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Guns and Crime

Demystifying the AR-15

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Demystifying the AR-15

Beloved by many, despised by many others, the AR-15 is the most controversial firearm in America. The gun’s notoriety primarily stems from its use in some of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas. Critics suggest that it is a military-grade killing machine that is too powerful for unrestricted civilian use, while the AR-15’s millions of owners suggest that its power is the exact reason why it is so valuable for self-defense and sport.

The frequent media coverage and controversy over the AR-15 have made it a symbol of the debate over firearms in America. But many people who are not members of the firearms community still know relatively little about it. What is it about the AR-15 that makes it so special—and so deadly?

The following article will give some background information about the AR-15, explain what makes it so effective, and point out some of the reasons why the gun has been wrongly vilified.

What is the AR-15?

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle (one shot per trigger pull) created in 1957 by a little-known firearms manufacturer named Armalite. Contrary to popular belief, the “AR” in AR-15 actually stands for “Armalite,” not “assault rifle.” The gun was originally designed to meet the U.S. military’s request for an automatic rifle that could effectively replace the rifles and submachine guns used during World War II, which had been deemed underpowered or otherwise outdated.

Studies at the time suggested that the nature of war had changed and that most combat was now being fought at close to intermediate ranges, rather than the long ranges that characterized World War I. To that end, the AR-15 was chambered in an intermediate-sized caliber (.223 Remington) that was well-suited for this style of combat.

Aside from its caliber, the AR-15 boasted a handful of innovative features for the time, including a straight-line barrel/stock design which helped reduce recoil and muzzle rise, making the gun relatively easy to shoot. The rifle was also constructed out of polymer and aluminum alloys, which made it significantly lighter than other comparably sized firearms (Most guns previously had been built with wood and steel.).

The AR-15 was first adopted for military use during the Vietnam War and was dubbed the M16. The M16 and its variants, which unlike the civilian AR-15 come equipped with either full-auto or burst fire capabilities, have become staples of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the original M16 was described by “American Sniper” Chris Kyle as one of the 10 firearms that changed United States History.

Nowadays, the name AR-15 is used as a catchall term for rifles built in the AR-15 style. Technically, the only manufacturer that produces an actual AR-15 is Colt, which obtained the rights to the gun from Armalite in 1959. However, countless manufacturers now make semi-auto AR-15-style rifles that can be purchased for civilian use.

Why is the AR-15 So Effective?

Without getting bogged down in the technical details, AR-15-style rifles are renowned for four primary characteristics: they are lightweight, reliable, customizable, and easy to shoot.

We touched on the AR-15’s lightweight build in the previous section. There we saw that due to its aluminum and polymer construction, the AR-15 is significantly lighter than many comparable rifles. In fact, the average AR-15 only weighs about 6 pounds while unloaded, which makes it convenient for both military and civilian usage, particularly for individuals with limited upper body strength including women, the physically disabled, and even children.

AR-15s have also become known for their reliability. The basic design has remained largely unchanged for the last 50 years (albeit refined), and a modern AR-15 can likely fire thousands of rounds using quality ammunition without any issues. AR-15s are also highly modular, meaning they can easily be taken apart and reassembled with replacement parts should anything ever fail.

Another important selling point of AR-15s is that they are extremely customizable. The AR-15’s modular design, in combination with its overwhelming popularity, means that there is a huge selection of AR-15 parts available from both gun manufacturers and companies specializing exclusively in parts and accessories. AR-15s can be equipped very easily with add-ons like scopes, red dot sights, flashlights, bipods and more. Some have even called the AR-15 the “Barbie doll for guys”— because you can accessorize it however you like!

