Sunday, August 25, 2019

Why Do I Own An AR-15?

The media adores the term "assault rifle" or "assault weapon". Now, if I assault you, then by default the weapon I used is an assault weapon. Cain killed Abel with a rock, making a large stone the first assault weapon. Last I checked, no one was advocating rock control.
Jealousy is a bitch.  
 Historically the term "assault rifle" is generally traced back to the German Sturmgewehr-44 /Stg44  in the latter part of World War Two. Up until then their standard infantry rifle was a bolt-action rifle with an internal 5-round magazine. This was the Mauser Kar-98, fielded in 1935 and derived from an original design from 1898.  Starting in 1943, some units received a new semi-automatic rifle, the Gewehr-43 (or G-43) with a 10-round detachable box magazine. It was based on an almost identical weapon, the Gewehr 41/G41, field-tested two years earlier. The word Sturmgewehr literally meant "storm rifle" in a rifle to storm, or assault, a fortification. According to one account, the name was chosen personally by Adolf Hitler for propaganda reasons. It used a 30-round detachable box magazine and could fire fully automatic, and as a special-purpose weapon it was issued to Waffen-SS and other elite units. It was later the design basis for the Soviet AK-47 family of rifles.
Mauser Kar-98
Walther G-43

Haenel Stg-44

Herein lies the rub. Civilian models of military-style weapons, by law, are semi-automatic. They are incapable of firing the entire magazine off in a continual burst like the original assault rifles. A semi-automatic weapon requires you to squeeze the trigger each time you wish a round to be fired. The only "automatic" part of the operation is that the expended brass cartridge is automatically extracted & ejected as the next round is fed into the chamber from the magazine. It is not a machine gun. The US military's M-4 carbine, the latest permutation of the M-16 family that traces its lineage to the original AR-15, does not fire full auto except for a special variant used by Special Operations forces. Instead, the weapon has the S-1-3 trigger group, which means you have the options of Safe, Semi-Auto, and 3-round burst only. Back when I was a soldier, I carried an M-16A1 that was able to fire full auto, and even they were being phased out in favor of the A2 with a burst feature instead. This was in 1988.

The selector on an M-16A1, with full auto as a choice.

The selector on the M-16A2, which does not allow full auto, but has a 3-round burst selection.
My AR-15, with only two choices, Safe and Fire, with Fire being semi-auto only.

But, the media thinks anything with a detachable box magazine is an assault rifle. Uninformed talking head politicians on the Left who want to outlaw large-capacity magazines fail to realize that it's even easier to conceal three ten-round rifle magazines than to conceal a larger 30-round magazine, and anyone with a bare modicum of experience with a weapon can drop an empty magazine & insert a fresh one in under five seconds. Experienced shooters can do it in about three.

The media also likes to mistakenly refer to something they call an automatic pistol. Again, this is because they are either A) stupid, B) manipulating the masses, or C) both.  A pistol is either a revolver with a cylinder that holds on average 6 cartridges, you know, cowboy style six-shooters....or it is a magazine-fed semi-auto that (say it with me now, kids) fires a round each time the trigger is squeezed and it extracts & ejects the spent casing & a new one is loaded from the magazine. Depending on caliber, they will carry an average of 7 to 18 rounds. My preferred carry piece carries 8 in the magazine and I can have a ninth round in the chamber. I have others that carry a variety of loadouts.

By the by, I have been safely handling, operating, and carrying weapons of various types from pistols to rifles to shotguns to belt-fed machineguns to grenade launchers (though mostly rifles and handguns) for well over 30 years. I also have a 100% success rate at never injuring anyone with any firearm I have had in my possession, either for duty or for pleasure shooting. Not every gun owner is a homicidal maniac, despite what the media would have you believe.

On an almost daily basis I see people on social media bemoaning the fact that here in the good old US of A, one may own an AR-15 rifle. Note that I did not refer to it as an “assault rifle”, the way it is erroneously labeled by both the left-wing media and uneducated douchenozzles who know nothing about firearms yet are dead-set against you owning one, because they’re scary and other people did bad things with them.  This is because the AR-15 IS NOT AN ASSAULT RIFLE. SEE MY DEFINITION ABOVE.  The average everyday American citizen may not possess a fully automatic firearm and thusly, THEY DO NOT OWN ASSAULT RIFLES. Automatic weapons have been illegal since 1934 unless you have a Federal Firearms license for it that is EXCEPTIONALLY hard to obtain, and a Special Occupational Taxpayer certification.  And yet the media gets this shit wrong on the daily. 
You wanna see some crazy shit? Read on.

