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Those of us who served in the military, especially those of us who were grunts, have a pretty clear idea what kind of damage an assault rifle can do in the hands of determined shooter with plenty of ammo.

Unfortunately, since the all-volunteer military, fewer and fewer Americans have ever even held such a weapon, much less seen what it can do. Which is why the current conversation on guns is going nowhere fast.

That means the current debate about whether to ban assault-style rifles and high-capacity clips is really no debate at all. One side is operating with an unfair advantage while the other side is operating without the most critical facts and information; just what's the big deal about assault rifles? Isn't a rifle and rifle?

I can sit here all day trying to explain exactly the kind of damage a .223 round out of an AR-15 clone can do; how it makes a neat tiny hole going into a body, wobbles around and mushrooms inside the body, tearing organs apart, then creates a giant, bloody hole on it's way out. But you'd still have no idea the entire horrific reality of the matter.

Of course there is a way to level that debating field - show the carnage. In particular - and I know this will be hard for many - show the aftermath of the Newtown massacre. 

Don't just describe it -- though I will have to say the media really didn't even do that much.  But show it.   Show it in blazing, high-definition, gory color. I know the parents of those dead little kids might object. And I understand why. But this is a national crisis, not the sole property of Newtown or those poor parents. Care could be take to obscure individual faces. Fine. But show the mess. Show the young brain-matter splattered floor to ceiling. Show the those little tummies blown wide open. Show the rivers of juvenile blood running beneath their desks and bodies.

It will be hard . But certainly no harder for us than the last minutes of those kid's tiny lives were for them. Those dead kids, and only them, can speak the full truth to the NRA's cold, careless, blame-shifting bullshit. If you don't see it, you don't get it. Not even a close.

  Assault rifles bear a name that describes their purpose ... assault. Hunter's hunt. Soldiers assault. Any one who insists he/she has needs to own an assault rifle lives in a dark fantasy world, a place where they imagine impending assault.  Some fantasize defending themselves from black government helicopters. Others daydream of shooting rampaging minorities, of one variety or another.

Some are open about that. Others not so much. But that's the only reason to own an assault rifle.

  From time to time, some of those folk get tired of waiting for the day they imagine will come, and just start shooting. That list is already long, and every year there are new assault-weapon fueled massacres to add to that list. When that happens the NRA blames it on unaddressed mental health issues. Some of us wonder what's "sane"about 21st-century Americans arming themselves with assault weapons because they honestly believe "the guv'ment" is coming after them. In pyschiatry that's called "clinical paranoia," or in lay language, bat sh*t crazy. And in those cases it's armed and bat sh*t crazy.

So what to do? Politicians, on the left and the right, will continue to shy away from this issue. Why? Because they are craven little cowards whose only concern is hanging onto their phony-baloney jobs -- to quote Mel Brooks.

So it must begin with the media, and those dead kids in Newton. As hard as it may be, and as fierce as the firestorm of criticism would be, the media should file suit for access to the police photos of the immediate aftermath of the Newton massacre. And, when they get them, publish them, air them.

This would not be to gratify some sick prurient curiosity. No sane American wants to see those photos. No me, not you, not anyone without loose screws wants to see what that assault rifle did to those poor little kids.

  Which is exactly why the nation needs to see them. Because therein, and only therein, are the reasons to ban them once and for all. 

----

BTW, here's what a Bushmaster assault rifle can do. Imagine what it was like inside that classroom.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)
 