Finally, the single most important characteristic of the AR-15 that has made it the phenomenon that it is today is that it is very easy to shoot. A quality AR-15 has a muzzle velocity of about 900 m/s and an effective range well over 400 meters. The high speed at which bullets are fired, along with the previously mentioned straight-line barrel/stock design, helps to make AR-15s extremely accurate. An experienced shooter can shoot groupings of 1-3 inches from 100 meters away, but even a novice shooter will be significantly more accurate with an AR than they are with a handgun. This feature alone has made the AR-15 extremely popular for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense purposes. The AR-15 is especially valuable for self-defense because almost anyone can use one effectively within the usual self-defense distances, regardless of shooting experience or physical ability (strength, age, physical disability, etc.).

Together, these characteristics help to explain why the AR-15 is so effective and so popular. It is simply a well-designed, time-tested firearm that is reliable, easy to use, and easily customized.

Too Powerful for Civilian Use?

There is no denying that the AR-15 is a highly effective and, if held in the wrong hands, a highly dangerous weapon. An important fact to keep in mind, however, is that the same could also be said of other so-called “assault weapons” with civilian semi-automatic versions available for sale today.

For example, not far behind the AR-15 in terms of notoriety is the AK-47, a Russian-designed firearm first created in the Cold War. Compared to the AR, the AK is less accurate at long ranges and a fair bit heavier, but it fires a significantly larger-caliber round and is equally if not more deadly at close to intermediate ranges. A prospective mass shooter armed with an AK would likely be able to do just as much damage as they would with an AR.

Point being, the AR-15 has gotten its reputation for being the “gun of choice” for mass murderers not because it is uniquely effective for committing such atrocities, but simply because it is the most popular semi-automatic rifle design on the market today. Thus, the vitriol directed at the AR-15 is somewhat misplaced.

Of course, many gun control advocates have suggested that all “assault weapons” are too powerful to be trusted in civilian hands. These critics ignore the fact that according to the FBI, rifles of all kinds, including both semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles, are used in an extraordinarily small percentage of homicides—just 2.5 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2015.

Instead, these activists are committing a logical error thoroughly examined by criminologist Grant Duwe in his seminal text, Mass Murder in the United States: A History. According to Duwe:

“…Claimsmakers [journalists, politicians, etc.] have used high-profile cases not only as indicators of trends in the prevalence of mass killings, but also as typifying examples…[However,] the high-profile cases are the most unusual and least representative examples of mass murder, which is precisely why they are more newsworthy. Consequently, in using heavily publicized cases as typifying examples, claimsmakers have presented a distorted image of mass murder. This is significant because the popular perceptions of a problem often help shape the policy recommendations to control it.” (Emphasis added)

Good public policy is rarely derived from snap judgments about the “least representative examples.” Firearms, like many other kinds of technology, have a direct relationship between their capacity to be used for good and their capacity to be used for evil; the same characteristics that make an AR-15 dangerous in the hands of a lunatic make it invaluable in the hands of a hero. It seems to me that the majority of Americans are good, law-abiding citizens who should not be wrongly punished for the horrible deeds of a few deranged individuals. Thus, a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 would likely do significantly more harm than good and make us less safe, not more.

The original article can be accessed at GunPros.

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  1. Gene Ralno

    May 17, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Democrats want us to believe they dream of peace in our time and wish for total elimination of firearms from the planet. But they know it’s an impossible dream and just pretend to believe. I used to wonder why they saturate media outlets with soothing pleas for conversation instead of acting on their clear and ultimate goal of confiscation.

    I assumed they stopped short of the extreme because they know firearms owners won’t tolerate confiscation without unimaginable fury. Fact is democrats no longer will settle for controlling little things like bayonet lugs, ammunition taxes, bullet shapes and so on. That was just part of a common socialist flimflam.

    They abandoned compromise because they know the people have caught on to their little ruse. But they still must first have universal background checks that are impossible to ensure without a universal federal firearm registry. What they need first are background checks on transfers between mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors.

