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Written by Randomology on January 17, 2013.
Dear Daily Caller,
I have some opinions regarding your website, but for right now, I’d like to address your recent article on why banning AR-15s is such a bad idea from a defense and ideological point of view. It’s a nice written article, generally level-headed, and seeks to point out the flaws in banning or even limiting certain firearms.
However, I would like to point out a few of the half-truths and outright lies you yourself have used in this article. If we’re going to have a debate, let’s get the facts straight.
[Misinformation] is not just coming from the usual anti-gun crowd, whom one would expect to lack knowledge about firearms and how they function, but also from supposedly knowledgeable gun owners and hunters, some of whom favor “reasonable” controls on firearms freedoms.
Okay, let’s get this straight. I have to know about cleaning barrels, disassembling firearms, and how to convert for different types of ammunition in order to have a debate about guns? Maybe if I wanted to debate gun quality, sure, but this debate is about what guns allow people to do. Trigger gets pulled. Bullet fires. Bullet does damage.
And if gun owners and hunters are actually saying they’d like more controls, isn’t that something to listen for? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to people when they agree with you? For example a majority of NRA members want background checks for gun purchases. I’m pretty sure those people know about guns.
Could I use another gun for self defense? Of course I could and the AR may not be the best firearm to use in all defensive situations. I could use a shotgun or a pistol, I could use a baseball bat or a knife, I could use a tennis racket, a golf club, my bare hands, or I could just try playing possum.
Good! We’re at least acknowledging that a firearm may not be the best weapon for the job. I like this so far. I’m sure the final few examples are sarcasm, but whatever.
It is not a question of what I use to defend myself but my right and desire to have the best possible tool for the job at my disposal. I want a semi-automatic rifle with an adequate capacity magazine for the same reason the police want them; to be able to quickly and accurately engage multiple assailants should the need arise.
Frankly, I’d think a good alarm system, iron bars, and heavy doors would be much better at preventing home invasion. Why react when you can prevent? Also, I don’t think you understand why police actually use the AR-15 and other weapons like it.
But I do.
During the 44-minute North Hollywood Shootout, police fired hundreds of 9mm and 12-gauge rounds at two armored assailants and didn’t do much damage. The perpetrators, on the other hand, had rifles, some of them AR-15s, which they modified to fire full auto.
SWAT itself was originally armed with revolvers and shotguns, but a 1974 encounter with the Symbionese Liberation Army changed things and semi-automatic rifles were introduced into SWAT’s arsenal.
Basically, these police departments were dealing with multiple, heavily armed, heavily armored assailants. Then again, maybe you really are worried someone could enter your home wearing tactical armor and wielding his or her own rifle. Okay, fine…
The AR is traditionally chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO (interchangeable with the .223 Remington caliber) cartridge. The U.S. Military has been using this round as their primary rifle caliber for 50 years, through many wars and other interventions. If it was not effective we would not still have it.
As with any firearm, the weight and type of bullet can be easily changed to deliver better performance and while not all loadings may be ideal for hunting, many are used on deer, feral hogs, coyote, and other game animals.
The AR-15 has ammunition designed to punch through body armor and is extremely long range. As you’ve said, the rifle can be converted to fire other, less-powerful ammunition, but if that is the case, why not use a weapon that is already chambered for some other load?
So far, the argument has been that the AR-15 can be used against multiple opponents and can be converted to fire other types of ammunition. Just how many people do you think are involved in home invasions? And if ammunition can be swapped for others to prevent over-penetration, why not use other weapons?
Some have argued that a 5.56mm AR is bad for home defense because the round will over penetrate and pass through walls, endangering other occupants or neighbors. Tell that to police SWAT team that are increasingly switching from 9mm (pistol caliber) sub-machineguns to 5.56mm ARs exactly because they over penetrate less than the 9mm especially with proper ammunition selection.
Police are switching to these high-powered rounds because they offer better performance against armored targets. I would also point out that 9mm hollow-points lack penetration and deal a heck of a lot of damage, maybe not as much as the 5.56mm, but certainly enough to stop someone who’s entered your home.
