Banning AR-15s Won’t Stop Mass Shootings

The AR-15 rifle has received a lot of bad press lately, and a lot of the negativity surrounding the popular firearm is misconceptions about what the rifle actually is and what its primary purpose is. One of the first most widely circulated myths is most often associated with part of its name, AR. Many people believe that AR stands for assault rifle, which immediately evokes an image of military men advancing with automatic weapons in the heat of battle.

The truth is that AR is nothing more than a brand name of the rifle which is Armalite Rifle, which is the company that originally came up with the design and crafted the first AR-15. After its inception going back to 1959 ArmaLite sold their rights of the design to the Colt brand and Colt redesigned the original model turning it into a fully automated weapon that would be marketed to the military under what became known as the M16, one of the most popular rifles used in the United States military.

While the rifle was then again modified by Colt to be a semi-automatic fit for civilian use, the rifles remained only similar on the exterior. Colt changed the interior of the rifle in both the hammer and trigger mechanism as well as re-milling the lower receiver. This led to two completely different firing mechanisms that are not interchangeable. The firing mechanism on the civil available semi-automatic version will only function in modes safe or fire.

The second most popular misconception of the AR-15 comes from the stark external resemblance to the M16 automatic rifle that is used by the military. Therefore in the mind of much of the public, the AR-15 is the same as an automatic weapon, but this could not be farther from the truth. In reality, an AR-15 is closer to a pistol in the fact that it is semi-automatic, requiring a separate pull of the trigger for each shot.

Even though it looks like the M16 from first glance, an AR-15 is designed so that it cannot repeat fire while holding your finger on the trigger as an automatic weapon could, but unfortunately since it looks more like an M16 than a handgun, many people believe it to be an automated weapon. In reality, automated weapons are under strict regulation and cannot be sold to the general public.

Why Have AR-15 Rifles Become So Popular Among Gun Owners?

The AR-15 has become a very popular rifle choice among sportsman and gun owners, not due to the fact that it produces any more firepower or triggers faster than other semi-automatic pistols, but rather for its versatility. AR-15s are extremely customizable to fit the handling, use, and even appearance that gun enthusiasts can want. You can personalize everything from the length of your rifle, to the stocks, barrels, and even optics, making it a truly unique rifle for each user.

Another reason for the rise in popularity of the AR-15, is that it is extremely accurate and reliable. For target shooters, hunters, and those who have the rifle for self-defense, the AR-15 has amazing accuracy and is known to fire consistently with less risk of misfire or complications while operating. Additionally, the rifle is a lot easier to operate for those who find the kick you get from a rifle too difficult to handle.

The Truth is Banning AR-15 Will Do Nothing to Limit Mass Shootings

With recent mass shootings, many gun control activists are trying to ban AR-15s by letting misconceptions about the AR-15 run rampant through social media and other networking systems in an attempt to push the gun control issue and continue the fight to disarm law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their 2nd amendment right to bear arms.

Unfortunately, these tragedies will not cease by the banning of a particular weapon due to the fact that assailants who are the aggressors in these situations are simply finding a means of destruction and will likely just resort to procuring an illegal weapon or choose another means of wreaking havoc on their intended victims, or society in general.

Banning AR-15s will not change the mindset of those looking to harm and will only tie the hands of those that may be seeking to protect themselves. Since assailants have no regard for the law or the value of human life, adding additional laws for gun control will have little effect on their actions or their intentions.

~ American Gun News

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54 Responses

  1. I’m not for gun control, but your support of the AR-15 is a little over the top. You don’t need a powerful rifle like that to protect yourself. A smaller handgun will do.

    1. Theresa, read the article again… and if you still do not ‘get it’, read it again.

      1. I re-read the article…you still don’t need an AR-15 to defend yourself.

        1. Guess I missed the word “need” in the Second Amendment

        2. At close range, a 12 gauge shotgun is more powerful. However, in the history of firearms, no AR-15s nor 12 gauge shotguns have ever shot anyone.. Can’t say that about people, though!

