By Jeffrey Folloder
That Acknowledged Right
Chances are, you are familiar with machine guns. Members of the NFA community already know that machine guns are legal to own and use in most places in the United States. We also know that they can be expensive, problematic and somewhat “hungry” in terms of keeping their diet of ammunition up to snuff. We also know the most common question that is often asked by those who are not familiar with legal, fully automatic weapons: Why on earth do you need such a thing?
To be sure, the Second Amendment is not about needs or wants. It is about an acknowledged right, albeit a right that has been improperly usurped by federal and state legislation and regulation. There is no reason to justify a “need” to own a machine gun. If you want one, and have the means to acquire one, you have that right. Do it. And actually use it because it is fun to do so. Take the gun to a range or an organized shoot. Stoke the weapon with proper ammunition and let her rip. A smile will crease your face. Likely a bit of a giggle. Introduce somebody to the weapon. Somebody who has never shot one before. And you can be all but assured that the smile and giggle will likely morph into laughter and glee.
No crimes are committed. No assaults, robberies or murders. Lots of smiles and laughs are witnessed, and folks who own the weapons appear to be eager to actually share them with the novices who are drawn to the sound and the action.
Let’s use the Fall 2018 Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot as an example. The NFATCA hosted a young lady, we’ll call her Steph, to come out to Kentucky and embrace the full-on experience that is Knob Creek (that’s not her in the pictures). After signing her notices and waivers, she was festooned with her exhibitor and shooter badges. Then it was time to meet the guns.
A certain, very generous NFATCA member (who has a habit of distributing delicious fried pies) took her under his wing and gave her a tour of the dozens of weapons that he had brought for the shoot. They ranged from personal defense weapons (PDWs) to belt-fed, heavy machine guns. The manual of arms for each weapon was briefed. The safety requirements for the show, in general, and each weapon were detailed. “And which gun would you like to shoot?”
“All of them!” And so began three days of turning a significant amount of ammunition into once-fired brass. Steph fired an MP5, an AK47, the “Twins,” a Ma Deuce and more. And she laughed heartily after every mag dump and belt. You know what? Others noticed. Lots of other people noticed. Steph was having fun. Many had their smart phones recording video of the grand time that Steph was having. Several of those videos have gone somewhat viral. Steph could not stop smiling.
We wrapped the show up on Sunday and took her to the airport. She was a bit exhausted, and we asked if she would do it again. An immediate “Hell yeah!” Because it’s fun. And that’s just it: We must make the extra effort to bring new folks into this world of NFA firearms. The “old guard” isn’t getting any younger, but they absolutely do have stories to tell and guns to share. So it’s time to circle a date or two on the calendar and pencil in some range time with somebody who needs to see what fun is all about. The NFATCA appreciates the camaraderie that has grown over our nearly 15 years of serving this community. Help us spread the word. Join or renew today. And if you have questions or comments, send us an email at email@example.com. Or visit us online at www.nfatca.org or facebook.com/NFATCA.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N3 (March 2019)|