    They’re after inheritances, bequeathals, gifts and sales of inherited collections, however small they are. A transfer includes selling, giving, lending, returning, renting, or simply handing a firearm to another person or any action that causes a firearm to be transferred from one law-abiding person to another law-abiding person. Those are the voters they hope to transform into dependents on the government.

    Democrats don’t give a hoot about criminals who don’t acquire firearms legally and don’t vote. They need a universal firearms registry because it fundamentally transforms 120 million owners into dependents. Once they know who the owners are, they’ll choose which of them are allowed to be licensed. It’s the consummate entitlement. The democrat party cannot survive without more than half the nation being dependent on the government. Democrats trade entitlements for votes. It’s the heart of their strategy.

    Citizens just becoming aware should open their minds to the fact that the U.S. is very lucky to have a hundred million legally armed citizens with 400 million firearms in private hands. They should recognize that these are the most peaceable, lawful people in our nation. Socialists need to look at our open borders, colossal drug trade, scarce law enforcement, timid prosecution, limited incarcerations, gang strength, mental defectives living at home and terrorists roaming the streets. Can anyone even imagine the unbridled carnage if the socialist goal of total confiscation were to be achieved?

    Clearly democrats fear their neighbors and even other citizens who are armed. So every time you vote, think about this. Those who carry out mass murders fear armed citizens and it’s precisely why governments always disarm the governed before they purge the disobedient. Taken together, all the mass shooting deaths from nuts, felons, terrorists and illegal aliens, throughout history for the entire planet, is infinitesimal compared to the total number of civilian citizens murdered by governments. It’s the reason for our 2nd Amendment and throughout human history, it has been a very bad idea to allow any government to disarm its people. And think about the consequences of not voting.

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Culture and Religion

Top 5 ‘assault weapon’ technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

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Top 5 assault weapon technologies that existed BEFORE the Constitution was written

Just a sample of some of the repeating firepower that existed long before the 2nd amendment.

Leftist lore has it that the only guns in existence at the time of the writing of the 2nd amendment were muskets that took 5 minutes to reload. This being exemplified by the New York Times in using an image of a musket contrasted with an assault rifle in an article on their usual obsession with gun confiscation. Or from a commercial from a liberty grabber group depicting the long, drawn out reloading of a musket. As is usually the case with leftist lore, this is a complete fabrication.

The fact is that multishot or repeating firearms existed long before the affirmation of the common sense human right of self-preservation in the US Constitution. We’ve already highlighted some of these technologies that predate the Constitution. However, for the sake of completeness, we shall fill out the list with the other fine examples.

Since there is no set definition of the term ‘assault weapon’ or ‘weapons of war’ or what ever farcical term the liberty grabber left has come up with to demonize ordinary firearms, we bestowed this term to these technology as some of the first ‘Assault Weapons’.

Repeating rifles of the early 1600s, predating the Constitution by 160 years

The Encyclopedia Britannica has a very informative article on this subject with this excerpt detailing the most important point:

The first effective breech-loading and repeating flintlock firearms were developed in the early 1600s. One early magazine repeater has been attributed to Michele Lorenzoni, a Florentine gunmaker. In the same period, the faster and safer Kalthoff system—designed by a family of German gunmakers—introduced a ball magazine located under the barrel and a powder magazine in the butt. By the 18th century the Cookson repeating rifle was in use in North America, having separate tubular magazines in the stock for balls and powder and a lever-activated breech mechanism that selected and loaded a ball and a charge, also priming the flash pan and setting the gun on half cock.

[Our Emphasis]

Please note that these multishot or repeating firearms existed almost 2 centuries before the writing of the Constitution, eviscerating the ‘Muskets only’ lie of the national socialist Left. For those who are numerically as well a factually challenged, this was also 370 years before the 21st Century.

The Lorenzoni repeating flintlock: Portable firepower that predated the Constitution by over 100 years

Our first video from the venerable website Forgotten weapons is of two London-Made Lorenzonis Repeating Flintlocks. This was a repeating flintlock developed in the early 1600’s that was able to fire multiple shots 160 years before the writing of the Constitution.

