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How One Stupid New York Gun Owner Made A Ukraine Meme Real

New York featureless ar-15 rifle
ninjaTED for TTAG

When the Ukraine war started, and the United States started increasing weapon and ammunition shipments, this meme started making the rounds on social media . . .

The United States military obviously wouldn’t send a New York-compliant AR-15 to an ally…or anyone else they supported. The lack of a number of useful features, like a flash hider, pistol grip, telescoping stock, and in some cases, the ability to change magazines, all would put someone in a war zone at a serious disadvantage.

But what would happen if someone in New York who owns one of these intentionally impaired rifles and wanted to send one to Ukraine? It turns out that someone did just that.

According to the New York Post, a group of local Yankee Republicans wanted to help with the war effort in Ukraine by donating some of their “weapons.”

A closer look (closer than when I made the above tweet) shows a variety of New York-compliant guns, which you couldn’t fault someone who lives in New York for owning. After all, they probably didn’t support the passage of the laws banning better, full-featured weapons. Nor did they probably vote for the representatives and governor who voted for and signed such laws.

Nobody wants to risk prison time, especially over guns they’re giving away, so the New Yorkers’ donated guns are mostly pump-action shotguns and bolt-action rifles, with a couple of notable exceptions.

There’s one lever-action rifle, which could be useful against Russians with a little practice. Such a gun would probably not be put in regular units, could help volunteers protecting a shelter or might even see some combat use. Bolt-action guns, especially the more powerful ones equipped with optics, could serve in a sniper or other long-range role, and will probably be used, too.

But there’s one lone AR-15 in the pictured pile if you zoom in on the image and take a closer look. It’s partially hidden behind other rifles, but it’s obvious that the buffer tube doesn’t have a stock attached to it. Instead, it’s one of the “featureless” stocks like the one in the meme. The end of the barrel is hidden behind another barrel, but it’s very likely to be featureless as well.

So some poor Ukrainian volunteer is going to be given what will probably be the strangest gun in the war zone: a New York-compliant “featureless” AR-15, just like the one in the meme.

How This Could Have Been More Helpful To Ukraine?

According to the New York Post article, the federally-approved shipment is going to be handled by KelTec, which is based out of Florida. The guns in the picture, along with some ammunition, will be shipped to Ukraine.

While it feels good to donate goods to a disaster or war zone to fend off invading Russians, this is yet another example of how, in practice, that’s just not terribly helpful.

In many cases, disaster zones get swamped with trailer loads of canned goods that are difficult for shelters and other supporting entities to turn into useful meals. So, instead of feeding people in need, canned goods frequently end up going to waste.

In this case, guns that aren’t terribly useful to Ukrainians, including a rusted shotgun with no barrel, apparently ended up in a shipment.

When something bad is going on in the world, it’s almost always true that sending money is the best way to help. That way, the entities leading response and recovery efforts can choose the gear that will best fit their needs. Proper fighting rifles with magazines that are compatible with rifles carried by other soldiers are generally what’s needed. Duck hunting guns? Those are only useful in some twisted Elmer Fudd fantasy war where “nobody needs an AR-15“.

If these Long Island residents really didn’t have any spare money to send, they could have sold their guns and sent the cash to Ukraine to purchase better weapons. Or, if they wanted to make sure the money was spent on firearms, they could have paid KelTec to send proper ARs from Florida. That might only mean sending an handful of rifles, but they’d be rifles Ukraine could actually use.

But these are people who probably have money. Sending just a few hundred bucks each on top of the money selling their Fudd guns could mean sending a dozen or more rifles and ammunition. Materiel that could mean a bad day for a few Russkies.

I get that sending one of your personal guns to a war zone may be satisfying, but if you really want to help people, it isn’t about you. It’s about the people you’re helping. If you live in a place like California or New York and really want to help the Ukrainians, send them something they’ll really use.

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