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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why Are AR-15's So Popular?

That is the question NBC reporter Peter Alexander asked when he called yesterday asking if  VSSA could recommend someone they could speak with about why AR-15s are so popular, for a piece they were doing for Monday's nightly news.  I won't comment on Lester Holt's use of the terms "assault weapon" and "weapons of war" in the clip below as we have come to expect those from the media.  For Alexander's part, he was truly interested in knowing what is was about the firearm that made it the most popular firearm in the country.  We spent 20 minutes talking about that question.  I told him the ease of use is the number one reason people buy the rifle.  I shared how all of the shooters in my home from myself, my wife, and my 15 and 11 year-old daughters can shoot the same rifle simply by adjusting the stock.  I told him it is also light weight which makes it easy to use for women and younger shooters and that it is used for competition for all those reasons.  In the end, less than 20 seconds of the total interview made the report and none of me talking about why it is the most popular rifle in America.  He did however start out by condensing a lot of what I said into background for the start of the piece by mentioning the versatility of the firearm.

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.

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