Sisyphus Pushing a Boulder up 2nd Amendment Hill

“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.



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 pewbang 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 …

Thurston High School.
Columbine High School.
Heritage High School.
Deming Middle School.
Fort Gibson Middle School.
Buell Elementary School.
Lake Worth Middle School.
University of Arkansas.
Junipero Serra High School.
Santana High School.
Bishop Neumann High School.
Pacific Lutheran University.
Granite Hills High School.
Lew Wallace High School.
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.
Appalachian School of Law.
Washington High School.
Conception Abbey.
Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
University of Arizona.
Lincoln High School.
John McDonogh High School.
Red Lion Area Junior High School.
Case Western Reserve University.
Rocori High School.
Ballou High School.
Randallstown High School.
Bowen High School.
Red Lake Senior High School.
Harlan Community Academy High School.
Campbell County High School.
Milwee Middle School.
Roseburg High School.
Pine Middle School.
Essex Elementary School.
Duquesne University.
Platte Canyon High School.
Weston High School.
West Nickel Mines School.
Joplin Memorial Middle School.
Henry Foss High School.
Compton Centennial High School.
Virginia Tech.
Success Tech Academy.
Miami Carol City Senior High School.
Hamilton High School.
Louisiana Technical College.
Mitchell High School.
E.O. Green Junior High School.
Northern Illinois University.
Lakota Middle School.
Knoxville Central High School.
Willoughby South High School.
Henry Ford High School.
University of Central Arkansas.
Dillard High School.
Dunbar High School.
Hampton University.
Harvard College.
Larose-Cut Off Middle School.
International Studies Academy.
Skyline College.
Discovery Middle School.
University of Alabama.
DeKalb School.
Deer Creek Middle School.
Ohio State University.
Mumford High School.
University of Texas.
Kelly Elementary School.
Marinette High School.
Aurora Central High School.
Millard South High School.
Martinsville West Middle School.
Worthing High School.
Millard South High School.
Highlands Intermediate School.
Cape Fear High School.
Chardon High School.
Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
Oikos University.
Hamilton High School.
Perry Hall School.
Normal Community High School.
University of South Alabama.
Banner Academy South.
University of Southern California.
Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School.
Taft Union High School.
Osborn High School.
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts.
Hazard Community and Technical College.
Chicago State University.
Lone Star College-North.
Cesar Chavez High School.
Price Middle School.
University of Central Florida.
New River Community College.
Grambling State University.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School.
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy.
North Panola High School.
Carver High School.
Agape Christian Academy.
Sparks Middle School.
North Carolina A&T State University.
Stephenson High School.
Brashear High School.
West Orange High School.
Arapahoe High School.
Edison High School.
Liberty Technology Magnet High School.
Hillhouse High School.
Berrendo Middle School.
Purdue University.
South Carolina State University.
Los Angeles Valley College.
Charles F. Brush High School.
University of Southern California.
Georgia Regents University.
Academy of Knowledge Preschool.
Benjamin Banneker High School.
H. Conley High School.
East English Village Preparatory Academy.
Paine College.
Georgia Gwinnett College.
John F. Kennedy High School.
Seattle Pacific University.
Reynolds High School.
Indiana State University.
Albemarle High School.
Fern Creek Traditional High School.
Langston Hughes High School.
Marysville Pilchuck High School.
Florida State University.
Miami Carol City High School.
Rogers State University.
Rosemary Anderson High School.
Wisconsin Lutheran High School.
Frederick High School.
Tenaya Middle School.
Bethune-Cookman University.
Pershing Elementary School.
Wayne Community College.
J.B. Martin Middle School.
Southwestern Classical Academy.
Savannah State University.
Harrisburg High School.
Umpqua Community College.
Northern Arizona University.
Texas Southern University.
Tennessee State University.
Winston-Salem State University.
Mojave High School.
Lawrence Central High School.
Franklin High School.
Muskegon Heights High School.
Independence High School.
Madison High School.
Antigo High School.
University of California-Los Angeles.
Jeremiah Burke High School.
Alpine High School.
Townville Elementary School.
Vigor High School.
Linden McKinley STEM Academy.
June Jordan High School for Equity.
Union Middle School.
Mueller Park Junior High School.
West Liberty-Salem High School.
University of Washington.
King City High School.
North Park Elementary School.
North Lake College.
Freeman High School.
Mattoon High School.
Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
Aztec High School.
Wake Forest University.
Italy High School.
NET Charter High School.
Marshall County High School.
Sal Castro Middle School.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Great Mills High School.
Central Michigan University.
Huffman High School.
Frederick Douglass High School.
Forest High School.
Highland High School.
Dixon High School.
Santa Fe High School.
Noblesville West Middle School.
University of North Carolina Charlotte.
STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Edgewood High School.
Palm Beach Central High School.
Providence Career & Technical Academy.
Fairley High School (school bus).
Canyon Springs High School.
Dennis Intermediate School.
Florida International University.
Central Elementary School.
Cascade Middle School.
Davidson High School.
Prairie View A & M University.
Altascocita High School.
Central Academy of Excellence.
Cleveland High School.
Robert E. Lee High School.
Cheyenne South High School.
Grambling State University.
Blountsville Elementary School.
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus).
Prescott High School.
College of the Mainland.
Wynbrooke Elementary School.
UNC Charlotte.
Riverview Florida (school bus).
Second Chance High School.
Carman-Ainsworth High School.
Williwaw Elementary School.
Monroe Clark Middle School.
Central Catholic High School.
Jeanette High School.
Eastern Hills High School.
DeAnza High School.
Ridgway High School.
Reginald F. Lewis High School.
Saugus High School.
Pleasantville High School.
Waukesha South High School.
Oshkosh High School.
Catholic Academy of New Haven.
Bellaire High School.
North Crowley High School.
McAuliffe Elementary School.
South Oak Cliff High School.
Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Sonora High School.
Western Illinois University.
Oxford High School.
Robb Elementary School.

By Sean Davis

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, and the winner of the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015 and the recipient of the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader, Human Rights award for 2016. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in the the Ted Talk Book The Misfit’s Manifesto (Simon and Schuster), Forest Avenue Press anthology City of Weird, Sixty Minutes, Story Corps, Flaunt Magazine, The Big Smoke, Human the movie, and much more.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: