun control, and that kills their argument with people who own guns and may be open to supporting tighter restrictions.

If the Founding Fathers somehow were transported to the future and saw what these weapons could do, they would be fucking terrified. None of them would go to the gun range and wrap bacon around the barrel, fire, and then eat it like Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas). Their first stop would be back to Congress to write laws to take these weapons of war out of the hands of the mentally ill and the untrained and the young, if not ban them completely from ever being used by anyone.

For fuck’s sake, the Second Amendment was written and ratified in 1789. The lightning rod was a new technology back then. The coffee pot wasn’t invented until 1806, the steamboat in 1807, the light bulb wasn’t invented until 100 years later. Times change, and the Constitution has changed with it.

Also on The Big Smoke

To all the gun owners who scream and cry about their God-given Constitutional Rights being infringed upon, first off, no one has even proven the existence of a god, or has proven that this all-powerful, all-loving being in the clouds wants you to have weapons of war in your house, let alone carry it to Starbucks while ordering your Venti Ultra Caramel Frappuccino. There is no such thing as god-given rights. Rights are a collective agreement between the people of a country in order to make that country better. Stopping mass shootings will make this country better.

Secondly, the definition of “amendment” is “to change”. That’s what the Bill of Rights is, a list of changes to the Constitution. When the Constitution was first written, it declared slavery legal, women couldn’t vote, and whoever came in second during a presidential election became the vice president. Imagine Hillary being Trump’s VP? Yeah, dumb idea. That’s why we changed it. When the Constitution was written, the United States had a smaller population than the city of Los Angeles today. It is insane to think that a document written on parchment and signed by quill for 3.9 million people would work two and a third centuries later for 350 million people in the digital age, spread over 3.8 million square miles.

And for those gun owners who believe that they need their guns to fight a tyrannical government, where the fuck were you during the Trump administration? Or when the GOP took voting rights away in Texas and Georgia? Or when Mitch McConnell blatantly stole a Supreme Court Justice seat from President Obama? Or even right now when the government is taking the right for women to choose what happens with their own bodies? Rise up! Go for it! The tyrannical government you’ve been waiting to fight is here! Go get ’em, wild man.

Hell, maybe you did rise up on January 6th. How did that work out? You got your asses handed to you by a bunch of DC police officers, didn’t you? Now, you’re serving time, on probation, or just praying that your ex-wife doesn’t turn you in, or you’re hoping no one saw that Facebook post of you in the rotunda before you took it down. I hear all the time that people need their guns in case they need to rise up against the government. Well, I spent twelve years in the US military, and I’m here to tell you, Bubba, if you got into a real fight with the government, you better buy a few tanks, some artillery, an air force, and maybe an A-bomb.

But the bottom line in all of this is that you want to have a weapon of war in your home because you believe it is your privilege, and no other reason. You think it’s fun. You believe Republican Jesus gave you the right to have your adult death toys. You don’t care about mass shootings all over the country as long as you can pew pew, bang bang. You believe that those children dying, the ones with 5.56 rounds tearing through their organs and ripping through bone, they’re someplace far off and that would never happen where you live, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Yeah, sure …

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(artwork by Sean Davis)


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Sean Davis

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War and a Purple Heart recipient from the Iraq War veteran. His latest stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various magazines and media sources such as 2020*: The Year of the Asterisk (University of Hell Press), HUMAN the Movie, the international fashion magazine Flaunt, the TED Talk book The Misfit's Manifesto, and much more. For more of Sean's writings and illustrations go to seandaviswriter.com.

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