Friday, December 21, 2012

Tanks! No, Really, Tanks!

The M1 A3 Abrams tank is one of the best tanks in the world, and is the workhorse of the U.S. Army. It is comparable to the European Leopard 2 and the South Korean Black Panther. It’s armor is capable of shrugging off multiple rocket-propelled grenades and most high-powered shells.  It’s barrel can pinpoint and destroy a target 3.5 miles away. It’s targeting system can detect an incoming missile and shoot it out of the sky before it even reaches the tank itself. It can also fire white-hot burning phosphorous to destroy infantry at close range, multiple plechette rounds to take out huge swaths of personnel at a moderate distance, and high-explosive rounds which can easily take out very large or heavily armored targets. It has three, sometimes four, machine guns: a .50 caliber, and two 7.62 mm guns with an optional 12.7 mm just above the main cannon. Any one of these can reduce a charging infantryman to hamburger within seconds. An Abrams tank is one scary machine!

And here’s my point to all this: People who say, "assault rifles are needed to defend oneself against an oppressive government" are essentially saying the equivalent of, "slingshots are needed to defend oneself against a charging M1 Abrams tank!"

Seriously, we’re talking about defending oneself against a government that not only has Abrams tanks, but also elite special forces with night vision, aircraft carriers with harrier jets and their surrounding flotillas of ships and submarines, cruise missiles, super-surveillance with dime-sized cameras which could be anywhere, satellites which could tell you what brand of hat you’re wearing, napalm, agent orange, nuclear weapons and any number of other unknown chemical, biological or radiological weapons… well, you get my point.

If you really think your puny, little assault rifle is going to make any difference against all that, you’re nuts. NUTS, I say! And you’re free to pelt that Abrams tank with your slingshot all you like, but don’t expect me to think that’s either intelligent or something the founding fathers intended.

All a ban on assault weapons does is say that if you’re crazy enough to assault an Abrams tank with a slingshot, you'll get a slightly smaller slingshot. That’s it. Not much difference, is there? All the bitching, whining, moaning and shit-kicking is over nothing more than that.

So what do we do about the potential of an oppressive government? How can we defend ourselves from Uncle Sam when even having assault rifles is like fighting gladiators with cardboard swords? The answer is, VOTE! And get involved in your government! If you want to prevent oppression, you have to do it from within! Our military technology has already taken us past the point of no return to do anything else.

Remember “Tank Man?” He’s the lone man who stood up to a charging line of Chinese tanks during the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square back in 1989. Armed only with a shopping bag, he stood right in front of those tanks, and they stopped! They tried to go around him, but he kept blocking their way! He shouted, “Why are you attacking us?! Why are you attacking us?!” And the befuddled soldiers didn't know what to do about him. No one ever learned who he was. He had every expectation that he would die. Perhaps the Chinese government killed him later. But he proved one thing: It IS possible to be unarmed and yet stand up to an oppressive government! Soldiers, you see, don't want to kill civilians, they want to kill other soldiers! China will almost certainly become a democracy someday, and when it does, it will be, in part, due to the legacy of this unnamed hero who once stood up to a column of tanks without fear.

So do the right thing! Ban assault weapons! And if the time ever comes when the need arises, stand up to oppression like Tank Man!



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