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Linda Tirado @KillerMartinis
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Hi. I'm a mother of two, wife of a USMC combat vet, owner of multiple AR-15s and also a journalist that covers governmental overreach.

I have reported from Ferguson and Malheur both, and in each instance I think the government overreached.

You're wrong and here's why:
Firstly, let's take the argument that you have a right to defend yourself against harm from criminals. I'll take definitional liberties same as you did, for the same reasons: these terms are so vague.

Let's assume though that you're talking home invasion, mugging, massacre.
Firstly, there is a single instance in which an AR would potentially be preferable: a massacre situation in which you knew the walls around you were thick enough to stop a bullet and you had a constantly clear shot.

Then you could pop the dude.

In any other case it's silly.
If your aim is to protect civilians rather than come out the victor in a war situation while minimizing loss of life, you do not fire a rifle. Home invasion you want a shotgun or small to medium caliber pistol. Mugging you want an impressive CCW. Massacre, .9 or .45.
Thing is you have to know who to shoot under pressure. Now the vast majority of gun owners in America have never shot an obstacle course, much less fully trained with whatever weapon they carry.

Anyone who's been to war will tell you you get jumpy.

Foreign or domestic.
So then let's imagine, loosely, those three scenarios.

Home invasion, your kids are in that place. You may or may not live across a wall from someone, but statistically speaking you don't have the clearance my home does, in the woods.

Most people live where people walk by.
Now. What's a robber or the odd rapist going to be carrying? Is it likely they strap a rifle to their backs before walking into the situation where they might need to draw quickly or crawl through windows or hide in a corner quietly? That's silly.
Plus, it's too obvious. You'd only take a rifle if you lived in the country. Easily spotted and reported, which people tend to do even in open carry states, especially if someone's being sketchy.
If you're familiar with assault rifles: they're big and cranky and loud.

You'd take a pistol.

OK, so let's assume dude breaks in: how likely is it a firearm? Maybe a knife? Maybe nothing, a cat burglar?
So you want short-range high-impact high-visibility.

Shotgun. Ain't nobody in the world doesn't know the sound from movies. You can pack shells with crazy shit. One shot, done. 'Cause you're at home, remember, you're probably within 20 feet if you can aim.
Added bonus: you don't really have to aim. You have to get within a few feet. Your adrenaline will be up and your hands shaking and you will be operating on fear and instinct. Aim will not be your forte. Just trust me on this, I've had an armed dude show up once.
Street robbery or bank robbery, you probably carry a pistol because seriously only a total asshole walks onto a bank strapped with a rifle just in case some asshole walks in strapped with a rifle, and that isn't an ideal world anyway, so let's set it aside.
Active shooter, same principle. Unless you're that jerk who walks around terrorizing people open-carrying your AR all the time for no particular reason you're carrying a pistol anyway.
So then let's turn to the other thing: protection against an oppressive state.

This is where I suspect I probably agree with most gun owners in a lot of ways, but for maybe interesting reasons.
I actually think we should and need to arm ourselves in order that the state never thinks it easy to invade our homes.

I think that when the Constitution was written, we didn't have a modern police state. I think the police state was what it was for. And I think it's too late.
You are not, with any kind of arsenal that is available to the general public, going to stave off the army. Argue the symbolism all you like, you do not have a bomber or carrier or nuclear warhead.
The Framers were concerned with people being forced to accomodate local state agents against their will for a cause they did not want to be in service to.

To the extent they were creating an ad hoc standing army, it was also understood most men would muster.
So now we have a professional army, and they have rifles that are suited to war.

We should have damn well armed ourselves against law enforcement decades ago, when we developed a system of law enforcement that was precisely what the second amendment was designed for.
But we didn't, and we're here now. We were not armed *enough* when it counted, but also we weren't revolutionary. That document was written by revolutionaries who thought it likely most citizens would stand together against the abuse of power.
We sort of let it happen, or we encouraged it, or we ignored it entirely 'cause why not *actually let them take people's guns away* (since those people were black? Precedents.)

And now there's no way to defend ourselves, militarily, without actually declaring open rebellion.
So unless you're actually prepared or thinking of attempting to mount an actual war against the actual might of the state, openly, with long arms, there's a vanishingly small likelihood an AR will ever be a practical weapon.

We know that most people who live here are made nervous at the sight of an AR in a public space.

We know most mass murders - and there are an unforgivable, numbing amount - will involve an AR or similar.

We know the *harm* they cause.
Now. I actually find it to be a really incredibly practical home defense weapon, and this is why it's not worth keeping: I live in the woods. Under 20% of Americans live in land as sparse as where I live. Someone comes on my property I got hundreds of yards clear.
Also, it is *vanishingly unlikely* that someone out here lives a life like mine, where I attract politically motivated abuse or violence. (This isn't a silly fear; there are plenty of instances where a stalker or terrorist has attacked a woman like me.)
And as someone with the perfect surroundings and perfect set of fears to justify it if anyone has justification against the harm this kind of weapon causes, I'll tell you I never have once felt comfortable using it. What if it's lost hunters? Idiot kids? A neighbor getting a cow?
Our right to assert our freedoms is sacrosanct; our right to protect ourselves undisputed. But seriously when it does more harm than good, when we could so practically move to alternate weapons for any legitimate purpose, when so many are dying for the capacity
It's our civic duty to recognize battles of principle won and lost, and weight the cost of hoping we can still win that last battle, and act practically in defense of our countrymen. That was the whole point of having the military-grade weapons, end of the day. Protecting us all.
I've no idea how to reclaim that liberty after the Patriot Act and COINTELPRO and basically all of ICE or all of it, really.

I just know this weapon ain't what we need to do that. Unless you mean to storm the damn Bastille.
Sorry to do such a long thread, but it wasn't really an article or an email and anyway it's worth putting all out there anyway, these discussions should be public at this point, least we can do really.
I mean, and my youngest is just in kindergarten so I kind of want this solved to the extent we reasonably can 'cause she's got twelve years to go.

My oldest has ten still.

Then there's college. So I've an interest in it beyond myself.
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