    2. Theresa – The AR-15 is NO MORE powerful than any other rifle that fires the exact same round. Being black and scary-looking does absolutely squat for power. Besides – you’re statement is a bit confused… You’re not for gun control, but yet you are.

      1. Shayne, do you understand logic? I did not write BAN AR-15s. All I wrote was you don’t need an AR-15 to defend yourself. You can use a less powerful gun – nothing about gun control. DUH! Another NRA member.

        1. Here’s to both of you, you don’t necessarily need a gun to defend yourself. While growing up we used our hands to fight and if we were wimpy kids with a knife or anything else we got our arsses handed to us. Theresa, your right that you don’t need an AR-15 to defend yourself. You can jyst as easily use a 9mm semi auto hand gun that shoots just as good. I like using my AR-15 for plinking targets and varmints. I also have no problem using my hands in a fight. Some of us just like the feel and accuracy of an AR-15. I still carry and like my pistols as well.

        2. Theresa, you may be very proficient with a small handgun, but most are not. The recoil from that small handgun will also decrease the proficiency. The AR-15 is much easier and proficient to shot. Now as has already been mentioned, when you make comments as there is no need for any type of firearm, even as your yourself being pro-gun, when you make statements like you have here, the antis will jump on it and use it to cause a riff in our ranks and we sure have got to stand together, if not, they will find a way to ban all firearms not just the AR-15. Look at it another way, a gun is a gun no matter how it looks, they all shoot rounds.

        3. Theresa, are you, perhaps, a city person? The Ruger Mini-14 uses the same bullet as the AR-15 is named the ranch rifle.

          You may have heard the advice to not to bring a knife to a gun fight. Same goes to bringing a handgun to a rifle fight.

          The five Dallas cops were armed with handguns when they were murdered by a man with a rifle.

    3. The round the ar15 shoots has less power than my 22=250 ground hog rifle.

    4. Theresa, please educate yourself on the power of rifles. The AR-15 is just slightly above the common 22 caliber rimfire rifle. As the article said, the reason it is popular is that it is light weight, easily handled, adjustable to the body size and easy to fire. Little recoil because it is NOT a powerful rifle. Ammunition is not expensive. These characteristics make it suitable for older people, those that don’t have the hand strength to handle a pistol’s recoil, or small frame people etc. Power of rifles ranges greatly, from .177 to 30 caliber like the 308 Winchester, to 300 Win Mag, to large bore guns that are made to hunt Rhinos and elephants. Or some made for long range like a 50 caliber Barrett.
      Please don’t buy into the hyperbole that this is a high power rifle, its not.

    5. Try defending yourself with a little handgun when 3 thugs kick your door down in a home invasion.


  3. The comment: “In reality, automated weapons are under strict regulation and cannot be sold to the general public.” is misleading. They are available to anyone who can go through and pass the requirements to obtain a $200 tax stamp and wait for up to a year. Due to a limited supply, the costs keep climbing, but they are available. My full auto Colt AR cost $12,500 about 10 years ago, and I sold it 2 years ago for a profit. They can be considered an investment, a collectors item, or a shooter if you have the resources to buy all of the ammo it eats!

    1. I’d give a little latitude on the writer’s use of “General Public”. Though you are absolutely correct, the majority of the ‘firearm owning public’ do not go through the process to become licensed for full-auto ownership (most are collectors); anyone may apply and pay the fees, but it is not understood that they will do that or even pass the process.

  4. I am hoping this information available to the general public. They need to understand more about the entire gun control issue.

  5. Excellent description of the AR-15, this may or may not be important but I saw no mention of the type of bullets it uses, and perhaps the cost of the rounds and how many rounds in a magazine. Thanks,

  6. 1. The framers of the constitution had a full intent that citizens should have the power to oppose any tyrannical government which means citizens must have as good or better weapons than the opposing forces.
    2. The second amendment guarantees the right of citizens to have ANY weapon they choose.
    3. The right to bear arms means I can carry my weapon when, where and how I want.