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If you suceeded with demands for such exposure, it... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 4:47:01 PM
Maybe it's time everyone grow up and understand ex... by Stephen Pizzo on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 5:49:20 PM
and brainwashed as much as the rest of us. Yes, th... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 6:00:09 PM
the bushmaster was found in the trunk of a... by Matt Kjeldsen on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11:18 PM
... open caskets have an effect, too. But not ever... by Michael Gillespie on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:36:17 PM
I agree . To produce these images for the masses w... by Keith Hupp on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 7:15:58 PM
If you want to see what guns can do, see this. ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 6:41:29 PM
Your site above was just some guy shooting. They n... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 9:17:42 PM
Do people need an assault rifle?  In a norm... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 11:02:38 PM
And some fantasize about controlling the masses ... by Ned Lud on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 6:15:48 AM
Where there is continual theft, there will be cont... by Ned Lud on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:10:23 AM
... and will never show Americans the crime scene... by Michael Gillespie on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 12:41:22 PM
No.  No, no, no.  I understand and agree... by Jerry Wesner on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 1:02:05 PM
There is no equivalency between killed animals and... by Stephen Pizzo on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:14:21 PM
It depends on the type of bullet used as to how it... by sbaker on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 1:42:51 PM
... between auto and semi-auto.  The differen... by Michael Gillespie on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 2:55:53 PM
the exit wound of an ar15 using military fmj isn't... by Keith Brilhart on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:01:52 PM
The .223 Remington rifle round is not designed to ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:47:52 AM
High caliber" rapid fire" high capacity clip. That... by Stephen Pizzo on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:17:10 PM
A shotgun would have provided the same result. The... by Keith Hupp on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:13:31 PM
Maybe you should ask Judge Harry Whittington if he... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:16:49 AM
Bin Laden? Drone Strikes? Why is it people do... by Mrt Baggins on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:06:19 PM
Having served in the Marine Corps.. infantry.. I c... by Stephen Pizzo on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 5:19:33 PM
Obviously Stephen, you and some of the others post... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 6:05:11 AM
this is a really strange impass I find my self at.... by Keith Hupp on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 1:53:13 PM
Bin Laden? Drone Strikes? Why is it people do... by Mrt Baggins on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 3:08:14 PM
The US Japanese would have simply been killed if t... by Toby Seiler on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:34:41 AM
>"I fight them pro se in courts of law. "... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:29:34 AM
I would say a great number of cowards, hide behind... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 9:24:26 AM
I don't think you are ever going to get the famili... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 6:46:17 PM
can be constructed from plastic bones, ballistic g... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:58:37 AM
I'd forgotten how lifelike they can make those thi... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:45:09 PM
Because all the networks reported that the killer ... by Wil Masisak on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:39:23 PM
Oh, and I heartily endorse the idea of showing pic... by Wil Masisak on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 7:41:20 PM
I partially blame the media for sanitized "death s... by Chime on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 10:50:07 PM
The social science research reveals your plan a... by Michael Gillespie on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 9:26:13 AM
The way you seem to criticize people in your repli... by Kim Cassidy on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 1:31:43 AM
Citing study after study after study is devotion t... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:26:53 AM
SHOW ME THE BODIES.  Just like with the Bin L... by David Smith on Monday, Jan 28, 2013 at 11:05:46 PM
is not necessar ily factual.  It is only wha... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:35:46 AM
you are living in a feckin' fantasy world that has... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:30:24 AM
Four decades of social science research and tho... by Michael Gillespie on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 9:37:31 AM
I used to read and post on a site for "healthy and... by Toby Seiler on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:18:17 AM
Maybe if we all grow lettuce.   But we woul... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 6:22:31 AM
>=20Post from professional paranoids like this sim... by Stephen Pizzo on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 9:40:01 AM
I imagine Stephen, what you want most of all, is t... by Ned Lud on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 10:25:09 AM
Stephen: Your refrence and apparent distain fo... by Keith Hupp on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 at 3:49:10 PM
The conversation quickly fragmented into a 'peeing... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:50:39 AM
Pizzo's  an obvious idiot, but I see no real ... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 6:59:37 AM
There is one little problem in regard to above com... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 7:06:58 AM
>=20Oh boy, this conversation has gotten too crazy... by Stephen Pizzo on Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013 at 11:40:01 AM
You raise a great point, as hard to swallow as it ... by Jesse Sublett on Monday, Feb 4, 2013 at 9:21:25 AM

 

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