by Samuel Hux
I cannot imagine a serious person arguing that an assault weapon like the AR-15 is a legitimate hunting rifle. If you want to shoot a deer for instance you want one clean shot to kill it; you don’t want to tear the flesh to pieces. The only reason for the AR-15 is to kill the enemy in military combat with a weapon that does not demand precise and expert marksmanship of the highest class to be lethal. That’s why the US military developed or contracted the weapon in the first place. . . and in the last place. That’s it: there are self-evident truths. Any attempt to justify the sale to civilians of such a weapon self-destructs. The proper answer to anyone who disagrees is “Shut up, I explained.” Surely those who want teachers to be armed do not wish them to carry assault rifles in the classroom or think a pistol is going to discourage a heavily armed assailant. (Perhaps my “Surely” is too casual.)
When I was a young man I enlisted in the United States Army for a tour of duty, just missing combat by a matter of weeks, for which I thank the Lord. For two years of my enlistment I served as cadreman at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. For the last year of the two I was Supply Sergeant of an infantry company. Adjoining my supply room was the armory, where rifles and ammunition were kept under lock and key. . . unless issued to a soldier or soldiers on special duty or for practice on the rifle range. It’s been several decades now so I cannot swear that this is still US Army practice. . . but I would be surprised if it is not. I assume that the security and legitimate use of the AR-15 is as precious as was that of the semi-automatic M1 Garand of my day. I have been wracking my brain recently trying to recall when—after basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina—while even in an active infantry company, I had an M1 on my shoulder as daily companion, and the only memories I come up with are occasional regimental guard duty and a the occasional full battle-dress and armor assemblies for inspection by the colonel. It is hard for me to imagine soldiers strolling about Benning today with AR-15s slung over shoulder.
The point is that unless the Army has changed radically, when not in a combat situation a soldier does not have easy access to an armed weapon of war. But a civilian can buy an assault rifle in a store as well as ammunition. How can any politician justify this? I mean of course how can he or she justify it morally? Let me put this more strongly:
When I was a supply sergeant in the United States Army I did not have the casual access to an M1 Garand that a clever psychopathic American civilian can have now to an automatic Assault Rifle as well as ammo. Insanity is too light a word!
I find it amazing that the most popular proposal for gun reform—among politicians at any rate—is raising the age for purchase of weapons of war to 21. This should make parents deliriously happy. . . don’t you think? No more teenage shooters: only fully adult murderers from now on!
The only reform that makes sense, effectively and morally, is the total ban on sales of weapons of war to civilians, period. But we know full well how unlikely that is given the history of the senate and house so far. The only answer is what Joe Biden seems unlikely to do: an executive order by the president of the United States.
I have been asking around recently. . . and few people seem to know that Abe Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was an Executive Order! But Lincoln had guts!
Your writer’s knowledge of modern firearms is abysmal. The AR15 is not a military grade “assault weapon”, or “weapon of war”. It is a semi-automatic (not “automatic” as your writer claims) sporting rifle, which easily performs on par with many other hunting (sporting) rifles. The US military does not use AR15s, nor does any other national military that I have heard of. If they do their first military encounter will be short and humiliating. I am embarrassed for the writer after reading this article.
Obviously I was using the term AR-15 loosely–as the term is usually used–so I suppose that was a careless mistake. But I don’t wish to get into a technical discussion of how the AR-15 evolved into the M16 etc. and their history in the US military. But it should be obvious to Mr. Schmidt that I am making a much larger point: there are military-style rifles (call them whatever a pedant wishes to call them) that do not belong in civilian hands and should be banned!
Anyone who misses this major point of the article should be embarrassed.
Just to be clear. I am not embarrassed of your opinion, as sharing/discussing ideas can lead to truth. I am embarrassed for you. You appear to be very misinformed regarding so many facts to do with modern sporting firearms, and yet decided to submit your article where it can be read and critiqued by people who are somewhat aware of the facts. Full disclosure: I am not a firearms expert by any definition, but some may describe me as “just a slob in a smelly T shirt”.