  7. Had the FBI and Sheriff’s dept in Parkland done their job, this lunatic would have been picked up. Had the Air Force done it’s job, the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas would not have happened. Human error caused these tradgjeties to happen, not guns.

    1. It was my understanding that the FBI failed to inform the local authorities about the threat so they did not even have a chance to investigate much less prevent this tragedy.

      You are 100% correct however that it was HUMAN ERROR or blatantly disregarding the existing regulations concerning such threats that allowed these crimes to happen.

      I have yet to hear if they are even considering charges against the individual that DROVE the obviously armed criminal to the GUN FREE ZONE school instead of the nearest police station an act that could also have prevented the crime.

  8. I get very tired of people continuing to say guns kill people. The gun does not get off the shelf, load itself, and pull it’s own trigger. It takes a human to do that. People kill people. First they want to ban AR-15s, next it will be hand guns, then hunting rifles. I can kill someone with a knife and I am very good with a blade. Are they going to ban knives next? He’ll I can kill someone with a fork and a pencil or ball point PEN, are they going to ban them next. I can even kill you with my bare hands, you going to ban me next. Where does it end? Most, if not dam near all the anti gun people, well we know which political party they are part of. You people need to wake up. Banning things are not going to solve your problem. This country needs to start looking at mental illness as a serious medical problem and not a choice someone makes. Start treating it with serious intent. Stop allowing these anti discipline groups to punish parents if they disipline their kids when it is warrented. Kids now days just get their hands slapped when they do something wrong and really don’t get punished for it. We never had this kind of problem when i was growing up. I got my ass tore up when I acted up and you don’t see me going around and shooting up schools and movie theatres. We also need to educate so much better than we are doing write now on the importance of gun safety, gun usage and that guns are not toys, as well as being able to talk to someone when you aren’t feeling right in the head instead of telling our children and young adults that it is just in your head, suck it up and deal with it, or just simply turning your back on them because you just don’t want to bear their problems. Until all this happens, you are not going to stop the violence, at least amongst ourselves anyway. I know my comment will more than likely fall on def ears because most people are closed minded and are not willing to look at both sides of the story. I just needed to put my 2 cents in.

    1. They have in fact in nations that they have already succeeded in taking guns away from people they are moving to ban knives pointing MASS STABBINGS at schools in their nations.

      1. Not sure what happened but that post was supposed to say.

        They have in fact started in nations that they have already succeeded in taking guns away from people moving on to ban knives pointing MASS STABBINGS at schools in their nations as the excuse.

        This clearly shows it is not the TOOL the criminal chose to misue that is at fault by the criminal themselves and they continue to attack the tool chosen instead of dealing with the actual issue.

  9. Also, the very campaign that the gun grabbers waged, starting in the late 1980s and culminating in their 10-year Federal “assault weapon ban,” helped popularize and integrate the AR15 into the mainstream of the shooting public. The AR15, like many other semi-automatic rifles of the 1960s through 1980s, was generally much more expensive than traditional rifles. When access to these items was threatened by the gun grabbers with the cynical ploy that people could not tell them from machineguns, their many excellent qualities came to the fore, and now the AR15 and its brethren are in the front lines of marksmanship competition, hunting, and self defense. Nice going, bad guys!


  11. An AR-15 is nothing more than a semi-automatic rifle, 1 shot per trigger pull from a magazine.
    Magazines can be purchased anywhere from 5-40 rounds routinely and larger. Adapter allow
    magazines to be paired, so that two 40 round magazines could be coupled so that a rapid change
    allows 40 rounds to be deployed. This may be excessive, but they could be limited to 10 rounds.
    We had 10 round limits back in the 90’s for handguns and rifles. I don’t think that solved or helpd
    the problem of having mentally ill people mass killing of humans. Take away guns, and they will
    use cars and trucks which was on display in Europe and the US recently. I am a believer that the
    real problem is with the mentally ill sociopaths we now have running around the country.

