Does firing an automatic weapon convert a liberal to a conservative?

September 21st, 2008 - 4:25pm by Slye Fox

Karl, Crystal and I went to Bill's Gun Shop to try our hand at firing a fully automatic rifle. (Too bad it's not called Bill's Gun Shoppe -- that'd been cool.)

The idea was to test a hypothesis of Karl's design: Does firing an automatic weapon convert a liberal to a conservative? Okay that, and it'll make a lot of noise and shoot stuff. :)

The shop was fun to visit regardless. That's a lotta firepower under one roof. I kept my eyes peeled for the Hello Kitty Rifle, but didn't spot one.

And the experiment was a success...

Here's Karl's take on the whole situation:

The gang goes full-auto! (and lives to tell about it)

You might wonder why anyone would ever do this. I'm sure most of my friends and family are asking that very question right about now. There are some things that just can't be explained. Why did Sir Edmund Hillary climb Mount Everest? Why did Napoleon try to conquer the world? Why did Magellan try to circumnavigate the world? Boredom! It's the great motivator that drives all human accomplishment.

We all have the inner boredom to do great things. It's just a matter of finding the best way to nurture it. My preferred method is staring at facebook all day long. But to reach your full potential, you must find the method that is right for you.

However you do it, the important thing to cover new ground and Think Big.

That's why Ryan, Crystal and I set out to answer one of life's great questions: Do you turn into a redneck when you fire a machine gun?

So how would one go about testing this hypothesis? Rent one, of course!

You might have naïvely assumed that you would have to know how to fire a machine gun in order to rent one. Or that you might need some sort of government approval. Don't be silly! This is America dammit! We live in a Great Nation where everybody has a God Given Right to blow stuff up for no good reason. Actually, that is a good reason if you ask me.

I can feel the patriotism seeping deep into my soul as I write this. I've resisted such silly idealism for most of my life, but there's no better way to develop a deep sense of national pride than blowing things up with a fully-automatic assault rifle. This is how we differentiate ourselves from backward, third-world countries like France and Germany. The French haven't even figured out how to farm yet. They still eat snails! So to prove that we are real Americans, we rented an STG-58.

First, our courageous research crack-team:

  • Ryan Fuchs, a tattooed web designer and engineer who plays guitar and piano and has a cute little pug named Sid.
  • Crystal Therese, an insurance adjuster who works from home, enjoys book-binding, and is always better dressed than anyone else.
  • Karl Hammerschmidt, a vegetarian-biker-liberal who lives in a chick-pad and still has the cleanest apartment.

These are the shock-troops who will harness the full power of the STG-58 and put it to devastating - you heard that! devastating! - use against unsuspecting paper targets.

Any great experiment like this takes rigorous training; that's why I've been living the bad-boy lifestyle for the last year. I no longer meticulously punctuate all my text messages. I change lanes in intersections. I used to feel guilty taking a sample from the ladies at the grocery store if I didn't actually intend to buy it. No more! (Now I sneak around them and avoid eye contact.) I even make complete stops on my bike without signaling! This is the new me - tough, edgy, uncompromising. After months of preparation, I am now ready to fire a machine gun!

Cutting edge research like this would never pass regulatory revue in any civilized part of the world, so we had to go to Bill's Gun Shop. Take that, Big Government!

We considered renting an M-16, but I've never fired anything that small. I'm not gonna start now.

The first rifle I ever fired was a Marlin 30-30 lever-action. That packs about 1800 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. Not much, actually. Which is why the paltry 1200 ft. lbs. of the 5.56 NATO rounds in an M-16 could never cut it for a heavy-hitter such as myself. After six rounds with the Marlin, I moved up to a .308 (an SA-58 to be exact), then a Mosin-Nagant in 7.62x54, then a Browning A-Bolt in .375 H&H. I have also fired a Steyr Scout in .308, among other things.

Firing something as small as an M-16 would be a step backward. I happen to be a progressive, which means that I only go forward - and at nothing less than 2200 feet per second, in case anyone thought that I had low ideological standards.

