Sorry, Nobody Needs An AR-15 To Kill (Non-Fiction) Raccoons

Rocket Raccoon, the only raccoon in the galaxy you might want to have an AR-15 handy against.

Colorado Public Radio’s Caitlyn Kim reports on debate yesterday in the U.S. House over the Protecting Our Kids Act, legislation to combat gun violence by raising the age for gun purchases to 21 along with a federal ban on high-capacity magazines similar to the law passed in Colorado in 2013. While Colorado’s Rep. Joe Neguse once again made Coloradans proud with his clear-headed arguments in favor of action, GOP Rep. Ken Buck took the debate in a different, less serious direction:

GOP Rep. Ken Buck, a former federal prosecutor, said he was part of a group that went into Columbine after the infamous attack in 1999. “One thing I’ve learned from law enforcement, and one thing I’ve learned from being involved in these particular shootings and also observing what’s happening in our country – these laws will not help the situation.”

Buck said he would not support the gun control package. Like other Republicans, he argued none of the measures “would have prevented what happened” in the most recent mass shootings.

“We have a serious problem involving family, involving drugs, involving mental health. We have gone in the wrong direction in the last 40 or 50 years.” Buck said. “Blaming the gun for what’s happening in America is small-minded.”

The Eastern Plains representative noted the AR-15 is the “gun of choice for killing raccoons before they get to our chickens. [Pols emphasis] It is a gun of choice for killing a fox. It is a gun that you control predators on your ranch, on your farm, on your property.”

Rep. Ken Buck’s AR-15.

Buck’s suggestion that a weapon designed to slaughter 150-pound humans en masse is the “gun of choice” for ranchers protecting their chickens from 15-pound raccoons drew instantaneous nationwide scorn, even though laughter is not easy in the immediate aftermath of another mass shooting carried out with one of those same AR-15 rifles:

Buck later Tweeted that “Democrats are using the shootings in Buffalo, Texas, and Tulsa to push for more gun control—even though they know this legislation wouldn’t have prevented any of these recent tragedies and won’t make any of us safer.” But like suggesting that ranchers need assault weapons to kill varmints, that’s simply not true: the Buffalo, New York grocery store shooting that targeted African-Americans last month, the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 21 people last week, and the shooting a year ago at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store were all carried out by individuals who purchased AR-15s under the age of 21. The Protecting Our Kids Act would raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 to 21, meaning it would have directly prevented the shooters in those three incidents from obtaining their mass murder weapons.

It’s a fusion of wrong and silly with a dash of terrible that takes a guy like Buck to pull off.

55 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Snipes far outweigh our threat from rogue raccoons. You can catch them with a gunnysack and flashlight. 

  2. 2Jung2Die says:

    Careful now, they might be tyrannical raccoons!

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    Thanks for sharing the reactions to Rep. 'Coon killer' Buck. 

    If we can't trust 18-year-olds with a pistol, an alcoholic beverage, or a small bag of gummies from the "green" stores, why should we trust them with a semi-automatic rifle?   If they can't "drive a commercial motor vehicle across Colorado state lines, carry hazardous materials, or transport any passengers," why should we let them loose with a weapon designed to kill humans? 

    If trained soldiers on nearly every military post must live with the registration of private weapons, cannot store weapons or ammunition in their on-base residences, cannot use the weapon on the post's property without command permission, and must live with a long list of other requirements, why should untrained civilians have access to protect their chickens?

    • Negev says:

      Like you said, if we can't trust them with the basic level of responsibility you noted above, it would be difficult to suggest they are adequately equipped to manage the responsibility of gun ownership. We may want to consider raising the age of "adult" to 21. I'd expect more pushback from voting rights advocates, or women's health service industries than gun rights advocates, but as a whole this logic is relative common sense. 

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Negev, I’m stunned [pleasantly] to see you agreeing with a limitation on guns. 

        Thanks … please join with a variety of conservative activists who put a full-page ad into the Dallas Morning News asking for “red-flag laws, expanded background checks and a higher age minimum to buy firearms.”  Urge your friends and family to join the movement. 