Okay, so the author made a blooper in one detail, namely the AR-15 being semi-auto. But one, your claims about it being a hunting rifle are inaccurate. Most hunters would consider the AR-15 a poor choice. Like the M16 which it’s derived from, it is a military-style assault weapon, meaning it’s designed to pump out a significant volume of firepower with reasonably good accuracy. The only thing that distinguishes the M16 (the US military’s standard-issue rifle for several decades) from the AR-15 is the three-round burst (not full-auto) mode.
Two, your quibbling misses the author’s main argument, which is that it’s outrageous that the law allows any slob in a smelly T-shirt easy access to such powerful weapons, simply because they’re of legal age, etc.
As for the question of Joe Biden taking action via executive order, I think he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he doesn’t then probably nothing changes, and he catches flak from gun reformers and the more hardline sections of his own party. But if he does act unilaterally then those for whom guns form half the meaning of their existence are almost certain to be up in arms about it.
But then again, a big portion of that demographic is determined to hate him anyway no matter what he does, so he might prefer to just go for it.
The author made more than one mistake. The AR15 is not a “military” rifle. The AR15 is not an “assault” rifle. The AR15 can, and is, used as a hunting rifle. The US military did not “develop or contract” the AR15, civilians cannot buy “assault rifles” in stores. Calling something an assault rifle that is not an assault rifle does not prove your argument.
The AR15 is a civilian sporting rifle. Its design is significantly different from any “military” assault rifle, which are prohibited from civilian ownership. Everything about the AR15 (except its outward appearance) falls well below the threshold for a military quality firearm. The barrel, the receiver and bolt, the stock, magazines and sights, are all designed to a standard that cannot meet any military standard. No manufacturer of AR15s would submit that firearm design for selection for military use due to those limitations.
A good analogy is the difference between a standard Ford Mustang and a purpose built F1 race car.
Any entry level semi automatic hunting rifle, or shotgun, is just as deadly as an AR15.
The larger issue here is how far are the antigun Americans willing to go to force their will upon their gun owning neighbours? There are over 300 million firearms in civilian ownership in the US, and many of their owners are vehement about their right to own them. I know it’s a cliche, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and Hell is what could be unleashed upon the US if the anti gun segment of the population forces their will upon their political opponents.
Full disclosure: I am not a smelly slob in a T shirt and, although I do not own an AR15, I would love to own and shoot one at the range.
Man, you’re talking a whole lot of nonsense. It’s the same exact rifle, minus one design difference.
Your analogy is silly, your remarks on weapon types are pedantic, and your NRA-type fanaticism renders you unable to follow the major point of my article. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you surely don’t grasp what I’m talking about, so you’re batting one thousand. Goodbye.
Brad, thank you for your intelligent comments. I’d love to see you pen an article discussing thispoint of view. Please do send me an email.
Thanks for your intelligent response, Mr. Koolaid. May I call you “DDO” for short?
Sam, your response is pathetic, as usual…whenever someone criticizes you, you lash out and insult…just like the lib you are.
Everyone who reads your garbage knew what you meant…despite your careless mistake that exposed your ignorance.
Maybe you should be writing elsewhere where readers appreciate ignorant authors who think they know what’s best for the rest of us.
Except for the “lib” reference, this screed sounds like a self-characterization as you lash out and insult.
No one with any intelligence makes the argument that an AR15 is a hunting rifle. It’s for defense against criminals or possible future defense against a tyrannical government.
Your opinion here isn’t much different than any other leftist. The only difference is that many of them understand we’re living in revolutionary times. They count on people like you– useful idiots– to push their agenda without understanding context.
I’m curious. Have you NRA fanatics ever done military service? Merely draft-dodgers who like to play around with fire-arms, I would guess.