I think I've finally figured out why so many gun owners cling desperately to their military-style assault rifles with the high-capacity magazines.
Several years ago, I chanced on a meeting in the North Ogden Library in which a prominent citizen was trying to organize a militia. His major premise was that the day would likely come when we'd have to defend ourselves against our own government, and we have to be prepared by being armed and ready.
I wondered, was anybody really buying what he was selling? And, yes, heads in the room were nodding in agreement.
I discussed this disturbing scenario with a friend who was a high-ranking officer in our nation's Air Force. I've never forgotten his response, which was: "First of all, I can't possibly imagine a situation in which the military might of our country would be turned on our own people. That's inconceivable to me. But if that were to happen, and I was strafing these guys on the ground from the cockpit of my F-16, firing 40 rounds of ammunition every half-second from the 20mm cannon on the plane, and if they were somehow able to withstand that withering fire and run inside their houses, I'd merely have to circle around and hit the house with a Maverick missile and turn it into kindling. I wonder who they think they're kidding?"
As we now hear the overheated rhetoric of those fearing that they could lose the legal right to these assault rifles, I can't help remembering the palpable paranoia I witnessed in that room that night.
Are my fellow citizens really as crazy as they seem?
M. Jensen Ogden