Should the AR-15 be banned?
With the move to a more liberal government in the White House, gun control is once again up for debate. After the recent Atlanta and Boulder shootings, calls for a ban on the multi-vicious AR-15 were renewed with increasing fervor. Should we ban the AR-15 rifle?
First some background information:
The second amendment gives U.S. citizens the right to carry guns. The amendment, ratified in December 1791, says: “A well-regulated militia, which is necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms must not be violated.” and in the District of Columbia v. Heller, the US Supreme Court concluded that the second amendment includes the right of individuals to carry weapons in self-defense. In 2010, McDonald v City of Chicago expanded the previous ruling from federal law to state and local law.
Before I can make an argument about what is known as the “assault rifle,” we need to understand some basic, but absolutely important, definitions. Too often these terms are misused to indicate increased firearms legislation and are incorrect and misleading.
What is an “assault rifle”?
Merriam Webster defines an “assault rifle” as a military firearm designed for reduced size or propellant ammunition that has the ability to switch between semi-automatic and fully automatic fire. On some models of assault rifles, fully automatic fire can be replaced with one-shot or three-shot burst fire by pressing a select fire switch on the weapon. No rifle legally available to civilians has these capabilities.
What is a “military weapon”?
National Technical Systems (NTS) operates extensive engineering and test laboratories for the aerospace, nuclear, defense and commercial hardware industries. According to the NTS, there is no official “military-grade weapon,” but the term is widely used in the media and by politicians to describe civilian semi-automatic rifles that are equipped to look like military weapons. The US military has MIL-STD (military standard) and MIL-SPEC (military specifications) documents that specify the test battery that a weapon must pass in order to be approved for military use. There is no weapon that is available and legal to the public that even comes close to a rifle that is used by our armed forces or that could meet the MIL-STD.
Just look at the real price of a real assault rifle that meets the MIL-STD compared to a civilian AR-15. The Army Times reports that the Army is paying $ 9,000 each for 4,000 new rifles to replace their current M4 and M249 assault rifles. Compare that price to that of an AR-15, which can be less than $ 500. You will NOT get a rifle that complies with the MIL-STD for $ 500!
What is an AR-15 rifle?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, is committed to promoting true gun safety and provides a full final description of the AR-15. The “AR” in the “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT mean “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle”. The correct term is “MSR” or “Modern Sporting Rifle”.
“Modern sport rifles” are housed in .22 LR, .223 (5.56 x 45 mm), 6.8 SPC, .308 and many other calibers. AR-15 rifles are no more powerful than other semi-automatic rifles of the same caliber and less powerful than traditional big game hunting cartridges such as the .30-06, .308 and .300 Win. Like.
“They don’t use an AR-15 for hunting,” say a number of politicians. Not true! The AR-15 is used by many hunters for foxes, coyotes, pests, etc. A .308 caliber “MSR” (known as AR-10) is ideal for deer, bears, elk, wild boar, etc. Automatic rifles have been used civilly since their introduction by Winchester in 1903 and are for hunting in all but two states legal.
In summary, an AR-15 is not an assault rifle, military grade, or automatic machine gun fire. It is used for target shooting, competitions, and hunting. In reality it is a semi-automatic basic rifle that has been equipped with accessories and ONLY resembles a military weapon in its appearance … not in its function!
No law will ever stop a person who is determined to do harm. Guns are always either legal or available on the black market. Posting “Gun Free Zone” signs will never deter a criminal. 99.9 +% of legal gun owners are peaceful, law abiding citizens.
The second amendment guarantees us the right to carry weapons for self-defense and to deter an oppressive government and its standing army. In the landmark 2008 District of Columbia v Heller case, the Supreme Court stated that the second amendment was an individual right and protected weapons “shared by law-abiding citizens.” The AR-15, the mechanism of which works like any other semi-automatic weapon, clearly meets these criteria and should NOT be banned.
It is appalling that some troubled individuals have tarnished the reputations of millions of conscientious, law-abiding gun owners. I welcome a discussion of the problems of gun death, but please do your research, use the correct terminology, and know what you are talking about! I’m going to make some changes that, if implemented and enforced, would prevent many of these horrific acts of violence that involve the use of a gun.
David Dallas lives in the village of Bradford.