Why Is The AR-15 Too Dangerous If It’s Just Another Semi-Auto Gun?

              I purchased my first assault rifle in 1977 or 1978. It was made by Colt, was listed in the product catalog as a ‘sporter’ and sold for around four hundred bucks. The only difference between my A-1 sporter and the M-16 that was issued to our troops, was that my gun contained a semi-auto sear which because it was a ‘pre-ban’ gun could easily be swapped out for a full-auto sear.

              This alleged difference between a gun which fires full-auto as opposed to a gun which requires a separate trigger for every shot has been the core argument used by Gun-nut Nation to turn back any legal challenge to what they now refer to as America’s ‘favorite’ gun. And since there’s absolutely no difference between all semi-automatic rifles, if you ban one of them you could ban them all, right?

              For the uninitiated, this is a pretty powerful argument, and the pro-gun noise machine buttresses their narrative by pointing out that not only is the ammunition which loads into the AR less powerful than the ammo used in many semi-auto hunting guns, but that most ‘mass’ shootings occur with handguns, not the AR-style of gun. You can find these arguments in an Amicus Brief filed in the Sandy Hook case by a group known as the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League – I don’t have to tell you which side they’re on.

              There’s only one little problem with this statement from these learned protectors of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ To be polite, they don’t know what they are talking about. To be a little less polite, they’re full of sh*t. And the reason I’m dispensing with polite is because this group is consciously trying to craft an argument to take advantage of a confusion found in just about every discussion about assault rifles, a confusion which hopefully this column will clear up.

              It has to do with how we define the phrase ‘mass shooting.’ Actually, there is no standard definition. The FBI defines a ‘mass murder’ as the indiscriminate killing of four or more persons in a public space whether a gun is used or not. Other definitions push the idea that a mass killing event may occur either in a public or private space, and still others count the number of bodies, usually but not always four or more, regardless of whether the victims are injured or killed.

              When a group like this Connecticut gun-loving bunch lumps together every multiple shooting with rampages which occurred at Columbine, Aurora, Parkland, Las Vegas or Sandy Hook, they are creating a category that is so vague they can basically say anything they want, regardless of the facts in each individual case.

              Of course most ‘mass’ shootings involve the use of a handgun, if you define a ‘mass’ shooting as any time that multiple victims are hit. Of course the AR ammunition load known as .223 caliber is much less powerful that many hunting rounds, because the round my long-distance hunting rifle takes, the .300 Winchester Magnum, is designed to smack down a muley at 400 yards.

              Talking about my hunting rifle, it’s a Browning BAR, which fires in semi-auto mode just like the AR. But there’s a huge difference between these two semi-auto guns which the Connecticut gun-nut group failed to point out. The magazine capacity of my Browning is 5 rounds and it loads shell by shell from the top. The AR loads from the bottom with magazines that can hold upwards of 30 to 50 rounds. If Adam Lanza had walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a Browning BAR, he maybe would have gotten off 4 or 5 shots. In fact because he used an AR, he banged nearly 100 rounds in 5 minutes or less.

              When someone walks into a school and tries to kill everyone in sight, he has destroyed an entire community, whether that was his motive or not. And the only legal gun which will achieve that result in less time than it takes for a school resource officer to run down the hallway and intervene is an AR-15.

11 thoughts on “Why Is The AR-15 Too Dangerous If It’s Just Another Semi-Auto Gun?

  1. To be fair, the Virginia Tech mass shooter Seung-Hui Cho used a couple of semiauto handguns, but I have to agree with Mike on this post and have said similar things (including the direct comparison of the M-4 vs. the BAR) on my own North Mesa Mutts page.

    I’ve got conflict of interest problems on this one. Most folks who, like Mike or yours truly, buy a “black rifle” or a Mini-14 (the weapon of choice of Norway mass shooter Anders Brevik), are not going to go off the rails. But when anyone who can pass the 4473 quiz can buy one of these rifles, there is a guarantee that some small proportion of the owners will go off the rails. That is especially the case in today’s toxic social media age when presto, one can be indoctrinated into hatred and stupidity and with a quick walk to Bud’s Guns, Grits, and Fishing Tackle, become a heavily armed lunatic. Santa Fe TX, Orlando, Christchurch come to mind.

