This is a M16.
A light-weight, magazine-fed, gas-operated, air-cooled, shoulder-fired, 550 meters point targeting, and 800 meters area reaching, semi-automatic weapon with means of facilitating a 5.56x45mm NATO round to travel at 3,110 feet per second. And in the hands of a Marine Rifleman it is a weapon of mass destruction.
It measures 39 inches, enough to jut into my hip while standing at attention, it weighs 7.18 pounds unloaded, enough to make me focus for hours while holding for inspection. A professional minds not, a professional never minds.
It’s temperamental like a bitch, so we anthropomorphize it effeminately however short or long our relationship with it could be. Without tender care and cleaning a M16 jams more than your horny grannie in a fruit preserve. A professional knows this, a professional maintains his tools.
In the wild they give you five empty magazines and get told to top it off. Ninety bullets go in with a speed loader, each one your responsibility, each one meant for something greater than you. So never go auto, can’t no more without anarchist guides, only three-round bursts. A professional kills with intent, a professional intends to kill.
In a wild world this is the beginning tip of a spear, pushed by the full bore will of a civilization, determined on civilizing with dignity. Hence a third world citizen’s proclivity for a sand-eating, bullet-chewing, mud-drinking, dirty-cheap, inarticulate-speaking AK47, along with a damning promise of virgins in heaven, as the last means to stop the indecent indignity.
But we don’t live wild no more, only a resemblance of a world tamed by fake planes, flattened by big bombs, and conquered by bankrupting ideology. So in celebration of this brave new world we guffaw to wonder why it is we can’t forbid these things like we win wars on gays, class, and foie gras? Why it is we can’t sell these things like we fail wars on terror, drugs, and culture? Why it is we can’t set up metal detectors in theaters to act as safety? Why it is we can’t have them to protect ourselves from ourselves?
Never mind terror in the homeland is affirmatively acted upon. Never mind terror isn’t combatted with resolution but absolution. Never mind terror isn’t because we’re saying and praying the wrong things but we’re not listening and caring the right things. Never mind terror is unreasonable reasoning or unmet expectations realizing overfed conviction. Never mind terror is when we use media to mediate and appeal for emotions, to shamelessly wield grief as hammers to bend will your way, to rack up ratings, dignify heretics, shout the loudest against rhetorics, and demand instant gratification. Never mind terror is when we’re no longer in this together.
And never mind we use these on ourselves instead of barbarians, never mind unless you waddle with nine pound steel plates to “bullet proof” vest you can’t stop these motherfuckers. Good luck standing on the wrong end of liberty as every policeman get trigger happy to anyone not their own. Good luck surviving because with the first hint of sulfur in the air and I’m gone. A professional knows when to fight, a professional knows when to live for another day.
Good luck being civil, with or without this.