        From my viewpoint, that would be an excellent place to go NOW!!!  We can argue over other options later.

        • Negev says:

          It is nice to see common ground. I don't see an 18 year old as an adult. Maybe I am just getting old.

          I would support changing the legal age of adult to 21, however not exclusively for firearms purchase. 21 to vote, be charged as an adult, and all other functions permissible by an 18 year old now be bumped to 21. We still on the same page?

          • notaskinnycook says:

            As long as you include the age for criminal liability and especially military service. That's what began the slide to 18 for responsibility, but not privilege:"You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'."

          • JohnInDenver says:

            build in a process so 18 and up can petition to be considered "adults" and I'd probably be willing to ride along.  Legal emancipation ought to provide rights and responsibilities.

            I know some VERY serious and responsible 18-20 year olds.  I've met too many who needed to be out of their non-supportive or outright abusive home environments. I'd prefer that young mothers and fathers have a way to get married.  There are probably a number of other situations that don't leap to my as-yet insufficiently caffeinated mind.  Allow for the exceptional to become adults earlier, after review.


            • Voyageur says:

              The 18 year old vote is in the constitution: the 26th amendment.

              • notaskinnycook says:

                Even Constitutional Amendments can be changed. 18th and 21st, anyone?

                • Voyageur says:

                  The 18th amendment took away a long-established right, cookie.  You're letting Negev lure you into a dead end where you would need a constitutional amendment to make a.minor change in gun laws.  Show me where 18 year old voting has harmed anyone.

                  • 18-year-old voting rights have harmed a variety of municipal campaigns where the candidates have assumed they can turn 18-year-olds out at the same rate as 60+-year-old voters. Fails every time. Otherwise, you are correct, they have not hurt anything.

            • kwtree says:

              And , back to the original topic ( as I said, Negev is skilled at redirecting conversations): 

              Gun owners of whatever age should have to petition to show that they are responsible citizens who will use their privilege peaceably, and not to endanger the public. It’s not rocket science.

              It’s universal background checks, losing gun licenses for criminal activity or certain mental diseases,  ( like paranoid schizophrenia), insuring guns like cars, requiring training and permits, smart locks at home, red flag laws, banning military weapons for civilians. 
              Countries that are not in the top four murder club with Venezuela and El Salvador know all about these solutions. 

              • Negev says:

                That's a great link Momma! Thank you.

                If you cross reference that with you will find that the "top four murder club" starting with #1 on your list, Brazil, actually DO know about these solutions. For example, in Brazil, there is no right to own a gun. Guns are regulated by the Federal Police. You must pass a background check which includes criminal, mental health, and employment and must be 25 years of age. Private possession of handguns is prohibited,  and training required for a firearm license, which must be renewed every 3 years. 

                Pretty much everything on your list but the insurance, but I have yet to see an insurance company that covers criminal activity…

                Your link is awesome because you can scroll over each country and get the full detail breakdown, and it would seem that the U.S. has a suicide problem more than anything. Scroll over the U.S. it is says the homicide rate is 4.46k/100k while the suicide rate is 7.32/100k. 

                Conversely, Brazil, next up on the list has a homicide rate of 20.7/100k and a suicide rate of .5/100k, with a majority of your "solutions" in place. 

                The U.S. is not even in the top 10 in homicide rate while it ranks #1 in gun ownership per capita in the world.

                I would encourage you to peruse that website – you may find the information useful –  just for fun cross reference Australia and Switzerland, both of which have very similar and low homicide rates .9/100k and .5/100k yet both have distinctly different firearm laws. 




                • kwtree says:

                  So you’re a fan of assisted suicide..Who knew?

                  Self- murder is still murder. 
                  The designation of the US as the top four murder club in the world ( most deaths by firearms) stands.

                  You ( and a sizeable share of Polsters) are in that demographic of white men of a certain age with easy access to guns, who are at highest risk of suicide by gun. Are you proud of your work in making those self-murders easier to accomplish? 