    How many massacres are we willing to tolerate before we decide if these things should be if not banned, more carefully regulated? I’ve suggested graduated licensing plenty of times since so many people own these things. I don’t expect everyone to be as heavily investigated as I am given my job, but the present system guarantees occasional high consequence failure and as someone who had to study high consequence, low probability safety controls for my job in Northern New Mexico midway between the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests, you take that stuff seriously or suffer the consequences. Don’t buy that? Ask Boeing.

  2. The AR & AK lovers are talking out of both sides of their mouths. They think it’s plausible that all military & LE establishments the world over just happen to pick assault & assault style rifles for general service by accident – BUT SUCH WEAPONS ARE NO MORE LETHAL THAN ANY OTHER SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE.

    They’re turds.

  3. I understand your pain Fred, but your outright lies and mis-truths will not bring your daughter back.

    Truth will shed light on your lies, sorry.

  4. You’re purchase semi-auto rifle not assault rifle because assault rifle consider as machine-gun under NFA1934 and you must jump to the federal loops to own one.

    Assault Rifle’s definition
    -It must be capable of selective fire.
    -It must have an intermediate-power cartridge
    -Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
    -It must have an effective range of at least 300 metres (330 yards).

    Rifles that meet most of these criteria, BUT NOT ALL, are technically not assault rifles, despite frequently being called such.

    Source: http://031d26d.namesecurehost.com/gunfax/aw.htm

    So, AR-15 is a semi-auto rifle that use .223 rem/ 5.56×45 with detachable-magazine as same as other semi-auto rifle like Mini-14, Keltec SU-16.

    I’m against Assault Weapon Ban because it’s stupid, As you can see Assault Weapon ban law in state like New York that turn many semi-auto rifle, semi-auto shotgun, handgun to “Semi-Auto Assault Weapon” because they attract parts like pistol-grip, stocks, bayonet, flash hider, etc. Even, Ruger 10/22 also illegal in New York if it have a pistol-grip, telescopic stock, flash hider, or vertical-front grip.

    For the Mass shooting;

    1. It’s too easy to own gun in America, I think we should have firearm license with strict universal background check, not just fill 4473 form in 15 minutes and then they can get a gun.

    2. Most stupid politicians in the United States focus Assault Weapon Ban that regulate or ban semi-auto gun based on it’s “looks, cosmetics feature” instead reform background checks systems or regulated gun based on “cartridge, function”.

  5. It’s been a long time since the USAF OSI people and perhaps the FBI did a background check on me to get a top secret clearance. At the time I think they were looking for information to know to learn if someone could be a Russian spy or had something that could be used to blackmail them. They were trying to do an investigation and based on what they learned predict the future.

    Lots of people are calling for universal background checks. The real question here is what are the investigators going to universally investigate. The background check people have databases filled with data to look at assuming they are looking for information on the true future user of a gun and not the straw purchaser. But I wonder how good they are at predicting given the number of times I have heard about the shooters buying their guns legally in the news. Sometimes the system as currently built fails like Charleston or Texas church shootings but often I think people expect too much from background checks at least for the mass shooters craving fame. If you read this link try to come up with data items you can code and put in a database. See: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/19/mass-shooting-psychology-spree-killers_n_2331236.html I chose it since it came from people who are not pro-gun.

    My bet is the red flag laws let people who can closely observe behavior and report it after making their own predictions of how someone will act have more potential than computerized databases. I am talking about accuracy of predictions here not issues connected with taking away people’s rights.

    But then of course ATF could add a question on the form people fill out to purchase a gun saying “Do you plan on using the gun to hurt people in the future?”. If people answer ‘no’ then what do the investigators look for in their databases to learn if the person is telling the truth? But if they answer ‘yes’ they cannot buy the gun. That may actually stop some shootings.

  6. Excuting people trying to hide in the corner of a small room is not a military job and an AR is gross overkill. A 9mm Glock would be more efficient. Enough lethality, lighter more compact ammo, and much hard to grab away.

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