Bare your soul, before you bear arms

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

If you're a private citizen, I want you to take the bullets out of the Bushmaster Carbine M4A3 rifle you purchased at Wal-Mart and then I want you to incinerate the gun, melt it down to nothing, take a hacksaw to it, flatten it with a steamroller. I don't really care how you do it, just destroy it.

I want you to take any and all semiautomatic and fully automatic rifles and handguns you may have, especially the ones that can fire multiple high-velocity rounds, and bury them in the ground. You don't need them.

If it's for sport that you own these types of guns, then you know nothing about sport, hunting, target-shooting or otherwise. The use of a high-powered semiautomatic gun for sport is equivalent to using performance-enhancing drugs in, say, baseball, which is banned, not to mention disgraceful and pathetic. Ripping a grouse or a white-tailed deer to shreds doesn't seem like much sport to me.

If it's for protection that you own these types of guns, then you need to seek help to cope with your acute paranoia. As important as you may think you are, mass militias are not gunning for you. I know your Xbox 360 may tell you otherwise, but many a man has protected home and family with merely a musket or two fists and an iron will. I think you'll be fine. If you're still fretting without your AK-47, then buy a dog.

If you own these types of guns to maintain your own individual freedoms as an American, then you need to realize that your ignorance isn't worth the risk. There are freedoms to preserve and there are freedoms that through a great many decades have been distorted and embellished to the point of obscurity. The right to bear arms is yours; so says the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms that can cause mass destruction is not yours. There's an elected government in place, police and military to protect you and your fellow citizens from foreign and domestic enemies. You are safer than you think.

You need a gun that holds 30 bullets like I need a gut that holds 30 Hostess cupcakes. Grip it and feel powerful, do you? That's simply you trying to conceal your lack of self-confidence. Compensating with a deadly weapon is not advised. Buy a big monster truck or a cigarette boat to compensate for your inadequacies.

There's nothing you can do or say to convince me that these weapons in the hands of private citizens constitutes a sensible way of life. I realize that the guns didn't kill the children at Sandy Hook Elementary; a human being did. But we've seen the kind of evil our own species is capable of, and it's terrifying.

If you want to own a semiautomatic rifle for no reason, then that's your cross to bear.


Twitter: @oakparksports

Reader Comments

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Posted: December 26th, 2012 7:48 PM

Someone tell me that this guy is punking us.


Posted: December 23rd, 2012 7:58 PM


Bill from Forest Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 3:08 PM

"Uncommon Sense,"- you have to be Rational Thought, who posts on the Review website Again, really, exhibit some actual run of the mill common sense and just wait a couple minutes, and make all your disparate thoughts the focus of ONE single post. Four consecutive posts over a ten minute period really makes you look like an idiot, even more than your words already do.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 12:03 PM

I failed to attribute the article to the Sheboygan Press. Only the last two sentences were mine. Merry Christmas.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 11:26 AM

Watch the M1 Garand match at Camp Perry


Posted: December 22nd, 2012 9:23 AM

Wow! This where do they find these editors? Shouldn't one know basic facts before writing? Machine guns in IL? What the hell are you smoking? Rifles not used in competition? Ever heard of 3 gun? Probably not. We need people to think with their heads and not hearts. Your line of thinking would only continue to help foster crime. Just take all the police guns while your at it. As a matter of fact why not ban all cars....after all more people are injured and die yr over yr due to DUI.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 22nd, 2012 7:24 AM

@ JBM - see LL's comments in Ken Trainor's rant 2 weeks ago where he destroyed your argument point by point. You made a nice try with the comment - try looking things up next time!

takeoutthetrash from Suburbs  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 7:42 PM

Ignoring higher court rulings is dangerous to the pocketbooks of Oak Park and Chicago residents. Unconstitutional gun bans are costing your residents millions in attorney fees when you lose. Way to advocate for a losing team of misfits, sports guy.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 6:35 PM

I wonder if Mr. Spencer even knows that Oak Park already has an AWB that bans any magazine with a capacity more than 8 rounds for rifles and 5 rounds for shotguns. Because of home rule laws you not only need to worry about laws in your own township but also those in every township you are traveling through to go to the range. For instance, Cook County's ban is poorly written and unenforceable, but bans any magazine with a capacity of over 10 rounds. while Chicago bans more than 12 rounds.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 5:01 PM

@ Black H- - you are a good example of why the left is called the loony left. You create a situation where your side has to post 4 semi sensible comments to make up for your lunacy. Keep it up!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 4:29 PM

