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Proposed age limit on guns in the time of Audie Murphy

Firearms


I’m happy to say that I grew up in the 1970s – back when we had many heroes and tough guys to look up to: John Wayne, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Patrick Henry, Charles Bronson, and my personal favorite was a Korean War combat veteran, my dad. There was also another hero whom my buddies and I would talk about while climbing trees, shooting guns in the woods, sitting in tree forts, or roasting marshmallows in front of a camp fire.  That hero was Audie Murphy.

For those of you who may not know the story of Audie Murphy, or forgot it, or who are in the millennial age-range and only got sports “heroes” or American Idol winners shoved in your face while growing up, let me tell you a little bit about him. Audie Murphy was born on June 20, 1925, in Kingston, Texas. When he was very young, his father abandoned his family, and his mother died while he was a teenager. Instead of running to a counselor to get a prescription for psych meds, which is an unfortunate “common cure” today for children in similar situations, young Audie quit the 5th grade (you read that correctly, 5th grade) and got a job picking cotton to support his siblings and went out shooting rabbits and other wild game in order to keep them from going hungry. He also worked other jobs like radio repairman (a skill that would later aid him in the war), gas station attendant, and store clerk, to name a few.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Audie Murphy tried to enlist in the military at the age of 16. He was rejected by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy for being underweight, of small stature, and for being under age. With the help of his sister, he falsified his birth certificate and then tried to enlist in the U.S. Army, where he was accepted. (Falsifying birth certificates and other documents to join the military was not that uncommon back then. My father joined the U.S. Army at the age of 16, after obtaining a false baptismal certificate from the priest who baptized him. There was certainly a different stock of teenagers back in those days.)

During basic training, young Audie earned marksman and expert status with a rifle (seems that all of that time as a boy alone in the Texas wilderness with his rifle was time well spent).  There is a huge story to tell about Audie Murphy’s military service, which only a book or in-depth documentary would do justice, so I am going to list the awards he received with a very brief description of how he earned them.  Information quoted from Wikipedia and not in chronological order:

180px-Medal_of_Honor_ribbonMedal of Honor The Colmar Pocket, 850 square miles (2,200 km2) in the Vosges Mountains, had been held by German troops since November 1944.On 14 January 1945, Murphy rejoined his platoon, which had been moved to the Colmar area in December. He moved with the 3rd Division on 24 January to the town of Holtzwihr, where they faced a strong German counterattack. He was wounded in both legs, for which he received a second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for his Purple Heart. As the company awaited reinforcements on 26 January, he was made commander of Company B. The Germans scored a direct hit on an M10 tank destroyer, setting it alight, forcing the crew to abandon it. Murphy ordered his men to retreat to positions in the woods, remaining alone at his post, shooting his M1 carbine and directing artillery fire via his field radio while the Germans aimed fire directly at his position. Murphy mounted the abandoned, burning tank destroyer and began firing its .50 caliber machine gun at the advancing Germans, killing a squad crawling through a ditch towards him. For an hour, Murphy stood on the flaming tank destroyer returning German fire from foot soldiers and advancing tanks, killing or wounding 50 Germans. He sustained a leg wound during his stand, and stopped only after he ran out of ammunition. Murphy rejoined his men, disregarding his own injury, and led them back to repel the Germans. He insisted on remaining with his men while his wounds were treated.

212px-Distinguished_Service_Cross_ribbonDistinguished Service Cross After landing on Yellow Beach near Ramatuelle, Murphy’s platoon was making its way through a vineyard when the men were attacked by German soldiers. He retrieved a machine gun that had been detached from the squad and returned fire at the German soldiers, killing two and wounding one. Two Germans exited a house about 100 yards (91 m) away and appeared to surrender; when Murphy’s best friend responded, they shot and killed him. Murphy advanced alone on the house under direct fire. He killed six, wounded two and took 11 prisoner.

200px-Silver_Star_Medal_ribbonSilver Star Medal (2) His first Silver Star came after he killed four and wounded three at a German machine gun position on 2 October at L’Omet quarry in the Cleurie river valley. Three days later, Murphy crawled alone towards the Germans at L’Omet, carrying an SCR-536 radio and directing his men for an hour while the Germans fired directly at him. When his men finally took the hill, 15 Germans had been killed and 35 wounded. Murphy’s actions earned him a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for his Silver Star. He was awarded a battlefield commission to second lieutenant on 14 October, which elevated him to platoon leader. While en route to Brouvelieures on 26 October, the 3rd Platoon of Company B was attacked by a German sniper group. Murphy captured two before being shot in the hip by a sniper; he returned fire and shot the sniper between the eyes.

