I saw an article recently in The Atlantic and another one in Wired on how damages to human flesh done by an AR-15, arguably the most popular assault style rifle out there, are different than those caused by some other semi-automatic weapons. Those articles sat me back on my keister more than just a little bit. Why? Because I believe my daughter is still alive today because an AR-15 was NOT the weapon used to critically injure her at Columbine High School April 20, 1999. Rather, the weapon used to shoot my daughter was a Hi-Point Model 995 Carbine Rifle , a semi-automatic long gun.
To be perfectly clear, I do not portray the Hi-Point Model 995 Carbine Rifle herein in any way, shape, or form as being anything but a semi-automatic long gun. I’m simply using it as a comparison to the AR-15 and the damages both can inflict based on research and my own personal analysis and experience.
The Atlantic article features a radiologist, Heather Sher, who spoke out about the injuries she saw in performing autopsies on the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. Her descriptions of those injuries were unsettling for me because some of them were eerily similar to some of the injuries inflicted on my daughter. The Wired article features Sarah Zhang, a 2nd Amendment supporter with a unique perspective on the same kind of damages Heather Sher spoke about in her assessment.
My daughter suffered severe and traumatic injuries to her vena cava vein, her liver, her lungs, her diaphragm, and her spinal column. The injury to her vena cava vein is what almost killed her because it caused severe internal bleeding. The liver wound was bad, but we were told by her doctors the liver can regenerate if it isn’t damaged beyond that self-repair threshold. The injury to her lungs caused one of them to collapse…more than once. The injury to her spinal column caused her paralysis. All of those injuries combined to cause fluid buildup around her heart that had to be surgically addressed in order to prevent her from going into cardiac arrest. And that’s about as graphic a description of her injuries as I’m comfortable giving in this essay. Please reference The Atlantic article for comparisons in the types of wounds discussed here because some of the similarities are what prompted me to say what I’m saying in the first place.
All of my daughter’s injuries were caused by two rounds…two rounds. They came from that Hi-Point Model 995 Carbine Rifle. At the time, I didn’t think two bullets could cause such damage. Apparently, and according to the radiologist in The Atlantic article, I was wrong….almost dead wrong.
An AR-15 can, and does, inflict much more damage because it fires high velocity rounds. Those high velocity rounds arguably would have blown up my daughter’s internal organs instead of causing the damages, albeit critical damages, the rounds from the Hi-Point Model 995 Carbine Rifle inflicted.
As proof of my assertion, there are numerous YouTube videos anyone can view in which AR-15s are used to shoot rounds into ballistics gel. The one I chose to show here is of the AR-15 military equivalent; the M-16. I chose the Smithsonian Channel video for what I consider obvious reasons. There are many more amateur videos, as well.
What an AR-15 is capable of doing to ballistics gel is horrifying simply because ballistics gel is similar in consistency to human flesh. That right there should be the primary focus of any discussion of whether or not AR-15s should even be in civilian hands from where I sit.
The AR-15 is virtually a military grade weapon without the fully-automatic function. We can argue nuances until we’re blue in the face, but it won’t change that fact. Add in a “bump stock”, and an AR-15 is virtually transformed into an almost fully-automatic military grade weapon. The Las Vegas massacre is proof of that assertion.
So, please forgive me if I don’t buy into the mantra pro-gun advocates and advocacy groups keep pushing that we cannot have a rational discussion on gun “control” until those in favor of restricting or banning AR-15 assault style weapons educate themselves on same. That’s a non-starter for me, especially after having watched The Smithsonian YouTube video. I’d wager it is for a lot of other folks, as well.
My two cents.
- My Two Cents: School Safety….’Quick Fix’ Style - September 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety – DAMMIT! It’s Not Rocket Science….. - January 28, 2019
- My Two Cents: Kovington Kids Kalamity Double Standard…. - January 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: Weighing in on the ‘Covington Kids Calamity’ - January 22, 2019
- My Two Cents: The Illogical Logic of the NRA - January 11, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety Is An Enigma - January 3, 2019
- My Two Cents: ‘To Protect and To Serve’ vs the ‘Public-Duty Doctrine’ - December 22, 2018
- My Two Cents: Quiet Rooms - December 15, 2018
- My Two Cents: Stay in Your Lane Road Rage NRA Style - November 26, 2018
- My Two Cents: School Safety Hoplophile Style - November 17, 2018