Over the weekend, Tampa Rays roomies Evan Longoria, David Price and Reid Brignac were victimized by burglars who made off with what was initially cataloged as “electronics, jewelry and other items” from their Port Charlotte, FL home.  As it turns out, one of those “other items” was an AK-47 registered to 3B Longoria, who as the St. Petersberg Times’ Marc Topkin and Kim Wilmath explain, was reluctant “to elaborate on why he had the gun, which is commonly referred to as an assault rifle.”

“It’s a personal item,” Longoria said. “Obviously, they (authorities) are going to say things that are taken. I think everything within the house is personal, and we’ll just leave it at that.”

“The only time a person would need a rifle of that magnitude (outside a range) is if they’re fending off zombies,”
said Fritz Casper, an instructor at Shooting Sports, a N Dale Mabry Highway gun range and shop in Tampa.

The AK-47 is a common choice for gun enthusiasts, he said, mostly because it is cheap, available for as little as $300 to $400.

“It’s a ubiquitous gun,” Casper said. “It’s inexpensive. It’s simple to use. It’s simple to fix.”

Dennis Patriarca, owner of the VIP Security Training school in Tampa, said the AK-47 is “a good protection gun, but it’s mainly a recreational-type thing.”

For many gun owners, Casper said, it’s not about need but want.

“If a dude wants to be cool and goes and gets a Corvette, it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s going to go take that Corvette and go race at 165 mph,” Casper said. “It’s like that. Shooting guns is fun. An AK-47 is fun.”