                  To the point that stricter gun laws save lives, which is what you are trying to dispute, we don’t have to look as far as Brazil. 
                  A study of US states using CDC data finds that, yes, stricter gun laws save lives. 

                  It turns out that mass murderers are also suicidal narcissists who crave fame and want to take victims with them in their self-murder. Again, are you proud of your work in making their murder-suicide tools easily available?

                  • Negev says:

                    Whoa, thread drift there momma reel it in…

                    Suicide is not even illegal. Murder is. U.S is top four in gun deaths, but not homicide. The link you provided even separates the two.

                    None of your "solutions" have anything to do with suicide and would do nothing to prevent it. 

                    I went to Brazil because you sent me there, only to find that they have stricter gun laws than any of the 50 states in the U.S., many of which you suggested as solutions, with a 5x higher murder rate… thanks for the link…

                    Whether it be suicide or mass murder, the tool, however sharp, will always be available, may it be military grade or backwoods relic. You need to ban, remove, confiscate and destroy every firearm in the country to effectively prevent gun deaths. This is something you cannot do. I mean no disrespect when I say that, it is just not possible. You need only to look at history's vast array of case studies to know the most effective way to prevent mass murder, and that is to stop the assailant. It is how they all end, and the only real consideration here is how fast the opposition can make that happen. 

                  • Negev says:

                    Mamma the only direct questions you asked is if I was a fan of assisted suicide and proud of making murder-suicide tools easily available… both of which have nothing to do with the original topic you so desperately wish to stay on…

                    So yes, I am fan of assisted suicide. Death with dignity more specifically and no, I am not proud of making these tools available. Are you? Since this thread started 4 days ago 133,000 guns have been sold… so don't point the finger too far from the mirror….

                    Without getting too macabre, the latest mass shooting in Texas could have easily been accomplished with Duke's 1911 with a few 8 round mags in the back pocket – given the time on site and zero opposition a single shot .22 would suffice – and has in some cases in areas which prohibit more deadly weapons. 

                    The answers are clear you just don't want to hear them. 

                    • kwtree says:

                      In the country where we live, sensible gun laws save lives. 

                      This is the reality all your mental gymnastics and misdirection can’t avoid.

                    • Negev says:

                      That’s a great source

             gonna source the Onion next? oh wait…

                    • Voyageur says:


                      Consider that the Negev who challenges the veracity of your source is the same Negev who argued that the .223 round fired from an AR15 is no worse than a .22 short from a two-inch derringer, cuz the only thing that counts is the diameter of the slug.

                      That lie would have made Goebbels blush.

                      I used to think he had some integrity.  I was wrong.  I apologize.  We should give him the don’t feed the troll treatment.  He’s just  a two-dollar whore for the gun lobby.

                    • Negev says:

                      That's funny V because it was your old farm boy comment that actually spurred that debate! Pro tip: if you are suggesting someone trust your experience, get it right… any old farm boy would know 22LR will easily handle varmints…

  4. Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

    I'm reminded of Betsy DeVos' famous remark at her confirmation hearing about needing guns in school to protect student from rogue grizzly bears.

  5. notaskinnycook says:

    The age to purchase one of these things is currently 18. So you can get really good with it (you think) before you can buy a beer. Perfect combination: a guy who thinks he's a crack shot, now liquored up and stupid, with a high powered rifle

  6. kwtree says:

    As if Kenneth Buck, born to corporate lawyer parents in downstate  New York and educated in Ivy League Schools before working for Dick Cheney, knows anything at all about protecting chickens or killing varmints. 

  7. Voyageur says:

    Buck is just unbelievable.  Take it from an old farm boy, the .22 Calibre will easily handle varmints.

    • Negev says:

      … the AR15 is .22 caliber…

      • The standard AR-15 is .223 or 5.56. Don't try to piss on us and call it rain.

