Letters to the Editor

Letter of the Week: Assault rifles for military use only

Military use only

I served two tours of duty in Vietnam, both as an infantry officer in combat. I was armed with an M-16 assault rifle. The weapon was designed for one purpose only, killing or maiming other humans.

It’s not a hunting or sporting weapon. The weapon fires a 55-grain projectile, at the rate of 600 rounds per minute, traveling at 3,500 feet per second. When a bullet enters a human body, its speed and weight cause it to yaw and shatter into numerous parts, creating massive wounds.

A well-placed double tap can shatter bones, shred internal organs and sever major arteries. I inflicted death and destruction on other humans numerous times using this weapon, witnessing the horrific results.

If you want to own one of these weapons you need to man up, join the military, volunteer for combat and defend yourself, your fellow servicemen and your country.

The assault rifles available in stores today have the same design and capabilities as the original M-16. The fact that these weapons can be bought by untrained civilians scares me more than my two tours in Vietnam.

Smith De Voe, of Olathe retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army, having served from 1957 to 1983. He received three Purple Hearts. After the military, he worked 22 years with Patterson Cos., retiring as a general manager of one of its divisions. He and his wife, Mary Jane, have twin adult children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.