There has been another horrible shooting. This time in Florida. The “Gun Nuts” are blaming Islamic terrorists. The “Gun Grabbers” are blaming The NRA.

Am I the only person blaming a crazy guy with a gun? Because it feels like I am.

One thing is certain. If I had to choose a side, I would lump myself in with the “Gun Nuts”. And yes, I am aware that I made blanket statements about Gun Nuts/Grabbers. And yes, I am aware that seems hypocritical. That is unless you understand that things are not always black and white. That’s the problem these days. Everybody wants to lump something into a category, and give it a label, or make a law about it. But what about logic???

For instance…The media, and even our president have stated that the gunman in Orlando used an “assault style weapon”…Well DUH! OF COURSE he used an assault weapon! He took a weapon, and assaulted, over a hundred people with it!  Had he used a hammer, I personally would feel that he used an assault weapon!

So now frightened people are calling for action.  And in fear, they blame the gun.  People are asking for bans on certain weapons.  But seriously…Is that logical?

If you look at something logically, ALL firearms are assault weapons. The mighty AR-15! Ooooh! SCARY! Yeah…Not so much! My 12 gauge shotgun is capable of killing 50 people, and wounding 50 more in crowded conditions.


This 12 gauge shotgun is similar* to the ones used by hunters. It is capable of firing rounds small enough to hunt red squirrels without damaging the meat. It is also capable of firing rifled slugs, that in the hands of an expert, could kill an Alaskan brown bear.


In fact, in crowded conditions especially, my 12 gauge shotgun would be an EXTREMELY GRUESOME weapon. AND, they even make pretty tactical gear to make it look scarier than the wood grained versions people carry into the woods for hunting.



The two guns in the above photos are both 12 gauge shotguns. They are simply dressed up, and look meaner than they are. They both fire the same rounds used by hunters all over Maine, and the rest of the US.


A 12 gauge shotgun fires a shell that contains multiple projectiles that can be smaller than the BB’s in you child’s air gun, or a big ole hunk of lead called a “slug” that is MUCH bigger than AR-15 rounds.

And like the AR-15, the 12 gauge it is a short-range weapon. So instead of neat little holes like an AR-15 would make, think large ragged holes the size of a softball if a 12 gauge is used.

My son’s “deer rifle”, a .270 would also have made quite a mess in close quarters. Since his rifle can shoot a deer at well over a hundred yards, and drop it in its tracks, imagine what it would do in a crowded bar?

The AR-15 is a small-caliber weapon.  It is designed for close quarter shooting. Yes, it is military in style, and not just in looks. Surprisingly, it is not built to kill people.  Like many close quarter military weapons, it is designed to injure.  Dead soldiers don’t tie up a lot of resources like injured ones do.

Because it is a close quarter weapon, it is a favorite among people looking for home defense.  A person looking to defend their home from intruders… especially those who live in apartments, or duplex homes, don’t want their rounds to exit their target, and pass through walls into another room.  The AR-15 is the obvious choice if you are looking to use a rifle.

My son’s .270, in close quarters, would pass through the intended target, and through the wall behind it, and likely the wall behind that, until it hit something solid enough to slow it down enough to stop it.  A bad choice for defending oneself in an apartment building with sheetrock walls!

Personally, I wouldn’t want an AR-15 for home defense.  That would mean I would have to aim to be sure my shot was lethal.  While I was just a few points shy of a marksmanship ribbon in Basic Training, I suspect in a crisis situation, my aim might not be as steady as it would on the target range.

That is why I prefer a shotgun for home defense.  I don’t have to make sure my aim is good.  In close quarters a shotgun sends out multiple lead balls.  With “buck shot” I get 9 pellets the size of a single projectile from a rifle, and in some cases bigger.  Those pellets leave the barrel of a shotgun in a tight group that expands as it travels increasing my odds of hitting my target, likely with multiple projectiles.

So what do we do?  I don’t know.  I DO know that more laws wont do anything but infringe on the rights of law-abiding people.  Unless I tell you I have a gun, it isn’t anybody’s business if I have one or not.  A background check does NOTHING to prevent a criminal from purchasing a weapon.  It MIGHT slow them down, but not enough to make a difference.  But it DOES create a paper trail that somebody can follow back to me, and make them wonder what I may or may not have for weapons.  (Call me paranoid, but governments HAVE confiscated weapons in the past…Think Hitler)

A background check can very easily delay an honest person from getting a weapon, and that might cost them their lives, if a dangerous person wants to hurt them.

New laws WONT work.  Ban the AR-15…Do you think that would have prevented the Orlando shootings?  Because if you do, think about this.  Killing, and wounding people is already illegal!   Do you really think that people will stop using guns to break the law?



(*It should be noted that the image I used for the “normal” 12 gauge shotgun is not entirely accurate.  While the “Mossberg 590” less menacing than the images of the other two weapons I posted, in fact it is Mossberg’s tactical  version of its popular hunting weapon the “Mossberg 500” )

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.