        • Duke Cox says:


          A .22 cal is a rimfire cartridge with a very small casing and a miniscule amount of gunpowder. When compared to .223, which is the same size bullet in a much larger, center-fire casing. The muzzle velocity of the .223 (>2,200 fps), subsequently, is substantially higher than a standard .22LR (about 1,100 fps). Along with the semi-automatic function of the AR-15, the weapon becomes an implement of mass destruction.

      • Voyageur says:

        Negev, write this down for your GED test: E=1/2 MC squared.  Energy equals 1/2 mass times velocity squared.  The AR15 cartridge, as Duke noted, has at least twice the velocity of the 22LR, ergo at least four times the hitting power.

        As a gun nut, you know this.  Shame on you for deliberately trying to mislead people.

  8. I mean, he might not be wrong these days. With the massive sell on AR-15s, farmers might have more of them on-hand than .22s. But at something between 50¢ and $1 per bullet and a significantly higher up-front investment, overkill doesn't come cheap.

  9. Racoons and foxes are smart. Having seen the successful tactics of 30 to 50 feral hogs, they have adopted a much more aggressive "mob" strategy. In a few years I expect the average colony of voles to have also advanced to this dangerous stage.

  10. Meiner49er says:

    Surely no one can miss the dog whistle here, or am I the only one old enough to remember when "Coon Huntin'" had a deeply racist connotation.

  11. MichaelBowman says:

    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is to open carry your AR-15, have it stolen from you, and then wish gun laws had been tightened? 

    A man had his AR-15-style rifle stolen at gunpoint. He then used a second gun to open fire on the robber, police say.

    Officers said that a man had been carrying his rifle around the supermarket in a non-threatening manner (you never know when you’ll encounter a rogue raccoon in the produce aisle).

  12. Duke Cox says:

    This for NEGEV..

    A semi-automatic, 22LR long gun with a 10 round magazine is, indeed, the upper limit of what is acceptable. No private citizen needs a military weapon, period. 

    I own a .45 ACP semi-automatic handgun,
    a 12 Gauge pump shotgun, a 30-06 hunting rifle, and a small 9mm semi auto.

    The only reason why I might NEED an assault rifle is if I should decide to go shoot up a school or a church…

    This is an argument you can’t win. There is no enumerated right to own a weapon designed for military use. When you use one, it is for assaulting enemy soldiers…or assaulting third graders. 

    Which, seems irrelevant to you.



  13. kwtree says:

    I really hate it when discussions about how to prevent mass murder deteriorate into who-knows-more-about- gun contests. But Negev's skilled at steering discussions his way.

    The fact remains that the USA is the only country in which, as the Onion points out, mass murder via firearms of whatever caliber regularly happens. I think El Salvador still tops us in flat-out murder rates, as does Somalia, but that's hardly anything to be proud of.

    Every other industrialized country that doesn't have constant gun massacres has long ago figured out their gun laws. That's the point – not the caliber of the bullets.

    • kwtree says:

      That would be El Salvador, Honduras, and Venezuela. Yippee! We're number four in murder rate, mostly by firearms.


    • Guns are a problem. Bigger still in my mind is the constant sale that guns are a solution. Tyranny? Guns. Property dispute? Guns. Bullying? Guns. Replacement? Guns. Jewish conspiracy? Guns. About the only thing guns aren't regularly promoted for is use with the official state militia.

      • Duke Cox says:

        I am afraid "gun violence as problem solving" is kind of baked into our culture.

        Would that it were not so, but , alas…'tis true. The impact of gun violence in our entertainment media has a profound effect on young minds. 

        But now it isn't just make-believe.

        • I'm not talking about entertainment media; besides, they've moved on to superhero powers. No, I'm talking about the NRA and largely Republican noise nachines who promote guns constantly.

          • Duke Cox says:

            Oh, that. I guess I was just thinking that goes without saying. The NRA used to represent gun owners, mostly.

            Now it, and the vast majority of Republican elected officials. staunchly defend the wants and needs of the weapons manufacturers. There is no dispute there.

      • Voyageur says:

        You forgot male pattern baldness, PR.  It can only be cured by sleeping with a loaded assault rifle.

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