The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: 'M' is 4 Misunderstood

2 min read

The following letter was written in response to “M is 4 Misuse” (Feb. 21, 2008, The Bullet:)

Dear Editor:

After reading Ms. Pilati’s Feb. 21 response piece about the recent acquisition of M4 rifles by the UMW police department, I felt compelled to reply and clarify some points that she did not understand and did a poor job in seeking out a correct answer.

First and foremost, one should never cite Wikipedia as research. A site that anyone can edit is hardly a reputable source.

Take the time to find one of the myriad sites on the Internet that can provide quality information about firearms and ammunition. A simple Google search will bring up countless sites not linked to Wikipedia.

In her letter, Ms. Pilati states that “it is only to be expected that colleges would seek to develop or revise their campus defense and emergency plans.” She then goes on to say that the acquisition of M4 rifles is not a revision to campus defense.

How can purchasing new weaponry that is more suited to stopping a campus incident be anything but a revision to defense?

When commenting about stopping a shooter on campus, Ms. Pilati asks, “[Do] you really think that having an M4 is going to make shooting him or her down any easier than with a regular shotgun?”

Quite simply, yes.

A shotgun is only effective at a short range of about 50 to 75 yards. Any farther than that is a long shot (no pun intended) and the farther away the police are, the less likely that any of the shotgun’s BBs will hit the assailant. Shotgun ammunition spreads out the farther it travels making it less effective at long distances.

With an M4 rifle, campus police can stop the shooter from a much greater distance. This makes the situation much safer for innocent people stuck in the open and for the officers taking shots at the shooter.

The next topic I would like to address is Ms. Pilati’s lack of knowledge about frangible ammunition. The goal of this ammunition is not to make it “impossible for all of the bullet to be removed.” Rather, it is designed to shatter into pieces and prevent a pass-through.

Basically what this means is that instead of a bullet passing through a human body and continuing on to possibly hit someone innocent behind them, the bullet breaks apart and stays in the body of the person being shot.

Frangible ammunition is not designed to “provide another degree of barbarism to being shot.” It is designed to prevent innocent people from being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I admire that Ms. Pilati was attempting to make a good argument about something that she felt strongly about. However, she jumped the gun and did not have all of her facts straight before she pulled the trigger—puns intended.

Logan Metesh is a sophomore.