Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News has been roundly mocked since the publishing of an article headlined “What is it like to fire an AR-15? It’s horrifying, menacing and very very loud.”
The article also contains a video of Kuntzman shooting the AR-15, a segment put together one day after the Orlando massacre.
He described the experience as an “explosion of firepower” that was “humbling and deafening,” but it was a line at the end of the article that people really took issue with.
“The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick,” he said. “The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.”
It was the “temporary case of PTSD” that critics found inappropriate and Kuntzman added a note about it after publishing, while linking to a follow-up story showcasing some of the responses he received.
Many people have objected to my use of the term “PTSD” in the above story. The use of this term was in no way meant to conflate my very temporary anxiety with the very real condition experienced by many of our brave men and women in uniform. I regret the inarticulate use of the term to describe my in-the-moment impression of the gun’s firepower, and apologize for it. I have also posted a follow up piece here.
In the follow-up mentioned, which Kuntzman headlined “To gun lovers, you can’t even have an opinion on assault rifles — unless it’s theirs. Here’s the proof,” the writer opened by saying “The gun debate is also a gender war. In all my years in journalism — coming up on 30 (thanks) — I have never received so much angry mail as I did after yesterday’s story.”
Here is a sampling of the “angry mail” he received:
“Kuntzman is an outright liar. Nice try with an extremely stupid article which only appealed to girly boys and women of NYC and like the sheeple they are probably believed the lies.”
“Hey there Cupcake! I have never subscribed to the idea of ‘gender confusion,’ but after reading your article on the AR-15, I’m a believer because there is no way you and I are the same gender. You should surrender your testicles to the Department of Girlymen. I’m not sure where it’s located, but your girlfriend Barack does!”
“You f–king pussy. If you have a man card turn it in immediately. You might be better served writing about feminine hygiene products!!!”
“Maybe you can get some balls through Obamacare!”
Kuntzman said these were only the printable responses he received.