Know who was the most photographed person attending Monday’s big gun rally in Richmond? It wasn’t Alex Jones who has finally admitted that maybe, just maybe the slaughter of 26 adults and children at Sandy Hook actually occurred. It also wasn’t Dick Heller who still can’t keep an assault rifle in his DC apartment although, thank God, at least he can protect himself with a loaded handgun. No, the day’s celebrity was a guy from Bergen, NY who showed up toting a sniper rifle that can deliver a 50-caliber shell out to a thousand yards or more.
The owner of this piece of equipment lives in Bergen, NY, a small, upstate town located in the middle of nowhere. In fact, where he lives is just a few miles up the road from Attica, the maximum-security prison that holds several thousand not-very-nice guys and is occasionally visited by folks who remember the ‘uprising’ which occurred there in 1971. The town has about 3,000 residents and the primary business location is Ralph and Rosie’s Pizzeria which has been operated by the same family for more than forty years. In other words, Bergen is a serious and strategic location and if you control Bergen, you probably can easily threaten the major industries located in Rochester or Buffalo.
I have to assume that the reason someone in Bergen, NY goes out and spends a couple of thousand bucks on a 50-caliber sniper rifle is because, sooner or later, he will find himself perched on some rocky outcrop over the town, trying to get those terrorist invaders into the cross-hairs of his sniper scope. I can’t imagine he would use this piece of hardware to defend himself and his loved ones if someone just happened to try and break into his home. First of all, he’d have to pick the damn thing up, swing it around, aim it at the intruder and drop a cap (which means: pull the trigger.) That takes way too long.
For that kind of threat, the guy probably has at least three Glocks sitting around the house – one in the living room, another in the bedroom and a third hitched up to the holster on his pants. So, if he’s got a Glock riding on his waist, why does he need another one sitting next to his bed? Because he’s not about to get into bed wearing his pants, okay? Being prepared means always being prepared.
On the other hand, those Glocks won’t help him at all when the parachutes start dropping out of the sky and the invasion of Bergen begins to take place. And the enemy won’t just be coming from above. Bergen is only 15 miles from Lake Ontario, which means that the town is also potentially threatened by a deployment of troops brought in through the St. Lawrence Seaway. I mean, you never know.
When I was 9 years old, this was 1953, I somehow saved up a few dollars, walked down to the hardware store on the corner and bought myself a Daisy Red Ryder bb-gun. I took the gun home, loaded it with bb’s, and for the next year or so I managed to kill Cochise and his entire Apache band of warriors again and again and again. Where did I think I was sitting? On some bluff overlooking Monument Valley in Utah where every cowboy movie was filmed. Where was I really sitting? In the backyard of the home that was smack dab in the middle of Washington, D.C.
The only difference between what I was doing in my backyard with my Daisy Red Ryder and what the guy from Bergen was doing toting his rifle around the Richmond rally is that I wasn’t old enough in 1953 to buy a real gun. Believe me, I have made up for that situation many, many times over the past 67 years. I’m not a gun nut for nothing.
And neither is the guy from Bergen who told all those reporters that he wanted to demonstrate his support for 2-Amendment ‘rights.’ The truth is he’s just like me. He likes guns.