New York Daily News writer Gersh Kuntzman fired an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle for the first time at a gun range in Philadelphia — and he left absolutely “terrified.”
Kuntzman claimed he wanted to “better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers” in the aftermath of the deadly Orlando terrorist attack that left 49 people dead and dozens injured.
The writer recalled shooting the popular firearm being “horrifying, menacing and very very loud.”
Kuntzman said he has shot “pistols” before, but he was horrified of the AR-15’s “explosion of firepower,” which he called “humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).”
“The recoil bruised my shoulder,” he added. “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.”
Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old terrorist who opened fire at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, didn’t use an AR-15 in the shooting, despite what has been widely reported. Police said Mateen used a different semi-automatic rifle, a Sig Sauer MCX carbine.