  12. Your reasons for the AR-15 to be in civilian hands goes counter to most mass shootings done with this rifle. Ban this rifle and less people will be killed. All your stupid bullshit reasons are just NRA propaganda to keep the money flowing in and keep the money rolling to people like Rubio.
    If 17 Wall Street types got shot, or 17 Congressmen got shot, watch how quickly there would be gun reform. Since it is only children, church people, and concert goers nothing is being done.
    Thoughts and prayers up all of your asses.

    1. George Hennard killed twenty-three people in Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas in 1991. Prior to that Charles Whitman killed his wife, mother, and fifteen others in 1966. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded more than 680 more with a rental truck loaded with fertilizer and diesel fuel. The list is extensive of mass shootings and murders that did not involve an AR15 style rifle.

      Something common to virtually all mass shootings is that they occur in “Gun Free Zones”, something Senator Joe Biden owns much credit for with the bill he introduced to Congress in 1990. The vast majority of mass shooting in America have occurred since then in “Gun Free Zones”.

      Why do so many people oppose measures to outlaw guns of one kind or another? Ask Senator Diane Feinstein, Joe Schumer, and Hillary Clinton, to name a few, why they, by statements they have made at one time or another, want to outlaw all guns in America?

  13. There are plenty of mentally ill people all over the world and only in the USA are there mass shootings all the time.
    If a Muslim shoots people he must be a terrorist, if an Hispanic shoots people he must be a gang member, if a black shoots people he must be a thug but if a white guy shoots people he must be mentally ill.
    I think you people putting out this website are sick and deserve Trump.

    1. Leon, you are about the biggest idiot out there. No one wants to here your opinion so shut your pie hole.

    2. Not true, Leon. Rewind to 2015. In multiple attacks that year, Paris, France saw more than 140 people killed in Parisian city streets by gunmen. French law severely restricts firearm ownership by citizens. Still, the carnage occurred; and the perpetrators included French citizens. Yes, we have mass shootings, but the rest of the world does, too. “Terrorist” and “thug” are labels applied to violent behavior. Mental illness is the condition underlying that behavior.

    3. Hey Leon, did you catch the news this morning (18 February 2018)? Here’s the headline: “Russia church shooting leaves 5 dead after gunman opens fire on people leaving service.” Read the article. That’s Kizlyar, Russia — not Russia, Ohio. Horrible news in any country, don’t you think?

  14. An look how well did banning alcohol worked out with Prohibitionist.

  15. The point being missed is no one tried to befriend this kid if more programs like the one starting up in California high schools where no kid sits alone, some of these things may be eliminated, most of these shootings are from loners. We need to do better job of including everyone into our lives.

  16. Get a life Leon, maybe start with a mental health evaluation.

  17. We Should raise the age limit to 21 years old to purchase a gun like this , AND we need more strict back ground
    checking method, Come on now lets be more responsible That is You {ARA }
    Use some of that money to get this done instead of Lobbing the Gov officials to get what want but what will be good
    for the US citizens frame of mind.


    John Sebastian

  18. Leon, you better start taking your meds again. It’s obvious that there would be no way to have an honest discussion with you. Your mind is tightly closed. Your immediate descent onto invective shows that you cannot participate in a dispassionate discussion.

  19. I think the only thing that needs to banned is liberal democrats!

    1. Agreed! The Democratic party is the American version of communism. I don’t like politics period. I think politics breeds legalised criminal activity.

  20. A problem that is not addressed is VIDEO GAMES. They make Hollywood billions. You start out a kid at 2 or so playing these games and it is okay for them to kill. They play them till they are adults and more. Now they are brainwashed that it is okay to kill since it is only a game. When you use real runs it is no longer a game. Then we have very violent movies with lots of killing. More brain washing. We need to police HOLLYWOOD. They want to continue making fortunes with no public responsibilities. The left supports them since they make Hugh donations to them. Lets bring the kids up with the old Disney type movies and a hell of a lot of less killing and violence in the movies.

