Knowing nothing much about rifles I was guessing someone’s just been shooting in my direction with some version of the ever popular Armalite 15 over the last few years on the day-off. Not hitting me. So, what do I care? But what do I know about rifles? Zilch.
I was describing my experience to a law enforcement guy who shoots all the time with all sorts of weapons just yesterday and he scoffed at my mention of an AR 15. He said that what was happening could not be done with an AR 15, but is much more likely something shooting out a .30-06 M2AP or 7.62 x 51 M80 Ball. That would make sense. After an inordinately loud bang, the bullets would come smashing through a good half dozen branches before slowing down a bit, meanwhile having the tell tale “Whizzzzoooooosh!” sound round about again and again. It’s a sound next to your head that you don’t easily forget. The 7.62 is a good guess as the magazine holds some 40 rounds. But the shots were spaced out enough that individually chambering the .30-06 rounds would certainly have been possible. My dad had a .30-06 which I shot a few times as a kid. Anyway, I’ve never been hit, so, whatever.
Pretty much everyone around WNC goes hunting with that which will take down their prey, whether that be a big buck, or an elk, or a huge wild boar or a bear, namely, a .30-06. To protect against that would require Level IV Armor, which weighs a ton, and it the little plate doesn’t stop you from getting hit elsewhere. So, I don’t get too excited about this kind of thing. If someone really wants to take you out, they can.
As I say, one time when I was particularly vulnerable, out in the open, and pretty far from my car (no big help there either) and couldn’t have escaped with the bullets whizzing about, I simply sat down and, in the otherwise dead quiet of the forest, between shots, I played Handel’s Messiah on the tiny speakers of my phone. I couldn’t see him on the close-by forest ridge just opposite me (say 200 yards), but he could see me. He had a rifle. I had a mere Glock. That ploy of mine, playing Handel’s Messiah, actually audible in the dead of the forest on that day, was a ploy of feigned insanity I learned in freshman year of high school in a special critical incident class for “special” students. That ploy shut the guy down better than any other reaction possibly could have. Great psychology, that. It worked. Some smart business owners play classical music, successfully moving the riffraff right along and away. It’s like an exorcism.
Anyway, that conversation with the law enforcement guy mentioned above started because this past Tuesday this was shooting thing was repeated now for the umpteenth time. But I wasn’t there for it. I was only shooting very briefly, just once through the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal tactical pistol course (a mere 30 rounds and my best DQ ever) and some 2+1 drills (again, best ever so that was that). And then I was gone for a half dozen errands down the mountain in super quiet Sassy the Subaru. Zip zip zip.
But maybe whoever it is just thought I was reloading magazines. He didn’t see me, as I wasn’t there by the time he got there. But he probably figured I would hear what he was up to. I’m told that this time the rounds were much bigger than a .50 BMG, common in the area. Much bigger. The guess of the one neighbor (he achieved “Expert” with one shot in the USArmy) was that this might be some sort of small rocket. From his lengthy descriptions I’m guessing the guy was practicing with 81mm mortar training rounds. I don’t know how legal or not those are. People can buy tanks without firing mechanisms, so… I don’t know.
One of these days I’m guessing this guy will put out a round which ricochets and hits me. Whatever. The thought of “could happen” isn’t a thought that phases me in the least. Terrorism doesn’t terrorize me.