Y’know, a Ruger Mini-14 fires the same rounds as an AR-15. You can even use a 30-round magazine in it. But no one ever calls a Mini-14 an Assault Rifle, because it doesn’t look scary.
The Mini-14 Ranch Rifle. Often used to hunt coyotes and varmints on ranches. Fires the same rounds as an AR-15 that Liberals say isn't for hunting.

The media dearly loves their charts, because most American sheeple are so attention-deficient that unless it has pretty graphics no one will pay attention. So they add charts that are almost always PATENTLY WRONG, and the sheeple graze and take it as The Gospel and continue to perpetuate the wrongness by sharing it and quoting it. See this perfect example of ABSOLUTE WRONGNESS below, in a chart that from no less than the BBC that accompanied a recent article full of bullshit in the UK Daily Mail. It has “approximate rates of fire” on selected weapons. HOWEVER, let me make some corrections, or as you Leftists love to say, FACT CHECKING.

Revolver: Ruger LCR—So…which version of Ruger’s Lightweight Compact Revolver was tested? It comes in six calibers and depending on which caliber, it will hold 5, 6, or 8 rounds. If you carry extra rounds in a speedloader and are practiced, yeah, you can probably fire off 20 rounds in one minutes but don’t count on it. By the way, that’s not an LCR in the silhouette; it’s likely a Smith & Wesson Model 36.

Semi-Automatic Pistol: Colt Model 70—50 rounds a minute is a pretty fair rate for a semi-auto pistol with spare mags. But there isn’t a Colt Model 70. They must be thinking Series 70, the new reproduction of Colt’s venerable 1911A1. The silhouette is Sig Sauer P226 however.

Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle: AK-47—Um, there’s no such thing as a semi-automatic assault rifle which, by definition, is a fully automatic weapon. I’ll grant that 120 rounds in a minute is possible, but not likely. That’s 2 rounds a second, and you’ll need to reload.  And just because a weapon CAN, in some situations, fire at extremely fast rates, it is not something a trained and experienced shooter would do to their weapon because it causes a lot of strain and stress on the metal parts. At least the silhouette is right for an AK-series weapon.

NOTE: I’m changing the order of the last two weapons.
Fully Automatic Rifle: M-16 –Well, 950 rounds a minute is unsustainable due to reloading constraints. This pig isn’t belt-fed with a 950-round belt. They haven’t made a full-auto M-16 variant since the 80s. 

Modified Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle/ AR-15: 1,200 rounds per minute…
Please, dear people at the BBC, define just what the fuck these modifications are that allow a semi-automatic civilian rifle to fire even faster than a fully automatic military battle rifle? I don’t know of any combination of parts right now that would give an AR a 1200 rounds per minute cyclic rate.

So no, I’m certainly not trusting the veracity of firearms knowledge of a nation that is under severe gun control. How’s that knife crime problem these days, old chap?

The media seldom gets ANYTHING right when it comes to firearms nomenclature.

Oh, by the way, Liberal America, let me clear up another idiot misunderstanding of yours. The AR in AR-15 does not mean Assault Rifle. It is Armalite Rifle, Model 15. Originally made by the Armalite Company, designed by Eugene Stoner. 

Another common media misconception is the number of gun violence deaths in America each year. 
The media likes to play loosey goosey with facts and numbers. We don’t exactly have 40,000 deaths each year from gun violence; we have 40,000 deaths by gun. A full 60% of those deaths are suicides, while 36% are homicides. 

Beginning in 2008, the FBI used a narrow definition of mass shootings. They limited mass shootings to incidents where an individual – or in rare circumstances, more than one – “kills four or more people in a single incident (not including the shooter), typically in a single location.”

In 2013, the FBI changed its definition, moving away from “mass shootings” toward identifying an “active shooter” as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” This change means the agency now includes incidents in which fewer than four people die, but in which several are injured, like the 2014 Mother’s Day shooting in New Orleans where 20 were wounded.

