NY Daily News Columnist Goes To Shooting Range To Shoot An AR-15. Ends Up Proving He Is A Big Wuss... And A Liar
It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.
One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.
But mostly, I was just terrified.
Many gun shops turned down our request to fire and discuss the AR-15, a style of semi-automatic rifle popular with mass killers such as San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook and similar to the Sig Sauer MCX rifle used by Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen.
But Frank Stelmach of Double Tap Shooting Range and Gun Shop invited me, videographer Michael Sheridan and reporter Adam Shrier to come down.
He loves the AR-15 for cops, soldiers, hunters and target shooters. “It’s fun to shoot something like that,” he said.
Not in my hands. I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).
The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. In fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.
All it takes is the will to do it.
Forty nine people can be gone in 60 seconds.