He killed four and wounded three at a German machine gun position on 2 October at L’Omet quarry in the Cleurie river valley. Three days later, Murphy crawled alone towards the Germans at L’Omet, carrying an SCR-536 radio and directing his men for an hour while the Germans fired directly at him. When his men finally took the hill, 15 Germans had been killed and 35 wounded. Murphy’s actions earned him a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for his first Silver Star.

Bronze_Star_Medal_ribbonBronze Star (2, 1 with “V” Device) While in Anzio in Italy, Murphy took shelter from the weather in an abandoned farmhouse on 2 March, 1944, Murphy and his platoon killed the crew of a passing German tank. He then crawled out alone close enough to destroy the tank with rifle grenades.

Purple_Heart_ribbonPurple Heart (3) The Colmar Pocket, 850 square miles (2,200 km2) in the Vosges Mountains, had been held by German troops since November 1944.  On 14 January 1945, Murphy rejoined his platoon, which had been moved to the Colmar area in December. He moved with the 3rd Division on 24 January to the town of Holtzwihr, where they faced a strong German counterattack. He was wounded in both legs, for which he received a second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster for his Purple Heart.

180px-Army_Good_Conduct_Medal_ribbonArmy Good Conduct Medal

 

212px-Legion_of_Merit_ribbon

Legion of Merit

 

212px-U.S._Army_and_U.S._Air_Force_Presidential_Unit_Citation_ribbonDistinguished Unit Citation (2)

 

248px-American_Campaign_Medal_ribbonAmerican Campaign Medal

 

212px-European-African-Middle_Eastern_Campaign_ribbonEuropean-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (9 campaigns, arrowhead device)

212px-World_War_II_Victory_Medal_ribbonWorld War II Victory Medal

 

212px-Army_of_Occupation_ribbonArmy of Occupation Medal with Germany clasp

 

200px-Legion_Honneur_Chevalier_ribbonFrench Legion of Honour(grade of Chevalier)

 

212px-Ruban_de_la_croix_de_guerre_1939-1945French Croix de Guerre with silver star

 

Croix_de_guerre_1939-1945_with_palm_(France)_-_ribbon_barFrench Croix de Guerre with palm (3)

 

200px-BEL_Croix_de_Guerre_1944_ribbonBelgian Croix de Guerre with palm

 

96px-Fourragère_MMFrench fourragère in colors of the Croix de Guerre

 

 

440px-Combat_Infantry_BadgeCombat Infantryman Badge

 

1010px-United_States_Army_Marksmanship_Qualification_Badges

Marksman Badge with Rifle Component Bar

 

 

1010px-United_States_Army_Marksmanship_Qualification_BadgesMarksmanExpert Badge with Bayonet Component Bar

 

 

USA_-_Army_Outstanding_Civilian_Service_AwardOutstanding Civilian Service Medal

 

Texas_Legislative_Medal_of_Honor_RibbonTexas Legislative Medal of Honor

 

If President Trump’s gun-control proposal to raise the age requirement to 21 to buy a semi-auto rifle were law in 1945, Audie Murphy, and other combat veterans of the same age, or younger, would not have been allowed to purchase a semi-auto rifle at the end of the war. If Governor Rick Scott’s proposal were law back then, Audie Murphy would not have been able to buy ANY type of firearm. Imagine a gun-store clerk telling Audie Murphy in 1945, “Sorry son, you are just too young to be trusted with purchasing a gun.”

What about telling our young combat heroes, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who may have lost limbs and fought for our freedom, that they have no Second Amendment freedom because they are not 21 years old? It is absolutely nonsensical to tell an 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old who has just fired heavy artillery, operated crew-served weapons, carried a machine-gun, or flown combat missions in an Apache helicopter that he (or she) is not old enough (or responsible enough) to buy a semi-auto, military-styled rifle, or any firearm at all.

Now, let’s talk about non-veterans. In the mid-1980s, when I graduated high school, we had many high-school sweethearts from my class who got married at 18 and started having children. Are they not entitled to protect their households with at least a rifle or shotgun? Governor Scott thinks that is just fine. Yet, the U.S. government wants those same 18-year-olds to register for selective service, and will prosecute those qualified citizens who do not. Our government will also welcome almost any 18-year-old (17-year-old with parents’ permission) who would like to join the military to “fight for our freedoms.” The problem is that with this type of law, if enacted, which raises the age to 21 in order to buy a long gun, the “our” in “our freedoms” would not include those who are doing much of the fighting and dying for us.

