Volunteer Firefighter to NY Gov. Cuomo: Why I Own an “Assault Rifle”

Kevin in NY writes:

I am a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter living in New York. I also own an AR-15 rifle that is ban compliant. This means that I have spent well over a thousand dollars buying and modifying the rifle to make it legal in NY State, something that people in other states with less violent crime do not need to do. My AR-15 is the best home defense weapon possible for me to own in NY. As I am not yet 21, I cannot apply for a permit to purchase a pistol. Even so, I believe that my rifle is perfect for me. I hope I never need to use it to protect myself or those I love, but I know that it is the best possible firearm to do so with. Why does a person need a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine that contains over 10 rounds? It is because it is the best thing available for me to protect myself and my family with. As a firefighter, I feel that all first responders should have the best and most protective gear and tools . . .

Even if I was not a firefighter, didn’t Governor Cuomo say in his State of the State speech that all citizens are first responders?  I am the person that goes into your house when it is burning, so why should I not be able to protect myself in the best way possible?    A semiautomatic rifle in .223 caliber is the best tool for a citizen to protect oneself at home against a violent person.

Why a semiautomatic rifle?  There are several reasons why I believe that a semi-automatic rifle, specifically one in .223 caliber, is the best defensive weapon at home.  Here is why:

It has been shown that a rifle shooting .223 is much less likely to cause collateral damage when compared to a shotgun or even a pistol shooting most common calibers. This means that a .223 bullet carries much less energy after going through a wall or window than a pistol bullet or a shotgun pellet. In the event of a missed shot, a .223 rifle is less dangerous than almost any other effective firearm. The round is also fairly small, much smaller than most other common rifle rounds, allowing for a person to easily fire without losing control of the weapon.

Also, because NY State forces law abiding citizens to swap a flash hider for a muzzle brake, my rifle is even more controllable. Basically, a muzzle brake reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb whereas a flash hider reduces the flash when firing, lessening the damage to a person’s vision in darkness. NY outlaws flash hiders. An AR-15 with a muzzle brake is perfect for most people, including women because it has less recoil than a handgun yet is more powerful and safe.

A shotgun has massive recoil and easily goes through walls and kills the people on the other side. A shotgun also fires multiple pellets that spread out when fired, greatly increasing the chances of injuring or killing any people behind the target. The semi-automatic in .223 is safer to use than a pistol or a shotgun.

An AR-15 or other semiautomatic rifle is simply more manageable to use in a house than most other rifles or shotguns. Most AR-15s, such as mine, have 16 inch barrels, and are considerably shorter than a shotgun. My rifle is 36 inches long. Most common shotguns have a barrel length of 26 inches and an overall length of 48 inches. A shorter rifle is much easier to use in a house and has much less area for a violent criminal to grab if attempting to take my weapon from me.

The pistol grip that is commonly pointed at as an evil feature also greatly increases my ability to maintain control over my rifle, both when shooting and in the event of a violent criminal trying to take it from me as I protect those I love. And no, it does not allow for “accurate spray firing from the hip.” Having a pistol grip would make my rifle illegal if the upcoming ban passes.

Why else is a rifle similar to the AR-15 such a superior home defense firearm?

Attachments. The design of an AR-15 allows for a person to mount a staggering variety of attachments to it.  For example, my rifle has a holographic sight and a flashlight on it.  Both of these things increase the safety of all people near me if I ever needed to protect myself and my family.  My sight greatly helps me aim accurately in the dark or in bright sunlight.  Most shotguns and many rifles are not able to have optics such as holographic sights mounted, making accurate and safe use in the dark extremely difficult and slow.  The flashlight enables me to identify anyone in the dark, completely eliminating the possibility of friendly fire.  Once again, most firearms cannot mount a flashlight.

The final advantage is the ability to use a magazine. I can easily check to make sure that I have ammo in my rifle. I can also easily swap for a full magazine if I do not. My magazines, which were rather costly to purchase because of NY ban on “high capacity” magazines produced after 1994 hold 20 rounds.

Why so many? My question to you is: would you rather have more than you need or not enough? Even if all I had were 10 round magazines, the fact that it can accept detachable magazines would ban my home defense weapon if the upcoming ban happens.

I have shot roughly 2500 rounds this year through my rifle and am completely comfortable with it.  I have not injured, killed, or threatened anyone with it.

I used my own money to purchase and train with my rifle. I am a firefighter who doesn’t get paid to save people. I use the best possible tools available to protect you and your loved ones in an emergency, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to use the best tools available to protect myself and my loved ones?