Military weapons, civilians don’t mix

How sad that on the same day the Mirror publishes James Wentz’s column recounting his military experience with weapons, a Texas civilian uses a military-style assult rifle to kill dozens of innocent church-goers.

My experience concurs with Wentz’s.

In 1967, I completed U.S. Army Infantry basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. We were trained in the use of the then relatively new M-16, which is a prototype of the current weapons that turn up in most of these mass killings.

Our drill sergeants were very clear that this was not a weapon to be taken lightly. They proudly called it a “killing machine,” and they were not talking about deer hunting.

Civilians at that time were banned from owning M-16s and no soldiers were allowed to keep one after leaving the military.

I agree with Wentz that these weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians. I believe that my drill instructors, all combat vets, would have agreed.

Dave Taylor

Altoona

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