Audie Murphy did go on to become a living legend and real American hero after the war and had a fantastic acting career, becoming a western film star. Wikipedia has some excellent information about Audie Murphy, and I would also encourage you to watch the movie To Hell and Back, the Audie Murphy story, which actually stars Audie Murphy himself – something unique in Hollywood history.

You can also visit AudieMurphy.com for more information on this outstanding hero, and I would hope that President Trump and Governor Scott would do so as well, before going any further with this un-Constitutional proposal. Most importantly, contact your congressman and senators regarding this issue before another part of our Second Amendment is chipped away.



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13 Comments

  1. What could be called real military weapons can not be purchased by the public. Outdated such as the Springfield bolt actions and the M1 are a different story. I hunted with a a semi-auto (Rem 740) given to me on my 18th birthday 59 years ago, until I gave up tramping through the woods because of two strokes and one heart attack.

    I had my first 22 somewhere around 12 and my first shotgun at 14 and the 740, 30-06 at 18.

  2. I went to high school in the late 50’s with a shotgun or rifle in a rack in my pickup. The coach and principal would come out and look at them and show his guns. Nobody shot or killed anyone. Of course then we still had prayers in school. A better simpler time and place.

    1. I agree with every thing except for prayer in schools, Not every Christian is the new prosperity evangelical Christian who do not follow Christ’s teachings. They have no compassion for anyone but themselves, we have to get back to the time when it was not all about money. The fake Christians that rule the Republican’t party will get what is coming to them. The only true Christian is a member of the Democratic party, just read the gospels.

      1. You are so full of SH#T, you call yourself a Christian when you judge others because of their beliefs?…What is wrong with your kind?…There are SO MANY others that are better than you and they don’t even consider themselves as “TRUE CHRISTIANS”. ..Get your head out of your ASS and quit spreading BULLSH*T around SH*T- FOR- BRAINS !

        1. Wow, i agree with ya Gary but why be so rude? You stooped to his level, anyway, Yeah I agree with you that he is not acting like a christian.

    2. AMEN.
      but kids today DON’T respect our FLAG, THE MILITARY, THE LAW.
      they have turned into a BUNCH OF PANSY ASS WEAK MINDED SNOWFLAKES WHO NEED A TIME OUT ROOM AND A SAFE PLACE.
      what a SURPRISE THEY HAVE WHEN THEY ARE HIT WITH REALITY IN THE REAL WORLD.
      but we also have some GREAT KIDS ALSO, AND THOSE ARE THE ONES I COUNT ON TO LEAD OUR NATION IN THE FUTURE.

  3. When i was in 7th grade (’57-’58) I turned 12. We had a neighbor across the street who had a collection of firearms. During the year, I took to our history class at appropriate times a civil war era rifle, and an M-1 carbine to share with my fellow students. I even carried the M-1 past two police officers sitting in their car on the way to school (approximately a 3/4 mile walk), I also participated in an after school shooting class at a police range where we shot .22 caliber bolt action single shot rifles. Also, it is absurd to restrict firearms on any scale to those that can go and die for our country. This whole anti-gun argument is total b.s. perpetrated by the commiecrats and the snowflakes who nothiing about our history, our constitution, and our heritage.

  4. The last paragraph of Mr. Foreman’s words say a lot. Many people today are extremely ignorant about our American history. The issue of dumbing down America is not new. Its been generational, and fueled by who else? The liberal teacher’s unions, radical teachers, radical communist college “professors”, all who support a revisionist view on our history. Lately, the major push has been on glorifying gays and lesbians in history. California simultaneously glorifies Mexicans and Mexicans in America, trivializing illegal immigration as a nuisance to the Mexican culture.
    But, teaching factual history, and promoting the truthful stories of historical people, facts, figures, dates, places, and other important points of REAL American history, as well as how our history is a puzzle piece that fits together with all the other puzzle pieces of the world throughout time.
    As far as our Second Amendment goes, that argument was settled long ago by our Founding Fathers.
    Anything other than “Shall Not Be Infringed” is unconstitutional. Fancy, flowery words, or loud bullying tactics by gun haters are all simply irrelevant.

    1. You are right our young people today no nothing of our history or civics because we quit teaching it in our schools. It is a real embarrassment that a college graduate doesn’t know who our first president was. A college student today couldn’t pass a third grade history test when I was in school.

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