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Posted: 8/28/2004 10:07:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:08:41 PM EDT by MRW]
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:15:41 PM EDT
My essay:

I use my AR-15 to shoot stuff. Sometimes big stuff, sometimes small stuff. Some times paper stuff, sometimes metal stuff.
thank you.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:16:57 PM EDT
A Dillo a day keeps the phsychiatrist away ....
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:18:07 PM EDT
Of course, the AR-15 rifle can be used for many things. Shootin' targets, shootin' cans, shootin' varmints, shootin' deer, if you think you can take one well enough, or even shootin' people, if it has to come to that. It can also be used to teach people how to start shootin' well. I, however, prefer to use it as a model for paintings and photographs. Thank yew verra much. G'Bye.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:39:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:42:07 PM EDT by Krazny13]
Most creative use for my AR-15? That's gonna be hard, since I use it for pretty much everything. It is like a giant swiss army knife. However, many users and I have discovered many new uses for my AR, this is a short list of them:

Opening cans
Hammering nails
Boat anchor (dont ask. . . )
Roasting marshmellows
Clearing brush
Pissing off liberals
Keeping my RKBA intact
Keeping me from the horrible disease of having too much $$$
Defending myself
Storing flashlights, lasers, scopes, and various grips.
Giving me a hobby more expensive and addicting than crack cocaine
Promoting the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the American way
Educating forigen national what happens when you mess with the USA
And generally allowing me to fear no evil in this world.

Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:42:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:48:28 PM EDT by olyarms]
The ortolan is a small bird that migrates between Africa and France. It is also a French delicacy. The little bird, which weighs about two ounces, since the late 1970s has decreased in numbers to the extent that the French government has restricted the trapping and sale of them. The Le Cirque, an elegant East Side restaurant located in New York City, in celebration of their twentieth anniversary, offered about twenty of the rare birds to diners for $50 each. They were brought to America, for the first time, by Alain Ducasse of Monaco, the guest chef for that weekend. The diners, in keeping with tradition, covered their heads with a large napkin while holding the roasted birds by their skulls and eating them in one bite, devouring the beak, bones, entrails, and all. Animal rights organizations called it "Poor Taste!" and one of the virtuoso chefs, Roger Verge, who was there, explained the reason for the head with the napkin. "We eat it under the veil of the napkin so that God cannot see us eat the little bird." Peter Kump, the head of a prestigious cooking school in New York, said the reason for the napkin is "in case something squirts out." Then to justify the eating of the rare birds, he claimed that God had given his divine approval when he told Adam, "Every living thing that moves will be yours to eat." (Fowl Feast 3A).

The two reactions to the ortolan dinner are good examples of the differing opinions that society has concerning mankind's relationship with the fellow creatures he shares this world with. Since before Aristotle, the human race has been trying to define its role as it relates to the rest of the animal kingdom. In the past animals have been viewed as property; objects to be used as a God given right. The arguments that support that view have been around a long time and are often cited as justification for the exploitation of animals. As we study and understand more about animals, it becomes increasingly apparent that the views of the past are incorrect. Just as society has had to rethink its position concerning the slavery of other races and the equality of the sexes, it now finds itself having to redefine the role between it and other species. As we learn more about our fellow species, the old arguments become weak and we become increasingly aware that animals have feelings and a love of life. As the older philosophies concerning animals are measured against what we now know, it becomes more apparent that animals may be entitled to the same self-evident unalienable rights that we believe should be applied toward ourselves.

Often the apologist defending the use or exploitation of animals will appeal to The Holy Bible as the ultimate authority giving them the right to their actions. At the ortolan dinner, Mr. Krump quoted the Bible as the authority that gave him the right to eat every living thing that moves. When hunters and animal activists have had their confrontations, the hunters, on national news, appealed to the authority of the Bible in that it gave them dominion over animals. Both arguments claim that God has given mankind special rights and treatment over the rest of the animal kingdom, and those special rights allow man to do whatever he wants to do to the rest of the animal kingdom. However, with a closer look at the authority they are appealing to, one can find evidence that the application of Bible texts are often incorrect or superficial at best.

When Mr. Krump claimed that God told Adam that "every living thing that moves will be yours to eat," he was misquoting, and demonstrated that he really hadn't studied the subject from the standpoint of the Bible. The food that was given to Adam, according to the Bible, was "every herb bearing seed, . . . and . . . the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat" (Genesis 2:29). The next text says that the green herbs will be meat for the other animals, but for man the diet was to consist of seeds, which describes foods such as grains and beans, and the fruit that surrounds the seeds, which is a good description of apples, peaches, plums, and other fruits. This type of diet is often referred to as the Edenic diet by people who believe in vegetarianism. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible story indicates that God added the "herb of the field" (Genesis 3:18) to man's diet. Herbal foods usually are considered to be the leaf, stalk, or root of the plant. Until the herb was added, the evidence in Genesis indicates that Adam and Eve ate fruits and seeds. Mr. Krump's quote actually was given to Noah after the flood, which one could assume had decimated the land and the food supply. God is quoted as saying. "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb . . ." (Genesis 9:3). The "every moving thing that liveth" has some serious problems if one takes it literally. I have a granddaughter that is always moving and is alive, and I would have a very serious problem with someone harvesting her for food.

Robert Gordis, in his essay Natural Law and Religion, points out, that even while granting Biblical permission to use animals for food, the Mosaic law was very strict on how that was to be done. When animals were slaughtered, it was to be done quickly and as painlessly as possible. The blood, which represented the life, was forbidden as a food (Genesis 9:4). The Mosaic law goes further in its requirements of humane treatment of animals such as not muzzling an animal that was threshing the grain. The animal had a right to the fruit of its labors (266-67).

