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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replace the rifles and submachine guns used during World War II, which had been deemed underpowered or otherwise outdated.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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Democrats

Pete Buttigieg’s failure as a mayor should be a warning about his presidency

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Pete Buttigiegs failure as a mayor should be a warning about his presidency

If Pete Buttigieg can’t handle running South Bend, Indiana, how can he possibly handle running the entire country and being the de facto leader of the free world? That’s the question voters should be asking when they look at the candidates being offered to them through the Democratic field of potential nominees.

But here’s the problem. As badly as Buttigieg has handled his home town, his failures are still small compared to the failures of his competition, especially at the top of the pack. Joe Biden is a joke, a mediocre Senator and worthless Vice President whose only real qualification for the nomination is that his policies are slightly less insane than the other frontrunners.

Bernie Sanders is a communist and a hypocrite, calling for $15 per hour nationwide but failing to pay his own people a living wage. He rails against the rich, then tells people if they write best selling books they can be rich like him. His tune is old and it’s not getting any younger.

Elizabeth Warren is the strangest person to be among the frontrunners because her policies are so radical, one has to question the sanity of those supporting her. She represents an existential threat as she does everything she can to be to the left of radical progressives like Sanders.

As for Kamala Harris, she has the race card. She’s an intersectionality darling who slept her way to the top. And her only positive contributions in politics – being tough on crime in progressive California – are the very things her campaign is running away from at every turn.

Despite winning the 2nd quarter money race, Mayor Pete’s candidacy is one police exodus away from being done.

South Bend cops warn of ‘mass exodus,’ as morale tanks over Buttigieg handling of shooting

“Morale around here has been terrible. We do nothing,” one police officer, a 20-year veteran of the force, told Fox News. “We call ourselves firemen, we sit around in parking lots until we’re called and then we go to the call, because if you say or do something wrong, then you get hung.”

“At an all-time low,” another officer said of morale. “It’s been really demoralizing and hard to come to work lately.”

Officers requested not to be identified for this story in fear of retaliation by the mayor’s administration. But they told Fox News that they know of multiple officers who are considering handing in their badges or taking retirement if eligible, in response to the mayor’s handling of the shooting.

“That’s the big discussion … is who’s staying and who’s going. I think you’re going to see a mass exodus, our administration is a joke,” one officer said.

The only things keeping Mayor Pete from falling apart like Beto O’Rourke is the media still likes him and his city hasn’t completely crumbled. Yet. But if the trends continue, he could be struggling to keep his small town from falling apart.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

Only 35% of Americans oppose ICE raids

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Only 36 of Americans oppose ICE raids

Anyone who listens to legacy media outlets or spends enough time on progressive social media sites probably thinks the ICE raids on illegal immigrants with deportation orders are unpopular. “The Squad” rails against them. Progressive pundits scream until they’re nearly in tears. The various echo chambers get hashtags trending about how wrong it is to capture people who have broken the law and been properly adjudicated to be removed from the country.

But a majority of Americans support the raids.

A recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows 51% of Americans support the raids, while only 35% oppose them. This number should be shocking considering all the anti-raid propaganda being pushed by the left, but it’s really not. Americans are generally believers in law and order. They’re aware of the generosity of the nation despite attempts to paint us as callous and to promote the narrative that the President is uncaring.

We are also aware that those targeted by ICE aren’t random people of foreign descent despite the progressive talking points used by nearly every legacy media outlet. They were all given an opportunity to demonstrate that they were fleeing oppression that falls into the context of asylum. But the vast majority – around 90% – never even show up to their hearing to make the case. This is because they’ve been told if they can simply claim asylum and then disappear into the interior, nothing will happen to them.

It’s important for these raids to move forward, increase in frequency, and extend indefinitely until the message is sent to countries with millions of people preparing to take the dangerous journey to our southern border. The message must be made clear: If they do not want to go through the legal process to enter and stay in the country, they will be sent back. With that message delivered, much fewer will attempt it.

The greatest asset conservatives have is the truth. We must not allow Democrats and their media allies to convince us their lies are true. Americans are aware of the problem at the southern border. We must keep the pressure up.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Funny how nobody mentioned AOC interned for Ted Kennedy

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Funny how nobody mentioned AOC interned for Ted Kennedy

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Chappaquiddick incident when a drunken Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge. He escaped, but his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. He didn’t report the accident for 12 hours.

Mainstream media has spent the last half-century covering up the tragedy to give the popular Senator from Massachusetts political cover. They’re continuing to do it even today.

Associated Press On Chappaquiddick: 50 Years Ago Today, Kennedy’s Car Did Something

Give the Associated Press credit for media consistency. News outlets have spent the last 50 years attempting to distance Ted Kennedy from Chappaquiddick, and this passive-voice remembrance is … perfect.

As Twitter pal Jeff Dobbs puts it, the real crime is that the car got away with it:

Let’s start this in reverse, as it’s the best way to put this in perspective. It’s not true that Kopechne “drowned.” The coroner never autopsied the body, itself a curious omission when dealing with an unattended death of a healthy young woman. Eyewitness testimony by the person who recovered her body at the scene, as well as the position of the body, strongly suggests she suffocated after spending a significant amount of time exhausting the oxygen in the air bubble of the submerged car.

The continuous downplaying of the tragic events by mainstream media is awful. But there’s another angle that nobody is covering. Even as many Democrats, especially far-left progressives, are starting to finally denounce the Senator for his actions all those decades ago, there seems to be no concern that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chose to intern for the Senator as she began her political career.

Kennedy was a Democratic icon, not because of his accomplishments but because of his name. He let Mary Jo Kopechne die at Chappaquiddick, but that’s been forgiven by everyone, including his former intern Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. How woke.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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