Via HH475 in the comments to The AR-15 has Ruined, RUINED I Tell You, America
I own a couple of AR style weapons. The author gets one thing right, though he doesn’t say it outright. The “problem” with ARs is not their lethality, their ammo, their rate of fire, the size of their magazines, etc. The problem with the AR is that owning it is a political statement. There is no real task that an AR is “best” at, really. For hunting, I prefer a .308 or .30-30. For plinking and varmints, I prefer my M1 carbine or a .22. For self-defense, I own shotguns and pistols. Oh, sure, there are plenty of folk who like to tweak their ARs with fancy addons, etc. and that’s a fine hobby. But most people don’t, in my experience. It’s a convenient weapon that isn’t all that good at any one thing, but isn’t all that bad at any one thing..
But really, I own ARs to piss gun grabbers off, because they are *symbolic* of gun rights. Gun grabbers hate ARs because they are symbols of gun ownership for the sake of gun ownership. I own ARs *because I can* and because it pisses people like Ryan Busse off. No more, no less. And it drives them crazy not because it’s such a horrible weapon, but because it’s the gun that says “screw you” to gun grabbers. It’s unapologetic gun ownership without the “excuse” of hunting, home defense, etc. And that kind of liberty enrages them.
I agree with HH475, owning an AR-15 is a political statement. There are few other firearms that attract as much hate as the AR-15 platform.
We fight the argument with descriptions of what an AR-15 is or is not. How it uses a wimpy round. It is only semi-auto. It is or is not this or that. And we lose because it is an emotional argument that we can’t win with facts.
As a political statement, it is incredibly powerful.
I will give you one place where the AR-15 platform does something almost none of my other firearms do. It gives my wife a platform she can use well. She doesn’t have the hand strength to cycle any semi-auto pistol outside of the .22. She would be able to handle the loading of any of the revolvers but she just doesn’t have the wrist strength to hold one up and no speed on reloading.
On the other hand, she can slap a magazine into the AR, drop the bolt or pull the charging handle with no problems.
The day she shot her AR-15 for the first time just caused her to light up. After spending 10 minutes trying to get a group tighter than 6 or 7 inches with the .22 pistol she picked up the AR and put 10 rounds in a 2 inch group. Yes, it was close. Pistol close. I don’t give a damn. It is the first time she looked at me and said “I can do this”
She now has the ability to defend herself and her family.