This change in definition impacted directly the number of cases included in studies and affected the comparability of studies conducted before and after 2013 and aids the media in getting shit wrong when they even bother to research shootings instead of just parroting the DNC’s anti-gun made-up statistics. Even more troubling, some researchers on mass shooting have incorporated in their studies several types of multiple homicides that cannot be defined as mass shooting: for instance, familicide (a form of domestic violence) and gang murders. In the case of familicide, victims are exclusively family members and not random bystanders. Gang murders are usually crime for profit or a punishment for rival gangs or a member of the gang who is an informer. Such homicides don’t belong in the analysis of mass shootings.

Consider the mass shooting that took place in Platte, S.D., on September 17, 2015 that left six people dead. It was, by death toll, one of the eight deadliest shootings of 2015. Why, then, did few people hear about it? Because the victims were the wife and four children of Scott Westerhuis, who murdered them, then committed suicide. This was a tragedy, indeed, but not a mass shooting in the way the media prefers to sensationalize things.

Likewise, the mass shooting that caused the most injuries that year was the gunfight that took place between two biker gangs in Waco, Texas, in May. That was a heinous crime, with 9 deaths and another 18 wounded. 

So, yeah, I don’t trust mass shooting statistics. 

The question that always, without fail, accompanies this tantrum of boo-hoo  from the Anti Gun Crowd is, “Why does anyone need an AR-15?”

Well….why does anyone need anything? In most cases it’s simply WANT much more so than NEED.
A buddy of mine owns a Dodge Charger SRT with a 470 horsepower V-8 that can go 175 miles per hour. Why does he need that? After all, the speed limit here in South Carolina on the open highway is a mere 70 miles per hour. Who needs a car that can go two and half times the limit? Heaven forbid if he traded up to the SRT Hellcat version; that monster has a 707 horsepower powerplant to propel you at 204 miles per hour, nearly three times faster than one is allowed to go by law. Surely, he is a monster for owning such a weapon of murderous potential? After all, cars kill many thousands more per year than guns do. However, no one is protesting in the streets for the police to go garage to garage to confiscate Dodge Chargers. No one is calling for his car to be taken away for arbitrary red flags.
In the wrong hands, this is pretty damned dangerous.

Cirrhosis is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for 1.2% of all US deaths and kills 3 times more people annually than guns, but alcohol is still legal. Throw in drunk driving related deaths while you’re at it. No one is pushing for booze bans; that failed once before.

Over 480,000 people die each year from smoking-related causes but smoking is still legal.

Over 85,000 people a year die from diabetes, almost six times as many as homicide by gun. While the Left has tried to ban sugar, it still hasn’t happened.

So, do I need an AR-15? Probably not. However, it is my right as an American citizen to own firearms, and I choose to own an AR-15 platform sporting rifle. Specifically, I own a DPMS/Panther Arms MOE Warrior. Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services (DPMS) started in 1985 as a precision machine shop for manufacturing M-203, M-14 and M-16 parts for U.S. military contracts. DPMS later began producing AR-15 style rifles of their own. I chose a reputable manufacturer with a background in the AR platform. I wanted a quality weapon, well-made here in the States.

The MOE stands for Magpul Original Equipment. Magpul Industries Corporation is an American designer and manufacturer of high-tech polymer and composite firearms accessories. They make the grip, handguards, magazines, and 6-position stock for my rifle.

Why does Steve need a six-position stock? He must be trying to conceal it beneath his trench coat to shoot up malls!!!!
Um, no. The adjustable stock allows me to get the optimum comfortable cheek-to-stock weld necessary for accurate target shooting. Think of it like power seats and tilt steering in your car. 

You have a laser scope for precision murder and a front grippy thingie to make killing easier, right?
No, stupid. I do not have a scope, or any sort of electronic sighting aids. I aim and fire the old-fashioned way, on iron sights similar to what I learned on.  I rely solely on my own skills with target shooting on iron sights. I do, however, have a pop-up rear sight that folds down to avoid damage. My old M-16 had the rear sight built into the carrying handle on the upper receiver.  And as I never carried a weapon with a foregrip, I didn’t feel the need to have one on my own personal weapon.