AUSTRALIA - when a gunman killed 35 people in 1996 with a semiautomatic rifle in the tourist town of Port Arthur, on the island of Tasmania, the Australian people decided it was time for a change. A new law, backed by a conservative prime minister, divided firearms into five categories. Some of the deadliest assault-style weapons and large ammunition clips are now all but impossible for individuals to lawfully own. Firearms are subject to a strict permitting process, and dealers are required to record sales, which are tracked by the national and territorial governments. What's more, the law encouraged people to sell their firearms back to the government, which purchased and destroyed about 700,000 of them. The results are hard to argue with. According to a Harvard University study, 13 gun massacres (in which four or more people died) occurred in the 18 years before the law was enacted. In the 16 years since there has been none. Zero. Of course, Australians are not as smart as our right wing! Merry Christmas everyone.

Black Helicopter Pilot  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 4:29 PM

How dare we use emotion when 20 small kids are riddled with multiple bullets? They are mere symbols of free exercise of our beloved Second Amendment. The Newtown killer caught his gunowning mother offguard and blew her away. Why can't that happen in Oak Park? Slavery was in the Constitution. Let's return to the Founding Fathers. The slaves can serve as target practice, like human skeet. Ready, pull!

common sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:51 PM

Brad, "There are freedoms to preserve and there are freedoms that through a great many decades have been distorted and embellished to the point of obscurity". The right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS YOURS. It is the firearm that gave you this right, and it is the firearm that keeps this right, for you to sound like an idiot.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:41 PM

I recall in the 90s, Florida had a string of tourist robberies that made national headlines. The gang had targeted tourist because they knew tourist weren't armed whereas there was a high possibility that a regular florida resident might be due to concealed carry. Just the presence of concealed carry makes people think twice about any confrontation. Criminals aren't stupid, but apparently liberals are...

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:37 PM

And to be clear, I don't advocate that every teacher pack heat. However, I do believe that somebody, somewhere at the school should be properly trained and armed kind of like an Air Marshall to deal with these rare situations. The beauty of concealed carry is that you keep criminals guessing. They never know who might be packing, so they have to look for low risk targets.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:29 PM

Done, criminals look for easy targets. That is why homeowners will have signs that say Beware of Dog even if they don't have one. Or ADT even if the service isn't turned on. Just the mere threat is enough to deter criminals. Like I said, I have several front yard signs for any Oak Parker that proudly announce your house is Gun Free. I've yet to have anyone take me up on them to show their support for gun control.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:26 PM

Done, care to explain why these mass shootings always seem to happen in known GUN FREE ZONES? These lunatics and criminals specifically look for easy targets which is why they don't shoot up banks, police stations, airports, or anywhere else they know someone is going to be in a position to fire back. You don't need the TSA at schools, but just the mere knowledge that SOMEONE just might be packing heat is all that is needed.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:16 PM

"One, U.S. Representative John Yarmuth of Kentucky, apologized for his earlier silence on the issue. On Friday, Yarmuth blasted the NRA and said it does not represent the views of its members. 'Every American has the right to be safe from guns without carrying a gun'." Couldn't have put it better myself.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 3:03 PM

@JBM Hemmingways words will out live our children's children. He was an expert pistol shooter who understood the challenges of the sport. His final resolution was sad but had little or nothing to do with his shooting expertise. If a gun was not available he would have found another way - He never wanted for creative solutions.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 2:56 PM

"Arm the teachers and this would never be an issue." Stupidest single thing I have ever heard. This isn't a video game - it's real life. Until an incident like this hits home, I guess these idiotic ideas will still show up. I'd bet my last dollar that the teachers, or administrators, in Newtown, or Anytown, would not resort to that as a solution.


Posted: December 21st, 2012 2:28 PM

I'm going to respect the 2nd amendment and keep all my AR's and continue to stockpile ammo. I don't think it's anyones business to try and tell me what I can and can't have and don't try and preach to me about gun safety or the safety of children. Arm the teachers and this would never be an issue. American is a much better place with citizens armed. Go to any other state besides IL and you will see people say yes ma'am and no sir. Not here in Crookinois.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 2:15 PM

It is pointless trying to have a reasonable discussion on this topic. These anti-gun folks are caught in the matrix and don't even know it. They buy every line fed to them by the media and politicians and refuse to do any objective research or fact finding. It is all about feeling good and emotions. Logic and rational thought is not part of the equation. I'm sure these left leaning politicians won't give up their armed guards.


Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:53 PM

Criminals will alwasy get illegal guns no matter how many laws you pass. Heres why you should protect the right to bear arms:


Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:32 PM

We are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel when anyone could reasonably expect snarky, ill-informed, drivel such as this to be taken seriously. Mr. Spencer, you really need to brush up on your research. "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool..."

chris jones from chicago  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:32 PM

you should really stick to things that you actually know about. google "national match" and see what kind of rifles they are using.

Wise Guy  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:26 PM

Josh- you'll receive a score of 3/10 for your english/writing skills. Nobody knows what to do in these circumstances. As you can blame the way people with mental illnesses are treated/handled just as easily as you can blame the guns. I go back and forth on what should be legal vs illegal in regards to guns.

Mars Monarch from Chicago  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:17 PM

To "Done", stop making appeals to emotions. While away from home I, like many others, keep my firearms secured in a firearm safe. While at home I continue this with the exception of my home defense firearm, which I keep holstered. Prudent firearm owners don't let any firearm out of their sight while an unauthorized person is in the vicinity. I'd hope if you ever own a firearm, you'd be just as prudent.

josh from Gun Ownerville  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 1:12 PM

I rate this troll 5/10 Deduction for not actually having any idea what he's talking about.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 12:46 PM

Would any of you gun lovers feel differently if it was your seven-year-old who was murdered while your guns sit in a locked case in your basement or attic? I ask you in all seriousness. Do you keep your semi-automatic weapons on your kitchen counter or next to your TV in case someone breaks in? Or do you tell the intruder to "hold on a sec, I need to go arm myself"?

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 12:01 PM

JBM, yeah we really need to base policy decisions on polls of low information voters. I'm sure like you, most don't even know that "machine guns" are already illegal. This is how the left co-ops discussions to their benefit by pikcing an easy to remember word and just repeating it over and over again with no real definition based on fact. In this case, it is assault weapon, Yet none of you dimwits can even define the term or what it really means.


Posted: December 21st, 2012 11:33 AM

What good does a camera do when it happened live and there were people all around? If we have cameras, i think we need someone monitoring those cameras( or software) to act immediately when something happens. Now we just have a nice pic?!?!?

Mars Monarch from Chicago  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 11:23 AM

John, you apparently have no idea what an "Assault Weapon" is and what the current laws regarding such firearms are. A true "Assault Weapon" has the capability of select fire, meaning switching from semi to full auto and sometimes a burst fire capability. These firearms fall under the National Firearms Act and are strictly regulated by the ATF. There are MANY hoops to jump through and cost upwards of $10K. Please, inform yourself on current firearm laws as well as proper firearm terminology.


Posted: December 21st, 2012 11:12 AM

I've owned semiautomatic handguns and rifles while living in Oak Park ever since I was discharged from the Marine Corps more than 40 years ago. I enjoy shooting them and I enjoy the protection they afford my family. One thing I learned from my military experience was that it's always better to have a weapon and not need it than the other way around. Am I paranoid or do I have feelings of inadequacy? Not anymore.

Valinda Rowe from Enfield  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 11:03 AM

Not having the same comparable firepower already present in our schools to protect our children is what makes them an easy target for mad men who will disregard all laws pertaining to firearms. We need to rethink school security. Drawing an imaginary line around them and calling them gun free "safe" zones is a fantasy waiting for a tragedy like Sandy Hook.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 10:57 AM

Brad, excellent and logical article. Ray - you need to check the numbers. Polls shown clearly that those against "machine guns" is now in the majority. Not all of those against assault weapons are leftists. There are many gun enthusiasts who are against assault weapons. Considering Hemingway's erratic life and his gun suicide, I think you could have found a better example of mental stability.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 21st, 2012 9:07 AM

I assume we can list you with the loony left gun grabbers. You seem to be using your column to speak of something that you neither understand or appreciate. You made our best argument at the end of your rant when you spoke of the evil in our society. Why would you give the evil people you mention the upper hand and leave the rest of us helpless. The incident that prompted your tirade was not evil it was a sick kid who lost all touch with the real world and the failure of our mental health system. As a sports editor, I would think that you would understand people who participate in sports that are both physically and mentally challenging. Our own Ernest Hemmingway was a competitive shooter who listed pistol competition as one of the two most challenging sports. Stick to convincing us to wast time supporting the Cubs in another failed season and wringing your hands over the racial inequalities of sports teams.

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