Here come the hoards screaming ‘Ban the AR-15’, yet again.
The television is flooded right now with so-called ‘experts’ saying the AR-15 is an unnecessary ‘assault rifle’ and that the gun should be banned Nation-wide. Firstly, the AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, not an ‘assault rifle’ and there is a difference. Several misconceptions about the AR-15 have been circulating the media lately to confuse the public. This article, written by Micheal Filozof, breaks down the most common and is worth reading.
Yet another mass shooting has taken place in America – followed by all too predictable cries to ban the AR-15 rifle.
The pure ignorance of the people bleating for a ban on America’s most popular rifle is appalling. With few exceptions, most of the calls to ban the AR-15 come from liberal, urban women and metrosexual men whose knowledge of firearms comes entirely from watching Rambo movies or playing “Call of Duty.”
Even some in professional law enforcement know not of what they speak. A local radio station interviewed a retired FBI agent who stated that he “could not understand” why people would want such a rifle.
I’ve shot service rifle competitions for nearly 20 years and held the classification of “Master” for nearly eleven. I’ve probably put 20,000 rounds through AR-15 rifles. Though I’ve never been in the military, I have more familiarity and proficiency with the weapon than most active-duty soldiers. So I think I am as qualified as anybody to dispel the common myths about the AR-15.
First, the AR-15 is not a machine-gun or an “assault weapon.” The AR-15 is a semi-automatic version of the M-16, which is a machine gun. However, in Vietnam, the military found that troops with early versions of the M-16 were using fully-automatic “spray and pray” fire – and often failing to hit the enemy. So when the M-16 was redesigned in the early 1980s, its fully automatic rate of fire was reduced to three-shot bursts, forcing troops to actually aim rather than hip-fire. But any fully-automatic fire is simply not an option for the civilian AR-15.
Second, the idea that the AR-15 is some kind of horrifically powerful weapon is absurd. In its most common chambering, the 5.56 NATO, the AR-15 is actually underpowered compared to traditional American battle rifles like the M1873 “Trapdoor” in .45-70 or the M1903 Springfield in .30-06. The AR-15 is a .22-caliber centerfire. When its M-16 counterpart was introduced in Vietnam, it was derided as a “mouse gun” and a “poodle-shooter.” Many troops were dismayed when their .30-caliber M-14s were replaced with the new rifle.
Indeed, the M-16 and AR-15 rifle suffered a poor reputation for a couple of decades after its introduction in Vietnam, in part because ammunition issued by the Army resulted in malfunctions and jams, causing the deaths of…