Guns, girls, experimenting on non-consenting research subjects! There's a reason no one else has ever been brave enough to try this! (Nerds aren't mature enough to give informed consent, as you can plainly see in the accompanying photographic evidence.)

Ryan and I were unable to dress for the occasion because Ryan was meeting a friend for breakfast at a nice restaurant and I had family over. Crystal wore her camo fatigues - a very worrisome development, given that I don't notice girls half the time as it is. I don't know what I'll do now that they've acquired camo.

So what happened? Let's take a look:

We put lots of holes in small sheets of paper; we came back smelling like cordite; we made lots of noise. That's about it, actually. It was fun, though.

So what didn't happen?

I have not started carrying a 24-pack of Miller Light with me everywhere I go, I have not bought a pickup with Truck Balls, I have not shot any lawnmowers to death (I did once throw a computer out a third story window, but the damn thing had it comin'.), and I have not started playing the banjo. I have to admit that I was very disappointed. I do however feel a sudden urge to listen to harmonica music. Strange, very strange...

Ryan and Crystal haven't changed a bit. (Darn. I was hoping...)

So our experiment was inconclusive. I've considered repeating it with a bigger machine gun, but I have decided that it would be more productive for another research team to try to reproduce our results in another lab (or any other free-fire zone, like a field, state forest, or back alley in North Minneapolis).

This great scientific progress would never have happened without the hard work of many capable people. Most of them aren't cool enough to be listed on my facebook page, so I'm only going to mention a few. (Hard work and skill are only worth so much, you know.)

The Pentagon announced today the formation of an elite fighting group called the U.S. Redneck Special Forces (U.S.R.S.F.).

Bubba, Hoss, Cooter, and Boo will be dropped behind enemy lines with the following information about the Iraqis:

  1. The season opened last weekend.
  2. There is no limit.
  3. They taste just like chicken.
  4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music, or Jesus.
  5. Some is queer.
  6. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt.

The war should be over in a week.

I want to thank Ryan and Crystal for signing on and helping plan this. It's nowhere near as fun to blow things up all by yourself. I would know because that's how I spent most of my childhood. It's a good thing my mother worked overtime...

I want to thank Dave Anderson, Steve Pond, and Gabriel Soderbeck for giving me the proper weapons training that made this all possible. It will surely be invaluable when I someday have to single-handedly repel a large team of Nazi frogmen.

(I was glad to have the A-Bolt when Gabe and I went backcountry camping; between the drunks with shotguns, the kids baiting bears, and the large animals circling our camp all night long, it was nice to have a plan-B.)

I should add a disclaimer for any foreigners who might read this. This is what passes for humor in America. (Well, at least for some of us.) We really are this crude. You should try it sometime. It's fun! We don't actually think the French can't farm. We do think you guys talk funny, though. We can't understand a damn thing you say to each other!

I should also add that I have traveled outside of the United States. I have visited Britain, Germany, Austria (where I have family), The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Canada. I also went to Czechoslovakia when it was under Soviet control. I vividly remember the guards with rifles at the border crossing. I was very young, so it made a deep impression on me. ("Is that real? Can I try it? Please!") I've never been the same since.

And any rednecks who may be reading this should not feel singled out; I make fun of everybody. You're not alone - trust me.

For those of you who aren't hip, Ryan and Crystal and a bunch of our other friends (Yes, we do have other friends.) have a hobby of going to crazy events and documenting everything we see. From CONvergence, to drunken pirate parties, to sneaking into private clubs downtown, there's no subculture, counter-culture, or anti-culture that we haven't experienced at dangerously close range. You name it, we've done it - and we have pictures! The best ones can't be posted on facebook, but despite these challenges - and many others - we nonetheless strive to uphold our solemn mission: To boldly go where no man would ever go, again.

If I get the chance, my next project will be to bravely explore the world of liberal bikers who shave their legs! (No, I'm not talking about the girls.) I dunno, though - it might be too dangerous.

September 21, 2008 - 10:38pm
The Pants says:

I was wondering if Crystal went with you! Glad you had fun! :)

September 26, 2008 - 2:02am
Tiffiny says: