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Joe Minney, of Chillicothe, Ohio, is a self-described law-abiding, taxpaying American citizen who owns an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He selected the weapon for a number of reasons, including home defense, hunting and even pest control.
Unfortunately, he says many Americans get their "knowledge" about guns from "movies and TV shows." This leaves many people uninformed and easily deceived amid the ongoing gun control debate. In a focused letter to the editor of the Chillicothe Gazette, Minney explains why he chose to purchase an AR-15, making the case for responsible gun owners.
"I am a law abiding, taxpaying citizen that selected an AR-15 rifle to own. I considered the activities I like to do with weapons and knowing my limited money I could spend, the AR-15 was the best choice," he began.
Minney selected to use an AR-15 for home defense for the weapon's quality design, accuracy and ease of use. Here he implements some common sense:
I selected the AR-15 as my Home Defense weapon. My rifle has a collapsible stock, in other words, I can shorten it up by about eight inches. This allows for greater maneuvering around my furniture and house in case I have an intruder. Unfortunately, most Americans gain their “knowledge” of weapons from movies and TV shows. The action hero or TV cop superstar fires one or two shots and the bad guy crumbles. This is not reality. Ask any combat veteran or police officer gunfight survivor. Better still, go online to YouTube and watch real life dash cam videos of law enforcement gunfights. Many times, the bad guy is shot multiple times before being stopped. Last year, a highly skilled and trained Columbus Police officer was attacked by a knife-wielding crazed man. The officer shot this guy seven times and still had to have multiple officers assist in subduing him. A famous picture of a mad man is in nearly every law enforcement textbook. It shows the body of a drug-crazed man who was shot 33 times with 9mm bullets by police officers. The complete story is the man walked two city blocks and climbed a flight of stairs before succumbing to his gunshot wounds. This is the real world!
Recently, four gun-carrying people invaded a home in a high class neighborhood of Gahanna during the day time. All four participated in beating and robbing the home owners. If I, as a legal gun owner, faced this kind of threat, I would have to fire at least two or three shots per bad guy to stop the threat on my family. This is eight to [sic] bullets. Obviously, this exceeds both the seven and 10-round magazine capacity that others are promoting to legislate over [U.S.] law abiding citizens.
Minney explained that the AR-15 can actually use three different types of shells. He bought a 22-caliber conversation kit so he can use the rifle to go squirrel hunting. He said he prefers the .22 bullet at times because he eats what he kills.
He continued: "Using the .223-caliber or 5.56-mm shells I can assist farmers in controlling very costly pests on their farms. Groundhogs cause millions of dollars of damage each year throughout the country. Farmland and crops are heavily damaged from these rodents."
"The airport in Columbus had to hire sharpshooters to solve their groundhog problem. It was reported that their runways, taxiways and buildings were being ruined by these burrowing, disease-carrying rodents. One can do a net search and find hundreds of news articles about the costly damage to golf courses, and local, state and federal highways and bridges. Groundhogs are very elusive and must be hunted from a distance. The sights on the AR-15 provide for these 100 to 200-yard shots."
Additionally, Minney said he uses his AR-15 to help control the coyote population in his area, which are at "epidemic condition" in many states.
"These predators have invaded city and urban areas. The news media in all areas have reported dog and cat owners that have had their family pets attacked and killed by coyotes," he added. "Shockingly, there have been people attacked and killed by coyotes in the U.S. and Canada in recent years."
Finally, he said one of his hobbies is "target practicing in safe areas."
"By using the 22 caliber shell at three cents per piece I can shoot many times for a relative low cost. Then, I can convert the rifle over and fire a few 5.56mm shells at 46 cents per piece to practice my accuracy," he wrote.
"These are the main five reasons I selected to own an AR-15 rifle. I share this because I want to assist in finding true and workable solutions to the gun violence. I would welcome open dialogue in discussing gun ownership and the expectation of a safe society," the gun owner concluded.
To read Minney's entire letter, click here.
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