The most used Biblical argument to justify the treatment of nonhuman species is that God has given man dominion over the rest of creation. It is true that Genesis 1:26 does quote God as saying, "let (man) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." The fallacy of using this quotation to moralize the treatment of animals, which couldn't otherwise claim the moral high ground, is in the definition of what is meant by dominion. Often that word is used to justify domination by superior power and that text is used as granting mankind superior authority.

The first part of Genesis 1:26 says that God made mankind in his image. It would seem, considering that man is supposed to be created in the image of God, that the word dominion should be connoted in the context of how we perceive God's dominion over man. Do we really mean by dominion, that God in his dominion over us, can and does practice the same insensitive cruelty toward us that we so often exhibit toward the rest of nature? An editor for a religious magazine makes the argument:

"Having dominion" doesn't mean we can do as we like, by the way. "Dominion" makes us a part of the picture -- an important part of the picture -- but it doesn't mean we can act as though we were the whole picture. What's more, Genesis makes it clear we were made in God's image, "according to [his] likeness," If He has given us this earth to rule, then, it is only to rule as God does -- with care and attention and self-sacrificing love. (Brothers 25)

Those who chose to use Biblical arguments to justify the way they exploit animals seem to think that they have thrown a biblical hand grenade that is going to decimate anyone who disagrees with them. However, what they have really accomplished is to demonstrate how shallow is their understanding of the Biblical basis they have based their faith on, and actually make the statement that they believe in the axiom that might makes right. It is easily demonstrated that our society has rejected the dominion theory of having any basis. Recently the richest man in America, Bill Gates, purchased the Codex for 31.8 million dollars (Louie 22). The Codex is the seventy-two page notebook that Leonardo da Vinci wrote his ideas in. Bill Gates now owns it and has complete control of it -- he has dominion over it. Does that mean that he can destroy it? Yes. But if he did, the whole world would condemn him for doing what would be judged as an immoral act that would be perceived as an injury affecting every man, woman, and child, both living and waiting to be born.

Our courts take the view that the individual to whom much power has been given also is charged with the equivalent responsibility. On October 18, 1979, I flew the local TV station news crew to Little Rock, Arkansas so they could record the sentencing of a local county judge that had been convicted of racketeering. I remember the defendant standing before the judge, with tears streaming down his face, pleading for leniency from the judge. The judge made the observation that the crime committed would have been bad enough if committed by an ordinary citizen. However, because the defendant was a public servant that had been granted extra power and, along with that power, public trust, the crime was more grievous. It would seem that those who would use Biblical arguments for justifying their actions would also believe in the final judgment that is mentioned in the Gospels. If earthly courts expect more from those with more power, why wouldn't a God who has given mankind power over the rest of creation hold man responsible for its protection and care?

One of the oldest arguments for denying that animals may have rights is the Cartesian theory that animals do not have souls and are in fact just machines. Interestingly enough, this argument, same as the argument using the dominion theme, has it foundation in religious beliefs, because René Descartes believed that it was impious to imagine animals having souls (Young 122). To be fair to Descartes, the religious institution of his day had adopted the Greek view that the essence of a person, which the church referred to as the soul, existed after death. While some writers give credit for this view to the Hebrew religion, the way the soul is used in the Old Testament of the Bible does not bear that out. Because the soul can't be seen, photographed, x-rayed, or empirically proved by any means, the belief in the soul has to have a basis in a faith that is outside of or supersedes reason. With Descartes, that religious basis was with the interpretations the church had of the Bible. If the Cartesian view of the soul is not clearly evident in the Bible there would be reason to dismiss the whole soul theory.

The Hebrew word nephesh is translated in Genesis 1:24 as "creature," while in Genesis 2:7 it is translated as "soul." The definition of a soul in Genesis 2:7 is given as dust of the ground that has the breath of life. It was with the addition of those two ingredients that "man became a living soul." In Numbers 31:28 the word soul is used to refer not only to persons, but to beeves, asses, and sheep. If the books that contain the ceremonial laws are read without the prejudice of a dualistic belief, it becomes apparent that the use of the word soul is ambiguous at best. Whenever the word soul is used, the word person can just as easily be substituted in its place.

Further more, the Old Testament explicitly seems to contradict Descartes belief about the human soul when it says that a person's thoughts perish at the moment of death (Psalms 146:4). Perhaps the clearest Biblical challenge to the Cartesian theory comes from the writer who, according to Christian tradition, is the wisest man. Solomon clearly states in Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 that man has no preeminence above the animals where a soul is concerned.

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast . . . All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Because the Hebrew view of the soul appears to be holistic rather than dualistic, the Cartesian theory of the non-soul animal cannot be clearly argued from the authority of the Biblical Old Testament. The New Testament doesn't give Descartes much help either. The only reference to any life or soul survival after death is found in Luke 16 in the story of the beggar, Lazarus, and the rich man. That story was a parable, same as the rest of the parables that were told in the Gospels, which means that it is impossible to know if that was a literal story or an illustration to make a point. There are references in the New Testament about a judgment day and a resurrection, but there are not any clear statements that could support the dualistic theory. Even though Descartes largely based his theories on his understanding of piety, without Biblical proof the basis disintegrates to religious superstition and traditions. In fact, if one was to accept that there was a God and a judgment, it would seem that there would be a great incentive to relate to and treat animals, that have been created and loved by a Creator-God, as if that same God would be sitting in judgment of that treatment. Descartes' approach to animals, as a pious approach, fails miserably.

Besides lacking Biblical proof, the methodology that Descartes used poses another big problem to his theories. René Descartes started off doubting all his senses, and the one thing he could be sure of, was that he existed because he could think. He came to the conclusion that all truth could be known through the use of the mind by meditation and exercising the imagination (Descartes 171). To him his imagination was more proof than observations. When animals are observed, even casually, it becomes evident that animals are not just machines without soul, mind, or consciousness. It is impossible for a person to know what another person is thinking and feeling inside their consciousness, much less to know what another species is thinking. Just because I think and feel, doesn't mean other creatures don't think and feel. And to say that only creatures that have a body that is similar to mine are able to think and feel is the same as using skin color or sex to determine if the other individual is able to think and feel. Yet Descartes takes that leap and does so just by exercising his imagination.

Despite the fact that the Cartesian argument has a weak or nonexistent scientific basis, the scientific community, from Descartes' day to the present, has been influenced by it. To make it more acceptable it has gone through revisions that, instead of denying animals their rights on the premise that they have no soul or mind, deny animals their rights based on their presumed lack of mental abilities. Immanuel Kant believed that animals couldn't have rights because they were incapable of making moral judgments (Ost 365). John Locke disfranchised animals and concluded that they couldn't have a language because they had no general ideas or the ability to comprehend abstractions. One psychologist concluded that animals relied more on instinct because they lacked language and symbols. (Young 123). Carl Cohen argues that animals cannot have rights because they lack the capacity for moral judgment and self-legislation:

Humans have . . . moral capacities. They are in this sense self-legislative, are members of communities governed by moral rules, and do possess rights. Animals do not have such moral capacities. They are not morally self-legislative, cannot possibly be members of a truly moral community, and therefore cannot possess rights. (Cohen 512)

If it could be shown that animals do make moral judgments, that they do have language and symbols, and that they are capable of moral rules and self-legislation it would be difficult to deny that their rights are just as self-evident and unalienable as are the rights of humans. The only reason to deny animals their rights under those conditions would be because of prejudice, the same type of prejudice that has disfranchised humans because of sex or race.

As stated before, it is impossible for a person to know what another person is thinking or feeling. The thought processes and capabilities of others, humans or animals, can be argued and theorized until the end of the world without ever being able to come to a conclusion based on theories or meditations. However, we can observe, and compare what we see with our own experience and synthesize a conclusion. In order to do this, our arrogance must be put aside. Just because we have been blessed with a stronger mind does not excuse contempt for the abilities of those that are less blessed, rather it be an animal or another human with less intelligence.

The difference between a normal child and a retarded child, many times is no more than how the DNA was shuffled at conception. Just as those children's DNA are not very different, our DNA is not that much different from the other primates. A chimpanzee's DNA material is 98 percent identical to humans. The development of the embryo of all animals, including humans, is so similar that it is hard to tell the difference between the species in the early embryonic stage. Even the development of the neural tube is similar, including the region that expands into the brain. How far the brain develops, of course, is dependent on the DNA inherited from ancestors. A good argument can be made, not withstanding the differences, that there is a lot of similarity in the way all brains function. Recognizing that some brains are superior in capabilities does not negate the capabilities of the lesser brain to think, feel, desire self-expression, or wanting to be self-directed; nor does it negate the rights of the individual that brain represents. These principles are well recognized when we consider the treatment of retarded humans and humans that have lost the normal use of their mind. To not consider these principles just because an individual happens to be a different species is inexcusable.

If there is a similarity in animal brains with the human, we should be able to see some evidence of language and the use of symbols, of some understanding of abstractions, and evidence of moral judgment and self-legislation. If it is apparent in the primates which are most like us, it should be easy to take the next step that these characteristics and capabilities exist to some degree, whether we can observe it or not, in all the higher-ordered animals.

Thought and language are interrelated in humans as thought is subvocal speech. Just because someone that thinks and speaks in English cannot understand someone who speaks in Chinese, it doesn't necessarily follow that the person speaking in Chinese cannot think logically or abstractly. The same would be true for animal languages or proto languages. On a recent Rescue 911 program a goose had suffered an injury and had to spend time in a veterinarian clinic. There was a particular gander that she spent most of her time with when she had been with the gaggle. Now that she was separated from him, she wouldn't eat. Neither did her lonely companion, no matter what he was tempted with. The solution was to put the gander in the clinic with her. When they were united, there could be no doubt that they were communicating with each other. Their heads were face to face, bobbing up and down excitedly, making a variety of sounds. They might not have been thinking and speaking in English, nor Chinese, but they were speaking a language that they both understood. After their greeting they both started eating, not quietly, but talking and looking at each other the whole time.

The best example of animal communication has been the primates that have learned American Sign Language (ASL). Chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas all have been taught ASL. Dr. Francine Patterson, in her book Koko's Kitten, tells how she was inspired to work with the language abilities of animals by a chimpanzee who had learned one hundred thirty-two words after four-and-a-half years of instruction. Fourteen years later, Koko has learned about five hundred ASL words and uses more than one hundred different ones every day. Koko is able to communicate her wants, her feelings, and understands and communicates who she is. She is able to express abstractions such as behavior. When her kitten, All Ball (a name she picked for him), would bite her for no apparent reason she would sign, "Cat bite. Obnoxious." When Dr. Patterson had to tell Koko that her kitten had been run over and was dead, Koko didn't respond. Dr. Patterson thought she hadn't understood and left. About ten minutes later she heard Koko cry, "It was her distress call -- a loud, long series of high-pitched hoots. I cried too." It was three days before Koko could talk about her kitten, and when she did it was evident that she understood that she wouldn't ever see the kitten again and expressed her sadness. Koko eventually got another kitten, but she proved that animals can understand language, they do think, they do understand abstracts, and they can be sad and hurt emotionally (Patterson).

Jane Goodall observed a community of chimpanzees from 1960 to the present. During that time she has observed that they are more similar to humans than anyone had ever imagined they could be. In 1960 she observed them making a tool which was used to probe a termite nest. In 1964 she observed a chimp demonstrating planning and intelligence when he kidnapped one of the younger chimps so that its mother and the rest would follow him to another location. The same year she saw a chimp using cans to bang together so he could intimidate larger males, bluffing his way to the top. She observed the chimps expressing awe and dancing emotionally at the sight of a waterfall, which she believed resembled the emotions of awe experienced by humans. In 1974 she saw that, sadly, they could be too much like humans as a four-year war started between two groups. She observed the "stealthy warriors moving through the forest in single file, hair bristling from fear and excitement, stepping from stone to stone to avoid making noise." In the years since she observed political coalitions, the transfer of adolescent females between communities, technology transfer when another group joined with the community and taught the use of twigs to catch ants, and she saw them use medicinal plants (Miller 107-09).

Another primatologist, Frans de Wall, has spent the last twenty years at the Yerkes Primate Research Center at Lawrenceville, Ga., observing chimpanzees' social life. In the social interaction, while the chimps do not consciously sit down and philosophize on morality or about social rules and how they should be applied, they do apply and enforce moral behavior. Twenty years ago no one knew that animals can and do act morally, that they will punish immoral behavior. De Waal's studies have shown that, when given a special treat, the chimps did not resort to violence to secure more food for themselves, but they did use violence to prevent members of their community, that had previously refused to share, to deny the offenders the privilege of sharing the treat they had currently received. The studies showed that the dominant male becomes the dominant male, not by physical superiority, but by old-fashion politics. The dominant male must be careful in how he exercises his authority, because if the mother of a disciplined chimp takes offense, well . . . let's just say he can't afford to alienate her. Other behavior which had been thought to be in the human realm was displayed. The higher ranking males will act as policeman, and walk a beat, in the same manner the human police have done. Females have been observed diplomatically drawing rivals together, encouraging them to make up, and then when the rivals embraced, the whole colony would celebrate the armistice. The chimps were very human-like in the way they interacted socially, using the same kind of morals to keep peace in their group, showing the same ability to cheat when they thought they could get away with, and sad to say, showed the same kind of cruelty that one group of humans can show against another (Cowley 52-54).

Jane Goodall also observed the cruelty of chimpanzees and their ability to self-legislate. In 1975 she watched a female, Passion, kill another's baby and eat it with her daughter Pom. The cannibalism continued over four years until Passion had another baby. Later when Passion died of a painful disease, Pom had to face the rest of the females. They remembered all too well and Pom had to migrate to a different community (Miller 107).

Not only can animals be cruel sometimes, they also can show the same bravery as humans. Recently a stray cat, named Scarlet, caught the attention of the nation. When a vacant building in Brooklyn caught fire, Scarlet's kittens were inside. She made five trips into the burning building to bring her kittens out one at a time. Her ears and face were badly burned and one of her kittens had its ear tips burned off. After rescuing her kittens she collapsed from her burns. A fireman saw her and was touched by what she had done, and took her to a veterinarian where she and her kittens were treated. Her performance would be very difficult to explain if it was just instinct (Sigesmund 59).

While Scarlet's performance was an act that also benefited herself because the kittens she saved where kittens she was attached to, there have been acts of sensitivity by animals that did not benefit themselves or individuals they were attached to. A few years ago I was watching a nature program on TV about the life around an African waterhole. I do not remember anything about the picture, except for one scene that I'll never forget. A herd of elephants was coming down the path to drink and bathe. In front of the elephants, in the path, was a box turtle. There was no way the turtle would be able to make it clear before the elephants got there. The lead elephant, a huge one with large tusks, stopped just before she got to the turtle. The rest of the herd stopped impatiently behind her. The lead elephant, with obvious care, gently pushed the turtle to one side so that he was safely out of the way. That elephant showed more respect for life and another species than many humans are capable of. Dian Fossey once said that during two thousand hours of observation she only saw five minutes of "aggressive" behavior by the gorillas she was studying (Attackers 14). I doubt that humans could have as good a record.

Jane Goodall recounts an incident at the Detroit Zoo where a chimpanzee fell into the water-filled moat. As chimps cannot swim, he came to the surface three times, gasping for breath, before he went under the last time. A visitor by the name of Rick Swope jumped in and rescued the chimp, even though it put him in danger from the rest of the chimps. He was asked why he did it. "Well," he replied, "I looked into his eyes. It was like looking into the eyes of a man. The message was, Won't anybody help me?" Dr. Goodall says she knows the look. She has seen it in chimps in African markets, in laboratory cages, and in circuses. She has also seen it in abandoned, abused, and poverty-stricken children (Goodall, 129).

The animals we share our DNA heritage with really aren't that much different than we are. In a John Stossel special about happiness, Anthropologist Helen Fisher made the point that it isn't only humans that experience happiness or inherit a natural disposition for the ability, or lack of, being happy. Chimps also can inherit a disposition to happiness or to sadness. They can laugh and when they find something that pleases them they will jump up and down, hooting with all their signs of happiness ("Mystery of Happiness.").

The realization of the capability of animals to have feelings, emotions, and deserving of proper treatment by our species is not new. Henry Salt quotes a meditation book that was written in 1854.

It should seem as if the primitive Christians, by laying so much stress upon a future life, in contradistinction to this life, and placing the lower creatures out of the pale of hope, placed them at the same time out of the pale of sympathy, and thus laid the foundation for this utter disregard of animals in the light of our fellow-creatures. (Salt 11)

Another writer, at the turn of this century, gives evidence that there really has not been any more excuse for our species not recognizing the rights of animals than there has been for the prejudicial treatment of slaves and women.

The intelligence displayed by many dumb animals approaches so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery. The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer. They use their organs far more faithfully than many human beings use theirs. They manifest sympathy and tenderness toward their companions in suffering. Many animals show an affection for those who have charge of them, far superior to the affection shown by some of the human race. They form attachments for man which are not broken without great suffering to them. (White 315-316)

Now, that there is evidence that possibly animals do make moral judgments, are capable of having language and symbols, moral rules, and self-legislation, how should we relate to their rights. If they are capable of what they seem to be, they do have self-evident and unalienable rights which can only be ignored at the expense of our own morals. We claim these rights for ourselves as entitlements given by God, which include equality with others, life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. If there is a God that gave them to us, there should be no doubt that he gave these rights to rest of his created animals. We cannot ignore that all living creatures share the same love for life and freedom. By the nature of the life granted to all living creatures, they have the same rights to their life and freedom that humans claim for themselves, except they don't have the same ability to protect their rights that we do. For the first time in history humans are seriously considering the rights of animals. With the greater intellect that humans have, they have more responsibility than their lesser brethren. It may be that the highest calling of mankind is to protect and nurture the creation he has inherited.

We can recognize that animals do not have equal moral standing with mankind. In order to have equal moral standing they would have to have equal intelligence, which they don't. Not only do animals not have equal moral standing, they do not have equal moral responsibility which would have to be directly proportional to intellect and understanding. Peter Singer gives a logical and fair approach to the problem. He points out, "It may be legitimate to treat differently beings with different capacities; but the mere fact that one being is a member of our species, and another being is not, cannot justify us [treating them differently]" ("To Do or Not to Do?" 42-43). "There are important differences between humans and other animals, and these differences must give rise to some differences in the rights that each has. Recognizing this obvious fact, however, is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals." In describing the equality, rather than using the term equal standing, Singer uses equal consideration. "The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. Equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. . . ." ("The Case for Animal Liberation" 507-08).

The problem facing the human race, with respect to animal rights, is how do we give them equal consideration and at the same time protect the interests of the human race? Maybe the tension between the opposing interests, in a world of scarce resources, can't be resolved to the point where there can be closure. For example, when we watch a hawk soaring in the sky we can't help but be struck with awe at its majesty, grace, and freedom. At the same time, when that hawk strikes down a young cottontail bunny we feel sad for the rabbit. It is a paradox that can't be solved -- one must die so the other can live, but we want both to live. There are times when we face the same dilemma in our relationship with animals. While we do not want to cause injury to others, sometimes it becomes a conflict between two injuries. We need to realize that sometimes we will act selfishly for our own preservation or that of loved ones. When we do, we need to realize that it is selfish so we don't become comfortable doing it. We need to keep that tension between the rights of animals and our needs so we do not perform unnecessary actions at the expense of another species that loves life and happiness as much as we do.

Carl Sagan recently faced that dilemma when he had to have a bone marrow transplant to save his life. He knew that the technology that had saved his life was the result of animal research. He says:

In my writings, I have tried to show how closely related we are to other animals, how cruel it is to gratuitously inflict pain on them, and how morally bankrupt it is to slaughter them, say, to manufacture lipstick. But still, as Dr. Thomas put it in his Nobel Prize lecture, 'The marrow grafting could not have reached clinical application without animal research, first in in-bred rodents and then in out-bred species, particularly the dog.' I remain very conflicted on this issue. I would not be alive today if not for research on animals. (Sagan 20)

In the final analysis we have to realize that the only dominion we have over the animals is our responsibility to them. They do have the same kind of soul that we do. They are children of the same earth that we are. Jonesboro Mayor Hubert Brodell adequately sums it up in a recently issued proclamation declaring, "We have been endowed not only with the blessings and benefits of our animal friends, who give us companionship and great pleasure in our daily lives, but also with a firm responsibility to protect these fellow creatures with which we share the earth from need, pain, fear, and suffering ("Be Kind" 3A).

I am so creative with my AR-15 it helped me steal this pointless essay.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:43:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:43:30 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]
I use it to practice for killing people. And to impress girls. That is all.

ETA: Its a joke
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:46:38 PM EDT
Even though I'm not eligible, here is my essay -

I have used my AR-15 to shoot many things, including a foosball table, a bicycle, a computer, a car door, a car windshield, a neon OPEN sign, a satellite dish, many cell phones, and a mannequin.
I have also used it as a pointing stick while inspecting these items after I shot them.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:48:51 PM EDT
It’s not an AR but lets see if it’s close enough...

You’ve got to try and develop a mental picture as you read this.

Near the end of an FTX in Korea someone from the battalion (not even my company) lost a set of AN/PVS-7s. This was when they were very new. It took us five days of retracing every step to locate them. In the end a Korean kid brought them back. I figure his dad decided the resale value wasn’t worth the damage we were doing to the paddies.

What is the creative use of an AR? During the “searching exercise” we where pulled out of the woods and put in an open field. We would search for 10 or so hours a day, then come back to the field. Each company slept in is own perimeter which had been surrounded by concertina wire. This was the height of monsoon season with pretty much constant rain. We did not have our shelter halves or any types of tents with us. Our SOP was, when possible, string a poncho hooch between some trees. But here we are in an open field for DAYS with constant rain and no cover. The senior NCOs got to sleep in some five tons, and the officers had the company hummvees (two as I recall). E5 and below where stuck in this circle that would remind you of a makeshift POW holding area.

This whole experience was one of the most miserable times of my life, the only option was to use out weapons as “hooch poles.” A poncho was strung between the concertina (try not to move to much at night!) and the weapon on the high side. These where M16A2s and SAWs. The 60 gunners where screwed because it was impossible to get them to stand upright. We didn’t take our weapons on the daily searches through the paddies and “yamas” (hills for the non Korea initiated) so it became possible to leave stuff out under the hooch during the day. I was a dragon gunner at the time, so I had my 16 and the dragon simulator. The dragon with the wide styrofoam protective base made a GREAT center pole. I had the best hooch! It was the social center of our platoon, gathering point for the inevitable spades tournament etc. Things settled down and assumed some semblance of civilization. The Korean field PX (old woman with a cooler looking to make a buck or score an MRE) would come around so we had moon pies, cold sodas and smokes. Smokes were all important, as ours were all wet. We had relatively dry socks for the next day.

Alas in the Army when something seems to be bearable it is most probably about to change. One day we came back and all of our weapons were neatly stacked in the center of the perimeter. Our hooches, our homes, DESTROYED. My good friend and roommate, Steve, had been on guard duty because of a sprained ankle. Everyone was ready to kill him, but I and some other squad mates managed to slow it enough for him to explain. The BSM (Battalion Sergeant Major) had decided after three days that we didn’t look soldierly enough. So the weapons had to be stacked during the day and rucks packed. No more dry socks, smokes or food. The BSM of course had his own heated hummvee. Luckily that night the previously mentioned Korean kid returned the night vision goggles and we left the next morning back to our camp.


I allready have a bronze membership...if I win can I have a T-short and ARFCOM-SF shoulder patch?
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:51:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:53:34 PM EDT by triburst1]
I once used two AR-15's to decorate some furniture. When I was in college a friend of mine lived in a big house with two of his buddies. The house was old and kind of dated, but it was a great place to throw parties. The best part was a huge finished basement where we had three couches, a big screen, and a pool table. Unfortunately, we did not have a stripper pole, but that is not to say we didn't have naked girls around from time to time.

The previous tennants had left a dining set with a large table and six chairs in the basement, but they were painted a hideous peach color that had to have been from the 1970's. One Saturday morning, after getting up with hangovers we were in the basement and my buddy decided he was going to spray paint the dining set.

Later that morning, we went to the dollar store to get some spray paint. He bought 4 or 5 cans of black to use on the table and chairs. We were planning to go shooting later, and since the spray paint was cheap, I bought a bunch of dcans of red to shoot at.

The table looked like shit when we finished spraying it, so he said, "To hell with, it let's take this out and shoot it too."

Later that afternoon we loaded up the table and the spray paint in his truck and weant by my house to get my guns. I had a Colt lightweight sporter, my OlyArms Hbar carbine, 500 rounds of Wolf, and a 40 pack of Winchester 45 grain varmint ammo.

We started out just using the table to set the cans of paint on while we shot at them. The 45 gr. HP's made a big spray of paint when they hit the cans and it splattered all over the table. After we had shot all the cans we set the table on its side and put about 30 rounds through the top. With all the red paint splatters and the bullet holes we thought the table looked pretty cool. The damn thing looked like it had been at the St. Valentines Day massacre. It was still wet at the time, so we waited for it to dry and went back to get it the next day. We took it back to the house and proudly displayed it in the basement.

The table was such a hit, we of course had to take the chairs out for the same treatment the next weekend.

If we were gay, we could have hosted our own decorating show on TLC.

When they moved out they left the dining set in the house, so the next tennants probably thought we were fucking nuts.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:53:16 PM EDT
I use my AR as a symbol of defiance to those who conspire to take away my freedoms .

OK , so it's not quiet and essay , but it sums my thoughts .
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:58:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 11:04:19 PM EDT by topjimmy]
How long is "short"? Is there a deadline? How long do we have?
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:20:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 11:22:37 PM EDT by Palo_Duro]
You call it a rifle, not a bad gun - its for huntin' and killin' the other's for fun.
My rifle is all black, not colored in red. It serves me well, so I take it to bed.
If you disagree with me now, don't get to be mean, just leave me alone with my AR15.

I load up 30 rounds, in my hi-cap mag, just to piss off Feinstein - that old bitch of a hag.
Who would I allow, to take away such a prize? Not John Kerry and his Swift boat lies!
If they come for my weapon, I stand here and say, with your limb or your life you will certainly pay.

My freedom is mine, its a god given right, you'll never take it from me without a fight.
You choose a bolt weapon, just to shoot far, I choose protection, I'll keep my AR.
You see they're effective, just ask ol' Saddam, how many troops came arfcom?

Off the cuff - but I hope it works.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 1:29:51 AM EDT
My AR15 is my fishing lure...not in the traditional sense (since I am not fishing for food), but in a parallel manner nonetheless.

You see I own a beautiful Bushy Modular carbine that I take out and show to guests at my house...My friends, wife's friends, my boss (he is from H.K. and has almost zero exposure w/firearms and the great outdoors - the only time he fired a gun was when we took him pheasant hunting...only experience fishing was at my dad's lodge in AK, etc.) and assorted family members when they come up to visit. I am "cleaning" it or taking it upstairs from downstairs or vice-versa. most have little or no experience w/ any firearms and all are impressed w/ its beauty and style. Now my wife has a friend asking her husband for one and my boss is looking into buying a usable collection to stay here in the U.S. so that he can practice and hunt with us. With my AR I was able to explain (visually) to my mother what the AWB did (almost past tense - gotta love it), as well as give my kids a treat to look forward to. BTW My 3 nieces were all jealous that their cousins' daddy owns firearms and teaches them to shoot!

I have taken my wife shooting w/her friend who was visiting from Brazil - first experience for both and her friend got some "priceless" pics. to take back with her; I have taken my younger brother shooting (he turned 21 in March and I bought him his first handgun); and I have taken my 6 year old daughter and 5 year old son shooting - I "helped" them, but they loved it anyway(RugerP89, Taurus .357, Walther P22, PLUS my AR and AK!!)