I find target shooting very relaxing. It’s kind of a Zen thing, really. You clear your mind of  distractions. You block out everything extraneous around you, while still being aware of your surroundings for safety purposes, and concentrate your focus on the target, be it a paper target, a metal plate target, or a rubber Hot Box target.

What’s a Hot Box?
Google it, chummy. I can’t do all your homework for you.

Why do you need 30-round magazines like a mass murderer, Steve?
Honestly, because I’m lazy. I hate having to stop and reload once I’m sighted in and “in the groove” so to speak. I only load 27 rounds in a 30-round mag, because a trained shooter doesn’t load any magazine to full capacity. Why? Because constant full compression of the magazine spring can cause it to prematurely weaken and that can cause a feed jam. No Bueno, amigo. You also don’t store loaded magazines for extended periods, to keep the spring tension proper. So, I load 27 and that gives me 27 tries to hit my target before I need to break my firing position, drop the empty, reload, and re-engage. I have MAGPUL PMAG polymer magazines as well as standard military-issue steel magazines.

For the record, I’m not a fan of those big 100-round drum magazines. Those springs are under so much tension that they are prone to jam. In fact that fuckstick who shot up the theater in Aurora, Colorado had a drum mag that jammed, a jam that likely saved some lives. I might trust the MAGPUL PMAG D-60, which is a 60-round drum, only because they are an extremely reliable company with a stellar reputation for quality. I’m not ready to drop $129.00 on a magazine however, not just yet.

Extra weight, unwieldy and prone to jam. Nope, I'll skip thanks.

But Steve, why an AR-15?
Look…I carried an M-16A1 for 4 years active duty as a Military Policeman. I trained extensively with that weapon, as well as the M-1911A1 and M-9 pistols, the M-203 grenade launcher, and the M-60 machine gun. I am a graduate of the US Army’s Unit Armorer’s Course, which gave me a higher level of training on the inner workings, maintenance, and repair of not only the aforementioned weapons but also two types of .50 caliber machineguns (the M-2 and M-85), the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and the M-240 series of machineguns. Hell, I’ve even fired AK-47-series weapons a bit too. I have about 34 years’ experience with firearms. I have a background in law enforcement and have passed multiple background checks; EACH TIME I have purchased a firearm in fact, and I have owned several.

As I am intimately familiar with the AR platform, wouldn’t it make sense to own a firearm that I am exceedingly comfortable with, can disassemble and reassemble with my eyes closed, can maintain and repair, and know the capabilities fully thereof? 

A weapon by itself is just a tool, a piece of machinery, a collection of parts…it is the user that kills.
For reals, people. Over 900 people were killed after drinking tainted Kool Aid in Jonestown in 1978. No one's ever tried to ban Kool Aid, because Kool Aid didn't kill those people; a man killed them; a guy who led their socialist cult who had them drink it after lacing it with cyanide. It was actually grape Flavor-Aid to be precise, and it was merely the delivery system. Guns were the delivery system that were central to the killings in places like Newtown, Vegas, Orlando, Dayton, or El Paso but it was a deranged human who killed those people.

Owning an AR-15 doesn’t make one deranged, or an instant candidate for being a mass-killer. No more so than owning a fast car makes one a street racing menace to the roadways, or having a drink makes one an alcoholic prone to drunk driving, or eating a Krispy Kreme glazed donut makes you an instant Type 2 diabetic. Personal responsibility goes a long way.

You’re just a stooge for the NRA!
Nope. I’m not a member. I do just fine without them asking me for money all the time to fund their political lobbying. No offense to those who are members; I’m just not much of a joiner these days.
I know my experiences don’t speak for every AR owner. I can really only speak for myself and my own reasons for why I own what I own. Thankfully I live in a nation with a Constitution that I swore an oath at age 18 to defend and uphold against all enemies, foreign AND domestic, a Constitution that states quite clearly that my right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon, and that I live in a state with a love of firearms and shooters’ rights. I know some of you are less fortunate in that regard.

So, I guess that leaves us with the biggest and best reason that I own an AR-15…

Now get off my lawn.

Other Times I have written about gun control issues:

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