Early development of revolving cylinder firearms, predating the Constitution by over 109 years

Next on the Pre-constitutional timeline, we have One of the Earliest Six-shot Revolvers from the collection of the Royal Armory that we profiled in a previous article. The Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson notes that this wasn’t one of the earliest revolvers along with pointing out how the technology has ‘evolved’ over time.

This also brings up an important point, that arms and other weapons of self-defense were vitally important, a matter of life or death. Every living being is in a battle for survival, in the case of human society, these technologies determined its survivability. Thus it is a constant competition with these technologies constantly changing and evolving over time. Something that would have been known by the learned men that wrote the founding documents.

The Puckle or Defense Gun from 1718, was predating the Constitution by over 70 years

We have previously detailed the Puckle or Defense Gun invented in 1718 and demonstrated early ‘automatic weapon’ fire in 1721:

The Puckle Gun, or Defense Gun as it was also known, was invented and patented in 1718 by the London lawyer James Puckle.

This was an early ‘automatic weapon’ was capable of firing 63 shots in 7 minutes in 1721.

For those following along this missed the mark of being a 21st Century weapon by almost 300 years.

The multishot Girardoni Air Gun that predated the Constitution by 9 years.

This is another multishot weapon of war that existed before the Constitution.

Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket – 1786, this also predates the Constitution

Our last video of multishot or repeating firearms that predated the Constitution is the Jover and Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket from 1786. We’re trying to keep this as short as possible, thus we have left off other examples such as the Ribauldequin, Duckfoot or Nock gun.

Very much like the previous example, the Belton Flintlock Repeating Musket was known to the founding fathers because he corresponded with Congress on this weapon in 1777 [Again, before the drafting of the Constitution]. For those keeping score at home, 1786 is still is not of the 21st Century.

Leftist lies on this subject depends on a number of improbable fallacies and assumptions. The founding fathers would have known the history of technological developments and they would have expected those developments to continue. Thus rendering the fallacy that they could not have foreseen that weapons technologies wouldn’t of continued on to the point of absurdity.

The Takeaway

Unfortunately for the Liberty Grabber Left, firearms tend to be valuable historical artifacts, these videos show that multishot or repeating firearms existed well before the Constitution. Thus we have eviscerated the ‘musket myth’. It should also be evident that the violence problem hasn’t been caused by the ‘easy’ availability of guns or repeating firearms.

As is the case with most Leftist lies and prevarication’s, they depend on a lack knowledge of the subject to succeed. This is why is extremely important that everyone of the Pro-Liberty Right be apprised of these facts in engaging those of the Left who have little care for logic, science or truth. The fact that multishot or repeating firearms existed centuries ago should make it clear that the Left is lying about the subject of self-defense from beginning to end.

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Conspiracy Theory

What does San Francisco Mayor London Breed have to hide about Jeff Adachi’s death?

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What does San Francisco Mayor London Breed have to hide about

San Francisco politicians would be in an absolute uproar if the Trump administration ordered the suspension of an unambiguous liberty for the sake of expediency. They would declare a Constitutional crisis was underway and would demand the rights of their citizens be upheld while those who violated them should be held accountable. But when the rights of a citizen are trampled on to benefit their corrupt politicians, they stand by the trampling and pretend like nothing foul is afoot.

Such is the story of journalist Bryan Carmody. His 1st Amendment rights were disregarded so blatantly and so frivolously that it’s obvious there’s a major cover up underway that is protecting very powerful people in the progressive mecca of San Francisco. Following Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s death, a leaked police report was released by Carmody, prompting the San Francisco Police to illegally attempt to force him to reveal his source. He is protected by the Freedom of the Press from divulging his source, but strong-arm techniques reminiscent of the actions of third-world dictators doesn’t seem to be making a dent in the official stories from San Francisco politicians, most notably Mayor London Breed.

San Francisco’s mayor shows the country what a real attack on the free press looks like

Carmody claims he was restrained in handcuffs for nearly six hours as the authorities ransacked his home, seizing “laptops, phones and hard drives — including all the images and documents he had archived from his 29-year career as a reporter and cameraman,” the report adds.

Law enforcement officials have neither denied nor contradicted the freelancer’s version of events. The San Francisco Police Department has not yet returned Carmody’s equipment. The raid, which was approved by two trial court judges, also included agents from the FBI.

And all because Carmody refused to give up a confidential source, as is his right. The mayor sees it differently, though, and she is digging in.

The Mayor took the unconstitutional route from the start and hasn’t looked back.

“San Francisco Police Department is in the process of conducting an investigation into how confidential information was released within the Department. As part of this investigation, the Department went through the appropriate legal process to request a search warrant, which was approved by two judges,” her office said in a statement last week.

Even now, as the pressure mounts from news outlets across the country for the far-left political machine of San Francisco to denounce the attack on the press, one that is so much more direct and heinous than anything President Trump has done, they continue to focus on the legality of the search warrants (even though they clearly were not legal by any stretch of the imagination) and the imperative of finding out who leaked the memos, something that no average San Francisco resident could ever actually care about if they’re being honest.

Instead of defending the Constitution and the rights of their citizens, they’re redirecting.

Their unabashed willingness to continue forward despite all the bad press they’re getting can easily lead someone to one conclusion: There’s something really bad surrounding Adechi’s death that has San Francisco Democrats terrified. There’s a cover up happening right before our eyes, one that has politicians, police, and judges involved and unwavering in their willingness to discard the 1st Amendment altogether.

Whatever has London Breed and her cronies spooked about Adechi’s death, it has to be huge. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be pressing so adamantly against the Constitution of the United States in the broad daylight of public condemnation.

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Guns and Crime

Two separate illegal aliens with child sexual crime felony convictions caught crossing the border again

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Two separate illegal aliens with child sexual crime felony convictions caught crossing the border ag

Thursday was another busy day for border patrol agents. It wasn’t just their standard apprehension and processing of thousands of migrants crossing the border to claim asylum. A handful of convicted criminals were caught trying to secretly cross into the United States, into two child sex offenders.

A 45-year-old Mexican national who had a prior felony conviction for “lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14” in California was captured earlier in the day. Then, a 26-year-old El Salvadoran national who had a prior felony conviction for “child molestation in the first degree” and an active felony warrant for “molestation of a minor” in Washington state was captured with another El Salvadoran national.

Both had been previously deported.

Opinion

Give me one excuse for this. Anyone. Can a single Democrat pushing their doctrine of open borders explain how it’s a good idea to keep border patrol undermanned and under-resourced, block the wall at every turn, and keep laws so weak that of course child rapists want to make their way to a sanctuary city near you.

These aren’t isolated cases.

Every day, we hear of new criminal illegal aliens, previously deported, who are crossing over again to commit heinous crimes like these two child rapists. Why? Because they know leftists will protect, enable, and encourage them.

This is a sickness. No, I’m not talking about the obvious sickness of vile men who find pre-teen children to ruin their lives for the sake of their own sexual kicks. I’m talking about the people on the left who willfully turn a blind eye to the sick crimes of animals like these two.

The saddest part about the left’s embrace of criminal illegal aliens like these two child raping animals is that they will take more offense to me calling them “animals” than to the vile crimes these men committed against children.

Quote

“Democrats have controlled the House for nearly 5 months. Besides supporting infanticide, illegal immigrants, and whining about President Trump, can anyone tell me what they have accomplished?” – Ryan Fournier

Final Thoughts

Border patrol is stretched thin by the migrant crisis, which makes it difficult to apprehend these child sexual predators crossing the border. If they caught two by chance on the same night, how many child molesters are crossing unabated?

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