RANGER AGAINST WAR: Shooting Protection <

Friday, February 13, 2015

Shooting Protection

 He was a most peculiar man
He lived all alone within a house
Within a room, within himself 
--A Most Peculiar Man,
Simon and Garfunkel 

They seek him here, they seek him there
In Regent Street and Leicester Square
Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on
Each one a dedicated follower of fashion 
--Dedicated Follower of Fashion,
The Kinks

He didn’t say boo in confession
He wasn’t the least judgmental
If you didn’t kill your ma or your da
He could be exceedingly gentle 
--Uncle Jim, Black 47
Ranger's last observation from the film American Sniper, by way of the t.v. series, "Justified":

Hollywood depictions of violence do not usually parallel those events in real life. Take the case of breaking a 2 x 4 over the back of federal agent Givens by his opponent in a fist fight. In Hollywood, the Good Guy victim rolls over and gets up to fight another day. In real life, that would probably have been a killing blow.

In a now-iconic scene from American Sniper, Kyle is shown poised to make a kill with his sniper rifle which shoots high intensity cartridges and has considerable muzzle blast, yet he is wearing neither ear protection nor protective glasses. He is wearing the iconic American baseball cap with bill turned backwards -- the primary accoutrement of the American man-child -- steely eyes not of a killer but of a patriot doing his duty, sans lust and with a bissel of sadness, or perhaps isolation. The soldier next to him is wearing a helmet.

People viewing the film may think this is how a professional shoots, but that is not correct. One's hearing and eyesight are valuable assets not to be squandered, even in the service of killing Iraqis, but a helmet and goggles would have prevented a close-up on Kyle's inscrutable eyes.

We are exposed daily to noises below that of a rifle blast that can damage hearing. But sixty million Americans own firearms, and many people do not use appropriate hearing protection devices.

Power tools, leaf blowers and even the volume in movie theaters can exceed 85 decibels, the level at which hearing is damaged. So not only does the film perpetrate a scene not true-to-life, but the very act of sitting in the theater viewing the scene may damage the viewer's ears -- the supreme irony.

Rangers suffers tinnitus from blast damage, as do many soldiers. The damage is permanent and the consequences are incessant buzzing and ringing. According to Shands/UF Medical School, the second most common combat injury is ear damage. Coming home healthy is more important than confirmed kills.

We understand that Clint can't come out and deliver a Smoky the Bear public service announcement so Ranger is doing it for him: only you can prevent damage to your ears and eyes.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yup. got that too. it. sux.

Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8:43:00 PM GMT-5  

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