If over penetration is a serious concern then use a shotgun with bird shot. At close ranges this can be extremely effective. Others argue that a long gun is too unwieldy for home defense and going around corners. Ironically a shotgun has long been considered an ideal home defense firearm, not to mention that “hunting down” home intruders is not really advisable anyways. Better to barricade yourself and call the police.
I would think over-penetration is ALWAYS a concern, especially if there are others in the house. It’s why hollow-point rounds were invented. And you’re right. A long gun can be very unwieldy in a home environment, and a shotgun suffers from the same drawback.
But a shotgun lacks the over-penetration of the 5.56mm and has an extremely high intimidation factor. Shotguns are also quite cheaper to purchase than an AR-15, making them ideal for many budgets. So far, the argument seems to be, “I really like the AR-15, and it has a lot of drawbacks like the possibility of hitting innocent civilians, but I REALLY want an AR-15.”
Ignoring the fact that semi-automatic rifles are used to commit only a tiny fraction of all gun crimes and that gun crimes overall have been declining for the past 20 years, the AR and other similar rifles are no more dangerous than any other firearm. The AR is semi-automatic and fires once each time the trigger is depressed, like a double-action revolver, or any pistol, or many other rifles and shotguns.
It can also be easily modified for full-auto by any idiot with the right tools. A quick Google search yielded thousands of forum threads on the subject. While gun crimes have declined overall in the last 20 years, so has gun ownership. Less people own guns, but that group now owns MORE guns than before. And guns like the AR-15 are, as you yourself have pointed out, not the ideal ones for home defense, and their ammunition can be a danger not just to people in the house, but possibly people outside the home, too.
If you think the AR-15 is no more dangerous than other guns, I’d suggest you try a shootout while wielding a .38 revolver. Your opponent will have an AR-15. Let’s see which one’s more dangerous. Better yet, use a baseball bat because, as many of your side have said, those are just as dangerous.
If you believe that the AR is too dangerous to own then there is no rational limit to what firearms you will find too dangerous next. Politicians have attacked firearms as too dangerous because they are too small and easy to conceal, too cheap and easy for poor people to buy, too accurate and usable and sniper weapons, too powerful and usable against vehicles. The list of “too dangerous” can easily be expanded to cover most any firearm and making every firearm “too dangerous” is exactly the real agenda.
Ah, I see. The real problem is that you’re afraid if one gun is banned, then they can all be banned. I have bad news for you. Scalia of all people wrote an opinion which stated the Constitution itself grants the federal government the right to regulate certain weapons. There’s also the nasty bit in the Second Amendment about a militia being “well-regulated,” kind of like how Israel does it. And we do have certain weapons banned right now. You can’t own a grenade, a rocket launcher, or C4. Even if you had the money, you can’t own a tank with functional weaponry.
In what insane, parallel dimension, do you think guns will be banned in the US? I’ll assume your head is somewhere where you’re likely to run into your colon. Yes, certain guns become controversial, and yes, we’ve tried to pass legislation regarding guns, just like every other right and Amendment has had legislation to address loopholes and abuses.
The First Amendment even has restrictions. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded room if there’s no fire, you can’t incite a riot, and you can’t threaten the life of the president. These are not tyrannical forces conspiring to keep you disarmed. They’re regulations put into check to address changes in society and possible abuses we’ve seen since the Constitution was written.
I know, I know. You REALLY want an AR-15. However, by your own admission, there are other weapons that won’t cause as much collateral damage. The AR-15 suffers from over-penetration, something I would think is a SERIOUS concern to someone who believes himself to be a responsible gun owner, and can be modified for full auto.
Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns help, though. The AR-15 is designed to be used against hardened targets in a combat zone. If you need thirty armor-piercing bullets to stop a home invader, you’re either a really bad shot or you are in way over your head. You might be fighting a pack of velociraptors or terminators. In that case, I suggest actually moving.