In defense of assault weapons…
In response to a proposed ban on military-style assault weapons, two members of congress recently spoke out against such a ban:
Rep. Ken Buck (R – Colorado) said the AR-15 is the weapon of choice to kill raccoons and foxes.
Sen. John Thune (R – So. Dakota) said assault weapons are needed to kill prairie dogs.
In a recent press conference, Sen. Thune was questioned by a reporter who recalled hunting ground squirrels as a boy with a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle, and wouldn’t that be sufficient firepower for a prairie dog? Sen. Thune responded by introducing a constituent, Mr. Josiah Fenstermacher, to tell of a harrowing experience.
“I was out huntin’ prairie dogs," Mr. Fenstermacher began, “and I’d taken up a defensive position about twenty yards from a mound. A critter popped its head up and I fired off a short burst. Suddenly, a whole passel of prairie dogs—a ‘ward’, a ‘town’, whatever you call ’em—came charging my position. There must have been a hundred of ’em. All I could see was teeth and claws heading my way, and a high-pitched barking that like to bust my eardrums. I tell ya, it was terrifying! Luckily, I had my AR-15 and a couple of high-capacity magazines. I was able to defeat the attack and defend my position. If I’d been out there with a .22 caliber peashooter, gettin’ off one shot at a time, I wouldn’t be here to tell the story, and that’s a fact!”
Several members of the press corps seemed skeptical, until one gray-haired veteran reminded them that prairie dogs are members of the squirrel family. Former president Jimmy Carter once reported being attacked by a crazed squirrel. His point: war-like squirrels are bipartisan. “It’s not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue, it’s a varmint issue.”
A local reporter who had examined the scene of Fenstermacher’s battle asked if he was sure they were prairie dogs. Only bits and pieces of the animals had been found, given the firepower of the AR-15.
“I know a prairie dog when I see one,” Fenstermacher replied. “Ya seen one, ya seen ’em all.”
The reporters thanked Sen. Thune and Mr. Fenstermacher and decided they would reach out to Rep. Buck to see if his constituents had similar experiences with raccoons and foxes.
“I don’t know about foxes,” said the veteran reporter, “but raccoons can get downright nasty.”