If you’re a grown man, working as a journalist, and you’re claiming that firing an AR-15 rifle for the first time gave you full blown PTSD, you need to expect to be ridiculed mercilessly.
On June 14th, Gene Kuntzman of the New York Daily News made himself that target by writing an article titled “What’s It Really Like to Fire an AR-15” so he could test fire an AR-15 to find out just how powerful this weapon, demonized by the media, was. Now there’s a video reenactment.
[scroll down for video]
Here’s an excerpt from his article that showed the idea behind the article and Kuntzman’s mindset going into the experiment:
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.
Then, the shooting actually happened, and it was apparently one of the worst experiences of Kuntzman’s life:
I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon (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.
That’s quite different from any experience with an AR-15 I’ve ever seen, even from a 7-year-old girl.
The response from the gun community has been a mix of frustration and derision. By grossly distorting the experience of firing an AR-15, Kuntzman reinforces the image of gun control advocates being delusional in their fear of a piece of metal and plastic.
Kuntzman’s wikipedia page has since been updated.
But of everything I’ve come across so far, nothing is as accurate as this reenactment of Kuntzman’s traumatizing experience at the gun range, posted to YouTube under the title “Shooting an AR15, a ptsd creating event.”
The clip is actually from a television show called “Gay Army” out of the Netherlands, where flamboyantly gay men from Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden were taken to do activities that are traditionally considered “manly”- all while under the tender care and watchful eye of military drill sergeants.
The full clip is here: