One Assault Weapon’s Story

by Christopher C. Ferris, Litchfield NH, March 28, 1996

Hello, America. I am talking to you not from a podium occupied by some pontificating, freedom-fearing politician in Washington, D.C., but from the quiet solitude of the Fort Knox gun safe of a gentleman named Christopher Ferris, my present owner, a heck of a nice guy, a resident of New Hampshire, a state where the motto is “Live Free or Die”. How fitting.

You see, as a semi-automatic .30 caliber carbine manufactured in Saginaw, Michigan late during World War II, I have paid my dues in defense of liberty. And then some. Yes, I was the difference between life and death for American G.I.s who stormed ashore at Normandy and raced across France to liberate Nazi death camps. I was the essence of survival for cold, battle-weary soldiers and Marines on lonely hills in Korea when Chinese bugles sounded and valleys below me swarmed with enemy troops. Later, I traveled to Viet Nam and Cambodia where I was loaned to village defense forces formed to fight off assaults by Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge who took no prisoners and enjoyed “making examples” out of village chiefs and their families. I saw my share of pain, of grief, of suffering. But also, in the hands of honorable, brave men, I saved the lives of many good people who were at risk of being struck down by evil. I did my part when asked to do so. I saved lives. I kept good and great people alive to return safely to the arms of their loved ones. I still feel good about that. Really good.

Mr. Ferris, my current owner, reveres my presence in his safe. Why? Because his late uncle died a hero with one of my fellow carbines in his hands on a dusty North African hill in 1943. His uncle, his carbine and his pistol saved the men under his command from certain death, but he gave up his life in so doing. A grateful nation honored him with a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. Mr. Ferris’ late father also carried one of my fellow carbines ashore at Omaha Beach and that semi-automatic beauty was his “girlfriend” until V-E day. His “cutie”. Perhaps now you will understand why Mr. Ferris cares for me with such passion and fervor. I am surely not an “assault weapon”, an inappropriate misnomer applied to semi-automatic firearms by Capitol Hill know-nothings who fail to see the inexorable connection between me, honor and honorable men whose hands have borne me in time of war and peace. I am a powerful symbol of great deeds done by simple, honest men who loved freedom, the U.S.A. and their families with all of their hearts.

Yes, I have seen combat. But I have also stood guard at lonely outposts in the hands of homesick soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen who willingly went far away from family and friends to insure that freedom endured. I have known the necessary boredom and routine of peacetime military service. I have done my duty, as have my assigned handlers, without complaint. Month after month, year after year, I was there when America called. I answered that call. For almost two generations. Weary though I was, I never failed my nation when needed. And now my role may be family defense. That’s fine with me. No problem at all. I am ready. If needed. As usual.

After many years of valiant service, fate brought me into the hands of Mr. Ferris, who cried openly as he reviewed letters from G.I.s describing his late uncle’s heroic, futile efforts to fight off a horde of advancing Afrika Korps infantry, using my brother carbine in that doomed effort. Even the fast firing action of my brother carbine and a companion semi-automatic .45 ACP pistol could not save Mr. Ferris’ uncle, but his comrades escaped to fight another day, to bring down Hitler’s horrific machine which brought death and destruction to so many innocent people. Yes, we carbines were and are a hardy bunch. We hated tyranny and we still do. As do our current owners such as Mr. Ferris.

Now, at rest in the gun safe of Mr. Ferris, I can reflect back on my years of service to my country, many battles in which my action made the difference between life and death to many Americans, and I can look forward to my “retirement” years. Mr. Ferris knows that .30 caliber semi-automatic carbines played an important part in his uncle’s heroic death and in his father’s devoted service to God and Country. Mr. Ferris has every right to cry tears of remembrance as he every so often cleans my metal and wood surfaces, fires me at a local range, or cleans my 15 and 30 round magazines. Do not laugh at his tears, Bill Clinton, Sarah Brady and Chuck Schumer! Merely hang your heads in utter shame that you do not understand why he cries and, if you did, that you would not care.

So, America, this is my tale. I am the so-called “assault weapon” about which Patrick Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Al Gore, Janet Reno and Bill Clinton were moaning and groaning last week and every chance they get. Forget them, America. They are but tragic fools who fail to value freedom. Remember me, America. Remember what I have done, where I have gone, the men whose lives I have saved. Remember why Christopher Ferris cries when he ponders my role in his family’s and nation’s history. The evil is not in my action, but in the hearts of those freedom-haters who forget what I have done to preserve the lives of fine Americans and to insure that freedom has remained intact. Forget Bill Clinton, America. Remember me, and remember your fellow Americans who have borne me, and still do, with great pride and distinct honor, each and every day of their lives.