01/25/2013 09:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Firing the AR-15 Assault Weapon Made Me Feel Invincible

On Jan. 17, 2013, I went to a gun range in Torrance, Calif., with my video camera and fired an AR-15, the same type of weapon used by that monster in Sandy Hook, Conn.

But, before I show and tell you why it made me feel invincible... Let's back up.

According to a recent NIH report, 14 percent of boys conceived on Long Island in 1966 were born missing the gene for "how mechanical stuff works." I believe the medical literature refers to this malady as: Being Jewish.

Regardless of the study's veracity, I was born without the gene for understanding how the internal combustion engine works, how to install a new light switch, and how to hang a curtain rod without drilling 17 "test" holes first.

My deficiency is easily overcome in most cases. When I need curtain hung or a switch installed, I just suffer with either too much or too little light. And when my car makes a funny noise... I pretend I can't hear it, because I got the gene for "ignoring stuff" in triplicate.

Anyway -- guns are another thing I knew nothing about.

I didn't know the difference between a .9mm bullet and a .223. I knew nothing about muzzle velocity. No idea how the projectile comes out the front when a weapon is fired... and how the shell spits out the side. Clueless why one gun is considered more dangerous than others, and I'm stumped how mobsters keep a gun tucked in their waist stop it from falling down the inside of their pant leg. My guess: velcro?

To me, all guns are made for just one purpose: to kill.

And to compensate for a small penis. Okay, two things. (That's a joke, NRA.)

As the debate over guns became more intense in the last four weeks, I discovered myself in a number of situations discussing the subject and I realized... I don't know enough facts on which to base a cogent opinion.

On one hand, I believe Americans have a right to defend ourselves from well, whoever might come for us, our family, our things or our guns. Heck, I think it's okay to shoot the guy who knocks on my door to sell me magazines -- as if anyone is still reading. On the other hand, guns kill people and well, lots of people are dying. Which I'm against.

Much of the media -- and even many of the people I know -- have made it seem like this issue is black and white. Some say: Get rid of guns... people won't die. Others say: Ban assault weapons, people won't die. While still others say: The Second Amendment says my right to own a gun will not be infringed. And a few people said, "Muzzle velocity. What the?" Side note: most of my friends were born on Long Island in 1966.

This debate is not black and white. Answers aren't easily found, "problems" aren't easily identified, and band-aids won't cure the horrible plague of gun violence.

It's this murky combination of difficult questions and my own selfish interest in facts that lead me to a gun range in Torrance, Calif., on January 17.

Gathering facts. You may remember "facts." Facts are things that are true and incontrovertible. Facts are what media types, reporters and even politicians used to gather before "talking points" were invented.

Note to media: Yes, it's possible to find some facts sitting at your computer. However, there's another way to get them as well: Get off your manicured fat ass, get out of the news studio and go out into the world and talk to people. Ask questions. Turn over rocks. Ask more questions. Pick up a gun. Fire it.

It my case, finding some vital gun facts took two hours... leaving me plenty of time in the afternoon to update my Facebook page. Or in your case, media, have your ass manicured.

(Note: I'm not so naïve as to think that two hours at the gun range has given me all the facts... but it's a decent start if you're interested in forming an opinion on guns.)

Anyway, at the Torrance Gun Range I met with an NRA member and former U.S. Army paratrooper who is also a 40-year gun specialist/instructor. He answered my questions and supervised as I fired the AR-15 -- an assault weapon, as well as the Glock 9mm.

So, what was it like firing the AR-15?

It made me feel very powerful. It made me feel invincible. It made me feel like I could very easily kill someone. It made me feel safe.

And, what was it like firing the Glock 9mm?

It made me feel very powerful. It made me feel invincible. It made me feel like I could very easily kill someone. It made me feel safe.

Actually, rather than me explaining it all... you can see my trip to the gun range and get the same answers I did yourself, by clicking here.

Jon Hotchkiss is the creator of the new series, This vs That, premiering this month.