    1. The problem isn’t the video game, it’s the parenting. If you don’t teach your children wrong from write, they won’t be able to distinguish what is reality and what is fantasy. Therefore thinking that the world is like a video game and it is okay to reenact what the video game does.

  21. Maybe the cutoff age to buy a semiauto rifle should be 25, enabling teens to develop a sense of responsibility before using these antipersonal weapons. (I own a Ruger mini-14) and understand its benefits as well as dangers in the wrong or immature hands!

    1. Theree should be a caveat that exempts anyone that has completed basic training in the military or become a policeman.

  22. So I dont hear Much about the most Common denominator, Mental illness and the PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CRIMINAL INTENT that the shooters posted online. The gun and its entirety is Somewhat inconsequential compared to Law enforcement being able to act on public threats. Enforcing any threats to harm any group, event,area people places should have more police powers to remove devices of ALL TYPES when some makes a public threat…So far in the last year there have been signs and posting but the right people are not paying attention.

  23. I can take two pieces of wood, feathers, string, and a few small sharp rocks and make a weapon. Sure, it would be crude by today’s standards, but American Indians still managed to kill a great many people with a simple bow and arrow. Terrorists today have started mowing down innocent civilians with cars, trucks, and vans on sidewalks. Bombs can be made from simple materials available in various stores all over America.

    The point to this is that anyone with no moral code and enough time and effort can inflict death and destruction if so inclined. Sure, it would be great “if” every school in America had metal detectors and armed security guards, but that still wouldn’t stop every attack, as every scheme designed to stop a particular type of attack can be bypassed or overcome by a different type of attack.

    This complex problem of increased violence in our schools doesn’t have a simple solution, as the root of the problem comes from many sources. Sure, some kids will be influenced by violent video games, movies, or TV shows, while others will be influenced by gangs in their neighborhoods, while others will be influenced from missing parental involvement (or no parents at all), and probably a hundred other reasons, but it’s simply not logical to blame an inanimate object for the insane actions of a deranged killer.

    It’s always easier for those on the left to do exactly that, perhaps because to suggest that their Hollywood friends (that make extremely violent video games, TV shows, and movies that glorify violence) might have a role in this would cause a huge loss of their campaign funding. It’s just so much easier for them to blame something else (like an inanimate gun) instead of searching for the actual root causes for this uptick in violence.

  24. Another feature of AR-15 is good compatibility with bump stocks and availability of high-capacity magazines. This makes the conversion to rapid fire very easy, as Las Vegas shooting demonstrated. All bolt, lever-action and some semi-auto rifles are not compatible with bump stocks. Neither are high-cap mags available for, for example, Remington-700 or Savage-110.

  25. The “power” of the AR-15 should NEVER be a debate talking point. I don’t understand when people say that the AR-15 is not for self defense or for hunting. Those people obviously don’t understand that the most wonderful fact about the AR-15 is it allows you to own one gun, while providing many roles. The AR-15 can be made to shoot anything from .22 LR rounds to the .50 BMG. There are many hunting rounds in the middle ground that are excellent for deer and wild hog. There are other rounds that are great for varmints. Doing anything to ban the AR-15 does not identify the bullet it shoots, but the way it looks. A semi-auto .308 Browning BAR would remain legal, but a .308 semi-auto AR-15 would be illegal. Same action, same bullet, same effects. The AR-15 is simply a way to have the exact rifle you need for the need that you wish to fulfill.

  26. before anyone criticizes anything not just guns,They need to educate themselves. Many outer things in this society kill way more people than those with guns! So if you want to make a convincing argument you must first get the facts.
    Make an Educated argument!! ARs are not the devil here!!

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