Every time some Muslim, or nutter, or Muslim nutter goes on a firearm rampage all the ninnies with the bullhorn start caterwauling against the 2nd Amendment. From our head ninny, the President, to our more manly ninny, Hilary Clinton it's all about the guns. And the gun that now holds pride of place among taboo objects in the AR15.
I trained on an AR15 but have never owned one. I almost certainly never will. All the academics and other goody goodies proclaim that the little Armalite is an "Assault Rifle" and an artifact of the devil. Not that they believe in the devil in any case, but that's another topic.
My writing this is probably a fools errand. The anti-assault weapon mania rests not even vaguely on knowing what one is. I just had this confirmed today when a good friend informed me that owning an AR was exactly like owning my own jet fighter plane.
So let me share what I know and or observed.
1. The AR15 is of course not an assault rifle. No firearm lacking automatic fire capacity can be an assault rifle. The entire point of creating actual assault rifles was to get a short length, fully automatic weapon firing a smaller than normal cartridge in the hands of infantrymen. It's true that all such weapons were meant for combat. But once you make such a weapon semi, rather than fully automatic, the whole concept is compromised. How?
If you are going to design a firearm to be hand held, you must take into account the reciprocating nature of all automatic weapons. The gun is going to try to jump around in the users hands so, fine accuracy is not as important. The sights on an AR or that other metallic boogyman, the AK, are not designed to be terribly accurate. They aren't just ornamental, but since the gun is made in mass quantities and fires a less powerful cartridge, it's far from a target gun. So a nutter or Muslim using sights meant for a full automatic is actually at a disadvantage.
This was brought home to me the first time I held an AK. The front and rear sights are quite close and the front sight is up on a kind of stalk. This is not an ideal arrangement unless you are spraying rounds automatically. The AR15 has a similar arrangement, that's why people modify them with optical sights.
BTW, while I'm on the topic. Assault Rifles are themselves not rifles. As they were designed to be short, handy weapons they should be called Assault Carbines. I suppose it too late for that though.
2. The AR15 fires a 22 caliber bullet. Yes, it's a more powerful 22 than the plinking round we are all familiar with, but it is the same diameter. This round and the rifle that fires it are always described by the press as "Hi-powered." That is poppycock. It's illegal to hunt dear with this round in my state and many others. The cartridge (223) has always been classified as a varmint cartridge. That is, suitable for foxes, groundhogs and such. Of course it can be, and is lethal to humans. But to be frank, it ranks far down the list in lethality.
It is well to remember that the army adopted this cartridge in the Sixties, under pressure. It's also important to understand that from a military point of view, a wounded enemy is actually more desirable than a kill. A dead soldier is a loss; a wounded soldier is a liability to the enemy.
This is borne out in AR15 mass shootings. Because of the relative weakness of the cartridge, most people either die on the spot or are released from hospital in a few days. If you are to be shot by a Muslim crazy man, I hope it's not with an obsolete 30.06 from WWI. You can kill and Elk with one of those.
3. Press ninnies usually know little about firearms and care less. In this case, few of the ninnies know just how popular the AR15 is and how many are in use. I was surprised to see how many versions of the AR are available now. The gun has been around for a long time (Sixty Two years) and I suppose the patent has run out so everyone and his brother in the gun world is making them.
For reasons expressed above, I don't personally get the AR15. The AR must be made in modified form to be really useful and still fires a lackluster cartridge with limited range. I can only hunt ground hogs with it and there are a lot better firearms for me to defend myself with.
Understand dear reader that Americans have always had a way of adopting their military long arms for personal use. Springfields, M1's, M1 carbines have all been sold to civilians in huge numbers over the 20th Century. Varmint hunting, target shooting, personal home defense are all popular AR15 applications. The little AR is reliable and I think ammo is relatively cheap. There is little recoil so it's popular with teenagers and the mounting numbers of women shooters. And it looks mean. It's cool to look mean.
This means that our cultural masters have no idea how ubiquitous their taboo object is. They might as well try to confiscate all the lawnmowers.