by Tom Randall
CHICAGO—The Remington Model 550 hangs, innocently enough, on my office wall above my Dad’s old desk. It would be vilified by today’s liberals.
It’s chambered for quite common but very high velocity ammunition. The magazine holds fifteen rounds of the stuff. The flawless action is semi-automatic. Most damning, if the liberals could comprehend their own false phobias, is that it is styled after the most famous military arm of its day, perhaps of all time, the M1 Garand rifle, the most ubiquitous weapon of WWII.
I bought it with saved-up lawn-mowing money when I was 13years old. Rather than a device to be feared, it way a young boy’s pride and joy.
Many mornings I would load it while sitting on our front porch, shove the remaining 85 rounds in my jacket pockets and set off to meet a couple friends downtown to go out of the small town for a day of shooting.
We stopped in to visit with merchants along the way, including Mrs. McCaffferty, who ran the town dry cleaners. She was childless and viewed the three of us as her kids. No one saw our loaded rifles as out of place.
Fast forward about two decades and the kid with the Remington rifle became half of a two-man team buying and marketing firearms for Sears, Roebuck and Co. We were the number one or two seller of firearms in the world, alternating years with K-Mart.
While buying firearms I learned that Gene Stoner, Jim Sullivan and Bob Freemont had designed the AR-15. It was to be the sporting version of Vietnam Era rifles — just as my Remington looked and handled like an M1. Both are semi-automatic civilian “little brothers” of their military forebearers which were capable of firing full-automatic.
Neither could fire full-automatic because such weapons have been banned from civilian use since 1934, after the St. Valentine’s Day massacre of 1932 (note: that incident took place in a garage just a few blocks from where I now live. Small world.)
Neither was an assault rifle either. Such a term does not even exist in the firearms industry.
They are both sporting rifles designed to look and handle like the rifles millions of law-abiding Americans learned to shoot while defending our country. They are almost never used to commit a crime and they are just as good a citizen as their owners