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Who needs an AR rifle? That’s not for me to say

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Wilson County News
February 6, 2013 | 2,359 views | 12 comments

An analysis...

THE HEART OF TEXAS -- I don’t know about you, but personally, I am sick and tired of hearing people tell me what I do or do not need. In particular, I refer to the ongoing national debate on firearms, and whether or not anyone needs these so-called “assault weapons,” to include the AR-15 -- the most popular firearm platform in the country.

I have read too many articles lately, in which the author attempts to make the argument that no one needs an AR rifle to defend their home. Says who?

It is my contention that people should make their own decisions about what type of firearms they do or do not need.

The position of many is to suggest that all anyone needs is a shotgun for home defense. While I will agree that a shotgun makes a fine choice for home defense, I understand it may not be the best choice for everyone. I have chosen the firearms that meet my needs, and best fit the situation of my home, but I understand it may be different for my neighbor, or a citizen across town.

To those so opposed to AR rifles, I wonder, have you ever fired one? If so, then you realize that the recoil of an AR is far less than that of a shotgun, or many handguns, for that matter. That being the case, isn’t it conceivable that someone with minimal upper body size or strength would be more accurate, comfortable, and confident with an AR rifle? Shouldn’t those be important factors when selecting a firearm for defense?

It is interesting to note that the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently made a request for up to 7,000 AR rifles. They don’t call them “assault weapons,” though. Instead, the government proposal refers to them as “personal defense weapons -- suitable for personal defense use in close quarters and/or when maximum concealment is required.” That sounds a lot like a homeowner defending their home and family.

So let’s recap. In the hands of law-abiding citizens, AR rifles are “assault weapons,” “battlefield weapons,” “weapons of war,” and/or firearms “designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.” In the hands of government agencies, however, they are “personal defense weapons.” Now that’s rich!

The proposal from the Department of Homeland Security also refers to 20- and 30-round ammunition magazines as “standard” magazines, although in the hands of honest citizens, they are deemed “high-capacity” magazines.

But I digress ...

Let’s get back to talking about need for a moment. It seems everyone is trading up from their old “tube” televisions to 60-inch flat-screen TVs. But do you really need it? After all, you can watch the same shows on your old television.

What about luxury cars? That’s sure a nice Mercedes-Benz in the driveway. Do you really need it? I’m pretty sure a Ford Taurus seats just as many people, probably gets better mileage, and easily reaches the posted speed limits.

Speed -- that brings up another question. Does anyone really need a sports car? Who needs a car that can go over 100 mph? Think about it. Some fool in a sports car may decide to break the law, drive too fast, lose control, and end up killing someone, maybe even a child. If we really care about the children riding in the other cars, shouldn’t we consider banning all sports cars?

As absurd as it sounds, I think it’s a reasonable parallel to the gun argument. Just because someone misuses an AR rifle doesn’t make all people with AR rifles likely to do the same thing. The car example sounds crazy, but it’s the path of logic our government is using in its quest to outlaw firearms they deem no one needs.

These mass shootings are horrific, evil acts. Not one person I know was indifferent to what happened in Connecticut. My heart broke, and I watched co-workers cry as the body count climbed that dark day in December. Unlike many of these anti-gun proponents, though, I understand that we can’t blame the firearm.

While the actual number of AR rifles in civilian hands is unknown, it is believed to be as high as 3 or 4 million. And while people have acted in a truly evil manner with these, millions of AR owners across the country haven’t killed anyone or committed any crimes.

“But if we can save even one life ...”

That’s another argument I’m tired of hearing. By that same logic, if a person with an AR rifle saves even one life, we should keep all AR rifles around. Right? That’s the argument, isn’t it?

While I fancy myself a logical man, it seems most of the anti-gun arguments are based solely upon feelings and emotions, or upon some desire to create a utopian society in which no one but cops has guns.

But wait. If no one but cops had guns, why would the cops need guns? The fact is, bad guys will always find weapons, and citizens should always have the right to protect themselves -- with whatever weapon best meets their needs.

Lastly, I am truly sick of hearing people argue that the Second Amendment pertains to hunting. Give me a break! Does anyone honestly believe that our Founding Fathers were concerned that future generations wouldn’t be allowed to hunt?

”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That is the Second Amendment. Those are the words our Founding Fathers penned. Now exactly what part of that leads anyone to believe we are talking about hunting? C’mon man!

When this was drafted, our country had just fought for and gained independence from a rule of tyranny. Our Founding Fathers knew the government could be corrupted and wanted to ensure we never fell under such rule again. It was another form of checks and balances that they had the presence of mind to include. It was never about hunting.

Are mass shootings a horror we wish never happened? Absolutely! Do I believe banning AR rifles and so-called “high capacity” magazines will stop them? Absolutely not!

It’s not my place to tell someone what kind of firearm they do or do not need, and it’s not right for our government to demonize law-abiding citizens. If an AR rifle fits your needs as you see them, whether it be for personal protection, hunting, or just target shooting, I support you in owning one. Our Founding Fathers would support you too, even if many of our country’s current politicians don’t.

Your Opinions and Comments

Equatorial Guinea, West Africa  
February 11, 2013 11:36pm
“... A well-regulated Militia, composed of the Gentlemen, Freeholders, and other Freemen was necessary to protect our ancient laws and liberty from the standing army ... And we do each of us, for ourselves respectively, promise ... More ›

Rabble Rouser Extraordinaire  
Adkins, TX  
February 11, 2013 7:53am
Save yourselves some embarrassment and at the least "GOOGLE" the subject matter before posting... Tsk-tsk!

Chief Noetall  
Wise, Texas  
February 10, 2013 9:58am
Thanks for info......always thought that AR stood for (another round) which came in handy due to my lack of skills with gun...Good with bow and arrow.

Alvin Charmaine  
February 10, 2013 3:55am
I used an m16 I mostly eat chicken and beef - that weapon is fine for hunting either animal.

Alvin Charmaine  
February 10, 2013 3:51am
Carter ok. So armalite rifle rifle Still makes no sense. Thanks.

Robert McDonald  
Wilson County News  
February 9, 2013 3:59pm
I would love to have an M-14, though. That is the rifle my Dad went through basic with, and what he was first issued during his time in Vietnam. Love the short action .308 round, too...

Carter Thomas  
Floresville, TX  
February 9, 2013 3:52pm
Robert, we think alike. Colt bought the rights in 1959 and it totally replaced the M-14 in Vietnam by the mid to late 60s.

Robert McDonald  
Wilson County News  
February 9, 2013 3:34pm
Actually... AR stands for "ArmaLite Rifle," not "Assault Rifle." Eugene Stoner worked for ArmaLite when he designed the rifle back in the 50s. But... you are right that "AR rifle" would be ... More ›

Carter Thomas  
Floresville, TX  
February 9, 2013 3:29pm
Alvin, Nice try. AR does not stand for assault rifle. I spent over 20 years in the Army as an Infantry Officer. Long before Colt bought the rights to what is now the M-16, the Fairchild ArmaLite corporation developed the AR-15, ... More ›

Alvin Charmaine  
February 9, 2013 8:29am
AR stands for assault rifle. Who needs an assault rifle rifle. Nice job, well written.

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