You gotta spread the word somehow.. right?!? and BTW I have yet to "freak anyone out"
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 1:40:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 1:41:19 AM EDT by Biggame223]

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 12:28:02 PM EDT

Any word, opinions etc?

When will a decision be made?
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:27:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2004 2:37:51 PM EDT by MRW]
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:29:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:30:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:30:59 PM EDT
in haiku...

Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:33:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:36:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:38:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By olyarms:

Whoa that way too long
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:40:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 2:59:38 PM EDT
I have used my AR for many things. The most creative use was a sporting tool. With God as my witness I dusted a machine thrown clay disk before the shotgunners even got a round off. Moving right to left. Using iron sights. I was as suprised as anyone. Consequently I put the rifle away to savor the luckiest shot of my life. Or perhaps I'm JUST that GOOD. I'm not sure which. How many people use their ARs for shooting clays?

PS I had 4 eye witnesses, and the downrange area was cleared for MILES. SS109 ammo.
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 4:40:40 PM EDT
When I was a kid my father was always gone. Always.

He was a helicopter pilot in the Army. He was either in an instructor school, a new helicopter, in the field or off at a war or deployment.

Now, don't get me wrong, I ain't one to complain about my past. I wouldn't change it, it's what's made me who I am today. I got to do some pretty cool things as a kid. He took us everywhere with him, Germany, California, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, it was a really good time. I got to grow up in an environment that allowed me to see a different side to the world than most people get to. All before the age of sixteen.

We lived in Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, to be exact. It was the Eighties, Reagan was Prez, the Wall was still up, and I had an MP for a babysitter (she was hot). Things were good.

Well, we moved back to the States and a few years after getting back, my dad retires. I graduate high school and join the Army. At this point, it seems that it's my turn to be missed. My dad and mom write when they can (which isn't a lot it seems) but it's a good-enough way to keep in touch.

Now I'm married and things couldn't be better for me, except for my relationship with my dad. We never seem to find anything to talk about, it's hard to talk to my hero without a starting point, ya know? I idolize the guy, but don't know if I have anything in common with him except for the genes.

My wife hit it on the head for me one day. "You both like to shoot, don't you?"

Damn straight.

My old man is a Sheriff's Deputy (going for retirement number two) and can't sleep at night without a gun under his pillow.

I remember one time when he told me a story about when he was in Viet Nam (this is getting somewhere, I promise).

It was his first of two tours and he was flying LOACH missions in a little two-seater chopper. He had to fly pretty low to draw fire and then mark it with smoke grenades, so he took more than a few near-misses and hits on the skin of the aircraft.

After a while, he decided that he wanted more than a handful of smoke to toss at the enemy, and he wasn't about to use frags, so he went to direct-fire. He "borrowed" an -A1 from a local ARVN unit and started flying with it. He'd use back-to-back taped mags and lean it out the side and fire down into the jungle to draw fire and sometimes self-defense.

He finished his first tour with all his digits and both his eyes, but before he left, he buried his weapon (the unit had left the AO before he got on his first freedom bird) in the dirt under the floorboards of his hooch. Wrapped it up in greased paper, tied it all up and stuffed it into a duffle bag.

Almost a year later and he's back in-country. Same AO. Guess what's still there.

You got it, his rifle. He fanagles his way back into the same hooch (even though he's assigned to a totally different unit now).

There's a card game in progress with his soon-to-be best friend looking on in bewilderment. You got to see it from this guy's point of view, really. He sees my father walk in, drop his shit on his bed, barely introduce himself and then he starts attacking the floorboards with his survival knife. The card game is over. The entire room is watching a strange "new guy" almost hip-deep in lumber and then start digigng. After a while, the guys start to leave and eventually leave my dad and his new room-mate to themselves. My father still digging wordlessly.

Then he emerges with a rifle, wrapped up in a duffle bag and paper.

He flew with it until some brown-nosing coffee-stirrer told him he couldn't fly with it anymore and had some MPs come around to take it from him.

He still has very fond memories of that rifle.

I caught his eyes wander to my gun cabinet one day and showed him my M4 look-alike. He loved it.

Anyways, my wife saw how he acted around the rifle and how he talked so openly about his past when we were both shooting or about to go shooting. She was right, he did, I learned more about my dad when we were shooting than any time while I was growing up. It was great, we had something in common again.

Three months ago, I bought him a mid-length Bushmaster. My wife and I ate beans and rice to get that for my dad for Father's Day, he found out from my mother and asked about why I got it. I told him about the same story he always repeated around the gun cabinet. He didn't get choked up or anything, he just kinda nodded and said Thank You.

It's been a few trips to the range and he's ready to switch out the furniture to look like an old M16A1.
Link Posted: 8/30/2004 10:56:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tweeter:
When I was a kid my father was always gone. Always.....

Great story - reminded me of my dad (USMC Vietnam Vet) . His birthday is coming up...Halloween. I got him a KA-BAR for Father's Day and I ordered an AR15 -A1 clone from Fulton Arms. Can't wait to see the look on his face.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 5:34:42 PM EDT
I know this story will be kind of useless without pics, but I thought this would make a good post #556.

A lot of people have made suggestions for the use of their AR-15. Hunting, shooting, self defense… these are all good suggestions. However, I believe I have the most unique and creative use for my AR-15. I use it as a mobility aid.

You see, ever since I hurt my leg in a joint Delta/Seal operation in which I participated with SF_Chris, I haven’t been able to walk the same.

(Actually, I fell down the stairs to my basement apartment when I was drunk and headed to play “Counterstrike” online. Boy did my mother get mad. Don’t tell anyone I told you.)

The Doctor wanted me to walk with a cane, but all the canes they had looked GAY. I told the Doc “You’re a homo” and that Doctors kill more people than guns, and that there was no way I was going to carry one of those stupid looking things. He called me a lunatic fringe nutcase. So I decided to get my own cane, fuck him. What a waste of a co-pay, that asshat. The nurse was hot though, I would definitely hit it. I would even stick it in her pooper and post pics if I got the chance. I sure do like pie.

I only have a few rifles since I lost most of my firearms in a tragic boating accident. But I decided to use one of them because that would look cool. I picked an AR because the front sight post made the best handle.

I first decided to use my airsoft AR, because it has an orange top and I thought it would be better because it wouldn’t scare all the sheeple. But whenever I went out, all these overweight, pimply face kids with sticky hands would stop me and ask me questions about it, tell me my rifle was cool, and try to talk about “force on force”, whatever that is. So I decided to use a real black rifle. Plus I dropped the airsoft rifle and it broke in half.

My AR was an M4gery with an entry stock. It was too short, so I had to get another rifle. I couldn’t decide between a BAR-10 and a Varminter. So I went to the funstore and got both.

Now that I use my AR to get around, I always have it with me, so it’s always there for hunting, shooting, and self defense.

Anytime I see a stray cat, I can blast away. And I’ve shot so many dogs that the local JBTs have given me an honorary badge.

There’s lots of other good stuff about carrying an AR everywhere. When I get on the bus lots of seats open up near me. I can take 100 items through the 12 item express lane at the grocery store and no one complains. Before when I walked around people would look at me funny. That doesn’t happen to me anymore, people don't look at me at all, they just look away. The people in church still look at me, but they have weird looks on their faces. Especially the guy giving the sermon.

I’m glad I have my AR to get around. If I didn’t have it, I probably wouldn’t be able to get up anymore. I would be stuck on the couch laying in a pool of my own urine and feces, with the couch slowly melding with my back until they became one.

Now if they would just close the borders and open a season on illegals, I could hobble down south and shoot some Mexicans and Muslims trying to cross.

Thank God for my AR. And that I’m not Catholic.

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 5:38:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 5:38:44 PM EDT by Balzac72]
Use my profile.

If I were a gun, I'd have to be an AR15, only for the mere fact that they get more thrust per squeeze. You know that in the dating scene, the AR15 would get TONS of hot lady butt stock.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:48:28 PM EDT
I'm not nosing for a membership.. give it to a young lad....

I use an AR for two reasons.

First the Army spent a lot of money to teach me that rifle. Backwards, forwards, sometimes sideways. I learned what it could do, and what it couldn't do. My Drill Sgts. taught me well. I can use that rifle like it was meant to be used. Thank you US Army.


I am the rifle behind the blade of grass. Myself, and millions like me know that we are the final line. We will in all likelyhood never pull a trigger in battle. We are ready. I have taught my son the AR... I have taught my son-in-law the AR.

Rest assured my two grandsons and granddaughter will know the AR.

They will be the next rifles behind a blade of grass.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 7:26:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:07:48 PM EDT
The AR15 only has one main purpose: TO KILL PEOPLE.

All other purposes are secondary.

If you want a target rifle a Ruger 10/22 will do.

If you want to hunt wildlife a shotgun or bolt action rifle will more than suffice.

If you are a collector there are more valuable guns out there.

But if you want a rifle that is designed to kill people effectively, while there are many worthwhile choices, you cant go wrong with the AR15. (There are many valid reasons for killing, including self defense and freedom insurance).
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:12:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Palo_Duro:
You call it a rifle, not a bad gun - its for huntin' and killin' the other's for fun.
My rifle is all black, not colored in red. It serves me well, so I take it to bed.
If you disagree with me now, don't get to be mean, just leave me alone with my AR15.

I load up 30 rounds, in my hi-cap mag, just to piss off Feinstein - that old bitch of a hag.
Who would I allow, to take away such a prize? Not John Kerry and his Swift boat lies!
If they come for my weapon, I stand here and say, with your limb or your life you will certainly pay.

My freedom is mine, its a god given right, you'll never take it from me without a fight.
You choose a bolt weapon, just to shoot far, I choose protection, I'll keep my AR.
You see they're effective, just ask ol' Saddam, how many troops came arfcom?

Off the cuff - but I hope it works.

He gets it hands down

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:16:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:

Originally Posted By Palo_Duro:
You call it a rifle, not a bad gun - its for huntin' and killin' the other's for fun.
My rifle is all black, not colored in red. It serves me well, so I take it to bed.
If you disagree with me now, don't get to be mean, just leave me alone with my AR15.

I load up 30 rounds, in my hi-cap mag, just to piss off Feinstein - that old bitch of a hag.
Who would I allow, to take away such a prize? Not John Kerry and his Swift boat lies!
If they come for my weapon, I stand here and say, with your limb or your life you will certainly pay.

My freedom is mine, its a god given right, you'll never take it from me without a fight.
You choose a bolt weapon, just to shoot far, I choose protection, I'll keep my AR.
You see they're effective, just ask ol' Saddam, how many troops came arfcom?

Off the cuff - but I hope it works.

He gets it hands down


I'll second that. Very nice.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:43:37 PM EDT
I don’t have an AR-15. I have a fully semi automatic more thrust per squeeze pistol grip equipped evil bullet hose capable of accurately spraying inaccurate fire at all points of the map. And this is before you even pick it up. Just being in the same room with it will cause real men to quiver in fear and Dem’s to soil themselves as they go weak in the knees and faint.. Anybody wanna’ make a Twilight Zone Movie?

Link Posted: 9/3/2004 8:00:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 8:01:28 PM EDT by MRW]
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