The recent Florida shooting has triggered the inevitable calls for bans as politicians and pundits shout no one needs an AR15. That’s nothing new. Just hours after the Orlando attack in June 2016, Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, goofed.
In New York, design modifications are giving gun makers room to bypass constraints the state passed after the 2012 Newtown massacre in Connecticut, urging some analysts to declare the rules were only smokescreen.
New York legislators enacted the SAFE Act and announced it efficiently forbade the selling of “assault weapons.” But AR-15s, the common type of weaponry mentioned as ‘assault weapons,’ are marketed by Empire State firearms dealers, openly, easily and legitimately. The rifle is sold by Stag Arms as a “New York-amenable AR15,” and boasts a slightly altered stock with no frills. The piece lacks a handgrip, for example, a characteristic barred by the law.
Despite many differences, such as detachable magazines, using intermediate cartridges, the main difference is selective fire — the ability to flip a switch and move from semi-automatic to fully automatic and back. Gas powered, semi-automatic, one squeeze of the trigger sends one round down the muzzle. The American military uses weapons similar in appearance to the AR-15, but give auto-fire and three-round burst-fire. Neither can be done with an AR-15.
The AR-15 appears to be a twin to the M16 and M4 carbine assault rifles. The military spent millions to come up with an ideal gun which featured great ergonomics. But looking past the ergonomics, persons are attracted to the AR-15 because it is customizable. Users can add lasers, scopes, slings and a variety of grips. The lower portion of the weapon can be swapped out as well.
Notwithstanding similar appearances, the civilian version, the AR15, misses a critical military function.
Not A Weapon For Hunting
The AR15 is not a ‘high-powered’ rifle. Like all rifles it does have more oomph than a pistol or handgun — all rifles do. When it comes to weaponry, the ammunition used is so low powered it has been banned from hunting game like deer and elk. The weapon can’t humanely take animals down in one shot like other weapons. In Washington, and some other rural states, all bigger game must be hunted with larger caliber ammo. That leaves the AR15 appropriate to plunk squirrels, rabbits and demotes the weapon to varmint duty.
Politicians and the news media, exaggerate the AR15’s power. They enjoy telling the public that it is almost impossible to rapid-fire an AR15.
Remember Grayson? He told CNN’s audience, “If the gunman had not been able to purchase a weapon that fires 700 rounds a minute, many of those people would not be dead.”
Grayson’s comments, on national television, were so far out in left field, a conservative commentator, Conrad Close, offered a reward of sorts.
“I’ll donate $50,000 to the charity of Grayson’s choosing if he can fire an AR15 700 times in 60-seconds,” Close tweeted on June 13, 2016.
The weapon can’t fire anywhere near 700 rounds per minute. One trigger squeeze equals one round fired.
AR Does Not Mean Assault Rifle
People who should know better assert the ‘AR’ stands for ‘assault rifle.’ No, it stands for ‘Armalite Rifle,’ named for the firm which designed the gun in the 1950s.
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Seventeen innocent people in Florida were killed. People in favor of a gun ban will pull out all of the rhetorical stops to convince Americans that the carnage was possible only because of the AR15. History shows otherwise. Anyone engrossed in killing will find a way to kill.
Another look at gun control in America is needed. But proponents need to make sure their terminology is correct, and their facts are straight if their credibility is worth anything.