Sorry, But The AR-15 Isn’t Just Another ‘Sporting’ Gun.

              Back in 2016 the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, issued an order which effectively made the Bay State assault-rifle rein. Not only did her ukase extend the state’s continued adherence to the extension of the Clinton assault-rifle ban, but it expressly prohibited the sale of assault-style guns which were jimmied around one way or another to circumvent the Clinton ban.

              The problem with the Clinton approach (which was actually copied from an earlier assault-rifle ban enacted in California) was that the definition of an ‘assault rifle’ was based largely on whether the gun had certain design features (folding stock, flash-hider, hand grip, etc.) which made it look like a military gun, but didn’t really make the gun any more lethal than many other semi-automatic guns. Which made it both easy and plausible foe Gun-nut Nation to attack the ban since, according to those savants, law-abiding gun owners would be deprived of owning what was just another ‘sporting’ gun.

              I happen to own a bunch of assault rifles, an AR, an AK and a couple of Mini-14s, and they are all fun to shoot. Set up some tin cans (or better yet some pumpkins) at the range, go prancing around blasting away a la Colion Noir and have a good time. But whenever I refer to these guns as ‘adult toys,’ which is what they are, I get all kinds of angry responses from my gun-nut friends who tell me in no uncertain terms that I’ve become a Judas Goat because I don’t understand that Americans need these guns to guarantee their sacred right to self-defense.

              Last week I received my annual dues notice from the local gun group which asked me to make an additional donation so that they can petition the Supreme Court to “take up our challenge of AG Maura Healey’s 2016 gun ban.” And why do they want to challenge the ban? Because according to them, “self-defense is a human right.” By the way, Maura’s ban was upheld by the First Circuit and I can’t imagine that in the current climate the SCOTUS would even consider hearing the case.

              The problem for Gun-nut Nation in fighting against an assault-weapon ban is that they are trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, they argue that since the AR is a semi-auto gun it is no different from any other semi-auto ‘sporting’ gun, which would make a ban on such a product clearly a violation of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ On the other hand, they have also been promoting these guns as necessary for self-defense, and like the gun-nut brigade in Massachusetts claims, self-defense is a human right.

              Both arguments happen to be total and complete crap. The AR is designed to do one thing and one thing only, which is to deliver massive amounts of man-killing ordnance in a brief period of time. And even with my cold, not-yet-dead hands (to paraphrase Charlton Heston), I can get off 30 rounds with my AR is 15 seconds or less. As for self-defense, the idea that I need to protect myself with 30 rounds of military-grade ammo when that ‘street thug’ breaks down my back door is, if anything, an invitation to commit more harm than good. The round from an AR is lethal out to 500 yards or more; a shotgun blast travels 40 or 50 yards. Which gun would be safer to use if my house is located across the street from someone else?

              I understand why my gun-nut friends view the attempt to ban assault rifles with a mixture of fear and alarm. I don’t disagree with the idea that once you ban this kind of gun, it’s easier to ban another type of gun next time around. But sooner or later we must confront the fact that some guns are simply too lethal to be in anyone’s hands, law-abiding hands or not. And anyone who thinks that an AR-15 is no different from the 22-caliber Sears Roebuck shooter that used to go under the Christmas tree, doesn’t know anything about guns.

11 thoughts on “Sorry, But The AR-15 Isn’t Just Another ‘Sporting’ Gun.

  1. I went back and checked an old October 2015 post on my own North Mesa Mutts blog (you can Google NorthMesaMutts dot blogspot dot com) and said pretty much the same, comparing a Browning semiauto hunting rifle with an M-4 carbine for those less familiar with gun nuttery. Civilian ARs are semiauto knockoffs of stuff like the M-16 or M-4, which are military weapons designed to control a battlefield or as I quoted a military guy in my blog post:

    “The carbine is a great weapon system for its time,” he said. “…It will increase the war fighter’s lethality and mobility.” –1st Marine Division gunner and marksman, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Vince Kyzer, Marine Corps Times.

    I don’t have a problem with someone owning an AR if they are mature, serious, and pass an elevated level of screening consistent with the lethality of these military type rifles. The whole point of those 18th Century essays on a universal militia presumably came with the caveat that those keeping and bearing arms would know friend from foe without being reminded not to shoot up the one room schoolhouse or the neighborhood store. Heck, I know two guys who have owned full auto Thompsons. They both went through the NFA hoops and are not a threat to anyone. Of course, both are of a similar vintage to myself and Michael. Both have advanced degrees, etc.

    What I don’t like, and I think defending it will be our Waterloo as gun folks, is staking out an indefensible position that any idiot who can pass the 4473 quiz can walk out of Frank’s Rods and Rifles with an AR. Its obvious by now that this paradigm has led to far too much blood running down our streets. I think there is a good point of wondering where to draw the line and some Dems will draw it over too far for my liking. Its about time we stopped moving goalposts.

