View Full Version : Letter 2 Editor, re: AK-47 Saves Life, Captures Murderer

Gary L. Griffiths
May 9, 2009, 09:23 PM
I just e-mailed this to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. I don't figure it'll ever get published, but I would appreciate my fellow TFL members' critiques:

The AK-47 has long been demonized by urban politicians and the news media as an “assault weapon” with “no place on the streets of America.” Well, maybe it’s time to give the Devil his due, so-to-speak.

It seems that on January 9, 2009, Jonathon Redding, a murderous 17-year-old thug who just two days prior had robbed an Atlanta bar, senselessly killing popular bartender John Henderson and terrorizing waitress Ashley Elder, planned a repeat performance at the apartment of 34-year-old Eddie Pugh. There was just one thing he didn’t count on: When he entered the apartment, gun blazing, Pugh grabbed his AK-47 and returned fire, hitting him in the arm and shoulder.

Redding was seriously injured, and was arrested by police while hospitalized for his injuries. Police have now announced that forensic evidence from his blood at the scene, and from the gun Pugh literally shot out of his hand (the Lone Ranger would have been proud), linked him to Henderson’s murder and to another armed robbery during which he fired shots at the victim.

Why couldn’t Pugh have done just as well with a handgun? (Remember now, handguns are demonized by gun prohibitionists almost as much as “assault weapons.”) Any experienced gunfighter will tell you that a handgun is the gun you use to fight your way to your rifle when unexpectedly attacked.

In this instance, Pugh was able to return fire much more accurately than he would have with a pistol, stopping the aggression more quickly and endangering bystanders less. And what if Redding had been accompanied by the three homicidal gangstas that assisted him in the bar robbery? With twenty or thirty rounds available as fast as he could pull the trigger, Pugh would have been very likely to prevail even against the four-to-one odds.

The gun prohibitionists deplore the fact that “assault weapons” are designed to kill large numbers of humans rapidly. Yet Jonathon Redding wasn’t killed, much less blown apart by two hits from the medium-powered bullets. The elephant in the room, that they are unwilling to recognize, is that there are times, even in our enlightened modern society, when people need to be prepared to instantly stop the aggressive acts of multiple violent predators.

Gary L. Griffiths, a retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer, is Director of Advanced Force Tactics, Inc., a Texas-based firm that trains law enforcement and armed security agencies in the judgmental use of force and in gunfighting tactics.

May 9, 2009, 09:36 PM
Good on ya' Gary, This is a factually stated and well expressed letter, I had thought to do the same when I read the story on the other thread but, I could not hope to do better than this.



Al Norris
May 9, 2009, 09:45 PM

It would be nice if the editors to published it. Sometimes they do, just to stir-up controversy. Let's hope this is one of those times.

Bartholomew Roberts
May 10, 2009, 08:37 AM
Good letter. It picks a single point and stays focused while being brief and informative.

I'm torn between whether you should point out that the semi-automatic rifle used was technically an AK47. On the one hand, it adds a separate argument that might make the letter longer and less easily understood. On the other hand, there is already a lot of confusion among non-shooters between a semi-auto AK-action and an actual AK.

Maybe the "semi-automatic copy of the AK47"? Don't know... ideally, the way to do it would be to have your letter as is and then have somebody else write a separate short letter explaining the difference between an AK47 and a semi-auto copy of it. Anybody want to write the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with me?

That is one of the great things about Internet news discussion forums. If every gun owner just comes in and hits one single point of the many issues in a brief, concise manner, it is pretty convincing.

May 10, 2009, 08:58 AM

Instead of "medium powered", I would have called those rounds as "HIGH POWERED" as that is how the media would surely have described them.

Let us know if you get a response...

Gary L. Griffiths
May 10, 2009, 01:05 PM
I appreciate the compliments! I am rather pleased with how the letter just sort of fell together, without requiring a lot of wordsmithing on my part.

Bartholomew, I gave quite a little thought to the "assault rifle / assault weapon" issue. Notice I put "assault weapon" in quotes, indicating that is otherpeoplespeak. As to the difference between a real military AK-47 and one of the castrated versions now routinely sold, I didn't want to get caught up in the side issue of full-auto vs. semi-auto versions. When you look at the ads in Shotgun News and other gun magazines, you'll see the semis called "AK-47." We really can't blame the news media for labeling them that also. So be it.

Creature, great suggestion about using "High-Powered" with quotes around it. If I'd have thought of it, I would have done that, though at the risk of having the sarcasm whisk right over the heads of 99.9% of the readers. The other risk, of course, is that the editor would have simply edited out the quotation marks, as the sarcasm whisked right over his head, too. I wanted to point out that the 7.62X39mm cartridge is not very high powered, although technically it is a "High-Powered Rifle" cartridge. In any event, "High Powered" would have done quite nicely.

Side Issue: Shouldn't we have some intermediate cartridge category between rimfire and "High-Powered Rifle" It is ludicrous to talk of the .22 Hornet or even the .223 Remington as a "High-Powered Rifle Cartridge" in the same vein as the .30-06 or .300 Win Mag. In point of fact, the only centerfire rifle cartridge I've never heard referred to as "High-Powered" is the .30 Carbine.

Again, thanks for the compliments, folks.

May 10, 2009, 01:15 PM
I also say 'excellent!'. I also admire Mr. Pugh in that he had enough self control to not permanently end Mr. Redding's life.

May 11, 2009, 03:47 AM
Is this the best argument you got for the use of AK's?

believe me I have no opinion on AK's Auto or not, I'd like to shoot one in a range one day but, I mean come on I have several counter points here.

1. A rifle sucks in an apartment for SD
2. it was his primary SD gun because if his HandGun was it reach I'd bet he would grab it instead
3. he "only" shot him in the arm and sholder because it was probably dark and his only intention was to stop the threat like it should be.

Boy, some of yall sure in the hell talk big. let me guess, if it was you you would have done a double tap to the chest and a shot to the head, RIGHT?

I mean don't get me wrong I believe in SD/HD just as you all do, but I think the story about the riots in L.A and the guy standing on the rooftop to keep 15/20 crazy riot people from distroying his house was more plausable.

May 11, 2009, 06:09 AM
Side Issue: Shouldn't we have some intermediate cartridge category between rimfire and "High-Powered Rifle" It is ludicrous to talk of the .22 Hornet or even the .223 Remington as a "High-Powered Rifle Cartridge" in the same vein as the .30-06 or .300 Win Mag. In point of fact, the only centerfire rifle cartridge I've never heard referred to as "High-Powered" is the .30 Carbine.

You're missing the point. The mainstream media labeled the 223 round that the Beltway Snipers were using as "high-powered"...as they have when they describe the bullets from an AK in countless other news stories.

Double Naught Spy
May 11, 2009, 06:31 AM
AK-47 Saves Life, Captures Murderer

The letter is excellent, but you didn't use the thread title to title the letter did you?

Just like guns don't kill people, they don't save lives and capture people either. In this case, I don't see where the AK-47 had anything to do directly with Redding's capture. Redding left the scene and wasn't captured for 3 months.

So the 4 month delay is because charges have finally been filed?


It may be a shame that Pugh's shots weren't more lethal as apparently he has gone into hiding after being attacked again, apparently in retribution for the January 7, shooting. Redding spend the next three months out on the street and apparently rallied his friends to his cause.