Have you noticed that many of our thousands of mass shootings have involved the AR-15?
Why is that?
When did the AR-15 become America’s rifle?
I better question is just what is an AR-15?
Some lawmakers have proposed raising the age to buy these weapons to 21, while others want to ban them altogether.
But what is the AR-15, exactly? Here we demystify the weapon currently at the center of the gun debate.
Starting with the basics: What is a semiautomatic rifle?
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives defines a semiautomatic rifle as a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder that “utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round,” and shoots a single bullet with each pull of the trigger.
I recently read an article that answers that one question……
As the United States finds itself looking down the barrel of yet another senseless act of terror, the usual bogeyman has been put on trial: the semiautomatic AR-15.
Known as “America’s Rifle,” the AR-15 is arguably the most common rifle in circulation, with an estimated 20 million in the hands of American citizens.
This number, provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, shows the ubiquitous nature of the AR, but is a mere drop in the hat compared to the estimated 400 million firearms in the country- no small number for a nation with a 2020 Census population of 329.5 million.
So what is the AR-15? Where did it come from? How long has it been in civilian hands and has it always been so “easy to get,” as journalists and politicians often claim?
Designed and patented in 1956 by Eugene Stoner under the ArmaLite brand, the ARmaLite Model 15 [where “AR” comes from, not “Assault Rifle”] was a scaled down version of the gas-operated direct impingement AR-10, chambered in the smaller 5.56mm / .223 Remington cartridge rather than the AR-10’s heavier 7.62×51/.308 Winchester offering.
While the AR-10 is arguably more powerful and entered civilian circulation earlier than the AR-15, that is a tangent for another time.
Eventually, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt, who produced two versions: the semi-automatic Colt AR-15 Sporter and the select-fire M-16, the former being for civilian use and the later being for military and law enforcement use [though they could be legally obtained on the civilian market at the time]. The two rifles rolled out to their respective markets in 1963, and quickly took off, with the AR-15’s military cousin entering the US Military in 1964.
About 20 million AR-15s in circulation, the hands of citizens….that is 20 million……20 with 6 zeroes.
And with the recent rash of mass shootings that number should go up because people are looking for security….a security they will not find.
I do not understand the fascination with the damn gun….I had one in Vietnam and I got rid of it in favor for a M3 Grease gun.
There is a solution for this…..Rep. Beyer from Virginia has one answer….
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is drafting legislation to impose a hefty tax on assault-style weapons in the wake of recent mass shootings across the United States.
Beyer’s office told The Hill the proposal was a workaround to avoid GOP opposition to legislation outright banning the high-capacity weapons.
“Congressman Beyer has seen action to prevent gun violence obstructed by Senate Republicans using the filibuster after horrific mass shootings for years, this legislation represents an effort to put a new option on the table for those who believe that gun safety reforms are urgently needed to save lives,” Beyer’s deputy chief of staff Aaron Fritschner said in an email.
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