I opened up my daily reads this morning and found this great post by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned on the very same topic of why the AR-15 is so popular. I especially liked his closing point:
I think we rest on pretty firm ground to argue that firearms should be easy for novices to use. Unless you’re a seasoned competitive shooter, most gun owners, most police, and most people in the military are novices. They can exercise a base level of competence and safety when running their firearms, but Annie Oakley they are not. We should not be banning semi-automatic rifles, which truly aren’t especially more deadly than other semi-automatic rifles, just because they are easy for novices to use. This gets back to the base argument of gun control vs. gun rights: should arms belong only to the special elite, or is it a birthright of all citizens?Read the entire post. It ticks off several easy to understand reasons you can share with people who ask why we use an AR-15 without sounding like a gun geek.