    But these rifles are fun, interesting, customizable, fascinating for those who enjoy the evolution of military weapons, and accurate. Someone recently tweeted “why would anyone want one except to be a mass murderer?” which goes to the non-gun nut disgust with these weapons and lack of understanding of why people like to shoot guns. I have one set up with a 3×9 scope and I really enjoy pinging steel targets with it at 200 and 300 yards using HPBT match ammo. Hardly ever load more than 5 rds at once. Even with that ammo (Hornady, not reloadable, so cheaper), its a heck of a lot cheaper to shoot than my old 300 H and H Magnum at two bucks fifty a round for the cheap stuff. As advertised, the rifle is wickedly accurate as well as a cheap date at the range. Plus, I don’t wake up the next day with a black and blue shoulder, which is the result of exercising the big magnum.

  2. As far as gun laws are concerned, my priorities as a “gun sense” activist are 1) federal comprehensive background check, fully-funded & with all pertinent state & county data submitted, 2) some form of federal safe gun storage regulation & 3) federal ERPO law.

    Then, once the gun folks realize that these laws do not impact their ability to keep and own guns or lead to confiscation, perhaps NFA-lite regs on assault-style weapons.

  3. “…anyone who thinks that an AR-15 is no different from the 22-Caliber Sears Roebuck shooter that used to go under the Christmas tree, doesn’t know anything about guns.”

    Ironically, Mike the “Gun Guy” just help craft an “Assault weapons” law that will BAN the 22-Caliber that your Grandpa gave you for Christmas too….

    Florida Govenor Moody pointed out that this Far too overly reaching law would BAN MOST commonly owned SPORTING RIFLES….

    Mikes Response?


    “…So what? You can’t own lots of guns…”

    …Now, Does THAT sound like something a TRUE “Gun Guy” would say????

    -Nope, didn’t think so…..

      • Unfortunately, Mike the “Anti- Gun” Guy Wrote this law to INCLUDE RIMFIRES AND TUBE MAGAZINES…..

        “The proposed amendment defines an assault weapon as “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or ANY OTHER Ammunition-Feeding Device.”

  4. Attorney General Moody had “stretched” the definition of the proposed amendment beyond logic and credibility. This amendment would not ban any currently owned semi-automatic rifle. It would ban the manufacturing or possession of a rifle or shotgun capable of holding a detachable magazine with more than ten rounds. THAT’S IT!!!!! If you modify your Bennelli Super Black Eagle (I own one) by welding on a longer shell tube to the end of the manufactured weapon, you will have taken a beautiful totally legal firearm and created an illegal monstrous looking thing. That is one of the guns AG Moody included on her list. COME ON!!! Are you kidding me???

    A federal judge once said “I may not know the definition of pornography, but I know it when I see it.” Her list is so ridiculous as to be deceitful.

    I own a German made HK-91 and I love to shoot it………my favorite of 20 different
    firearms,BUT I would give it up in a millisecond, if it would help prevent another mass murder/rampage at one of our schools, churches, concert, or any other public place in our country. I value my wife, children, and grandchildren far more than the fun of shooting my assault rifle

    • “This amendment would not BAN any CURRENTLY OWNED semi-automatic rifle…..”

      I Think your confusing “BANNING” with “CONFISCATION”…

      Although, Mikes new law DOES Quote:

      ….So maybe Confiscation is also “on the table”?

      “…It would BAN the manufacturing or possession of a rifle or shotgun CAPABLE of holding a detachable magazine with more than ten rounds.”

      Actually, It would BAN ANY SEMIAUTOMATIC long gun that is CAPABLE OF ACCEPTING a MAGAZINE, a TUBE, or ANY OTHER feeding device that could POSSIBLY hold more than 10 rounds (*)

      “If you modify your Bennelli Super Black Eagle (I own one) by welding on a longer shell tube to the end of the manufactured weapon, you will have taken a beautiful totally legal firearm and created an illegal monstrous looking thing.”

      1. Your Precious Benelli can already ACCEPT extended Tubes, no need to “weld” anything:


      2. Theoretically, your Bennelli can be loaded with MORE rounds if you use 1 1/2″ Mini Shells….

      It may not cycle, but Mikes new law doesn’t care about semantics.

      Another example would be loading .22 SHORT into a tube that usually takes .22LR…..And then BANG….

      ….Illegal “Assault weapon”.

    • Personally, I think the focus should be on the large magazines (over 10 rounds for rifle caliber weapons). Other than that, this should be a statute instead of a constitutional amendment. If there are imperfections, the legislature can’t address them.

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