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By Rob Morse

We’re hearing a lot of claims and counter-claims about modern sporting rifles right now. While these “modern” guns are more than half a century old, honest gun owners still buy and use them every day. Occasionally, criminals use them as well, but that’s rare. About one-out-of-eight gun owners have a modern sporting rifle today. And as we’d expect, rifles are used in armed defense situations about an eighth of the time.

Semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles were introduced to the civilian market here in the US in 1905. The US military adopted them about three decades later for use in World War II.

The civilian version of the modern sporting rifle, the AR-15, was introduced in 1956 so it has been with us for over six decades. In addition to its low recoil and plastic stock, the AR platform’s real innovation is its modularity. The AR can be adjusted to fit people of almost any stature in seconds, which is why it’s so popular. It’s the gateway rifle, the volksgun. I think that is why the democrats want it banned.

Here are two recent news stories that involve the use of a modern sporting rifle . . .

Homeowner with an AR stops two home invaders

It was mid-morning when a homeowner in Brownsboro, Texas heard the sounds of breaking glass coming from inside his home. The homeowner grabbed his AR rifle and went to see what was happening. The homeowner saw two strangers in his house. The defender told the intruders not to move. The second intruder, a female accomplice, ran away. The defender let her go and called 911.

Police arrested the male intruder. The homeowner pointed out the broken glass near his front door. Police arrested and searched the neighborhood for the second robber.

The defender was not charged with a crime.

The homeowner never pulled the trigger  as he defended himself. That’s the usual outcome and happens in over 80 percent of defensive gun uses. There are exceptions, of course.

Woman with concealed carry license stops felon with an AR

A woman with a concealed carry permit was attending a graduation/birthday party at an apartment complex in Charleston, West Virginia. The party had spilled out into the parking lot with about 40 people at the celebration. At about 10 at night, a man drove through the parking lot and people shouted for him to slow down.

The driver took offense and came back a half hour later. He climbed into the back seat of his car and started shooting at the crowd with an AR rifle. The woman shot back several times, stopping the attacker in what would have been a mass shooting. No one else was injured.

She called 911 and remained at the scene. Emergency medical services declared the shooter dead from multiple gunshot wounds. The attacker was a convicted felon with a long criminal record. Police are investigating how he got his firearm.

Gun control laws don’t stop criminals from acquiring and using guns. They never have. But there is more we can learn from these two news accounts. AR rifles don’t turn honest homeowners into enraged murderers and they don’t make criminals into unstoppable killers. Modern sporting rifles are actually mundane. And as we’d expect, our neighbors only use lethal force as a last resort.

The reality is, however, that honest reporting about ordinary citizens defending themselves doesn’t make much money for the mainstream news media. They find it more clickworthy to say that a particular piece of steel, plastic and aluminum is horribly frightening and unusually deadly. Apparently that’s the only thing that keeps us watching through the commercials.


This article originally appeared at Slow Facts and is reprinted here with permission. 

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    • Sorry, Mr. ALLCAPS but you are wrong. The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal. That does not “trash 2A rights.” The Supreme Court declines to hear cases literally most of the time…they only accept a very tiny fraction of the cases that are sent to them.

      Are you ignorant? Or are you stupid? Could be both, I suppose.

  1. My Smith & Wesson Sport doesn’t even have a forward assist or dust cover. It runs great but I wouldn’t go to war with it. Maybe… keep poking the bear you dumb dims n Rino’s.

  2. QUOTE—————-Gun control laws don’t stop criminals from acquiring and using guns. They never have.————quote

    Wrong. Just try and buy a second hand or stolen gun on the streets of Japan, or Europe. Its not impossible but damn near so. Last year a German nut case tried it and could not find a weapon anywhere so he built a crude home made single shot gun that miss fired more than it fired. The result was instead of having a mass murder like we have every day in the U.S. he only succeeded in killing just one person, not 50 or 60 in seconds as is common is Capitalvania the land of mass murder, blood and carnage.

    One must remember too that few people are capable of even building a crude single shot weapon at home either.

    quote————Police are investigating how he got his firearm.———-quote

    Answer: Its simple, he bought it second hand or stolen.

    Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage laws would save hundreds of if not thousands of lives every year in Capitalvania the country where life is considered cheap and expendable.

    • Another post full of crap. Anyone can get guns anywhere, especially from the black market or criminal element. A group of extremists shot up the Charlie Hebdo magazine place. Which apparently “doesn’t happen in other countries besides the US.” Everyone there was shot up and massacred. And it wasn’t even shotguns or pistols, it was submachine guns, rockets, AKs. But yeah – this thing never happens in other nations than the US.

      The reality is, the future is private anonymous manufacture of firearms in the privacy of your own home. Now we have 3d printing in ABS, tomorrow we have laser sintering, DMLS printing. In time, those will cost 300 bucks too, and they will be everywhere. Germans will have them, everyone will have them, and your defenselessness orgy will be over.

      Celebrate Jstark (A german citizen) by watching this entertaining video.

      • “…tomorrow we have laser sintering, DMLS printing. In time, those will cost 300 bucks too, and they will be everywhere.”

        I won’t see DMLS printers in my lifetime anywhere near that cheap.

        There are some very, *very* expensive ‘pieces of kit’ in them that have to come orders of magnitude down in price for that to happen…

        There are some ways around that, like using an inexpensive ‘filament’ printer that uses wax as the printing filament. Once you have the wax part, you encase it in a plaster of some sort, then melt out the wax. Then pour in your molten metal of choice.

        That’s known as ‘lost wax casting’…

    • If malefactors in Japan and Britain can’t find guns, they’ll use gasoline, battery acid, or just straight up pieces of sharpened metal. Deadly violent crimes on foreign soil that don’t involve the use of a gun are apparently invisible to the eyes of dacky boy. Or his ideological blinders immediately stick big flashing “Far Right Propaganda – Ignore” labels on them.

    • to anonymouse

      quote——————A group of extremists shot up the Charlie Hebdo magazine place. ———–quote

      Another lie. Those guns were supplied by a foreign country and that was an act of war. No local gun control law could have prevented a political murder and that is exactly what it was.

      • so what ? they got the guns … just like they do every weekend in Chicago … criminals don’t care about your feelings … well they care that you continue to try and disarm as many people as possible … good for their business model … so bravo on becoming an apologist for criminals … care to make excuses for Putin ?

    • The record for most dead kids at a school was the Bath Township murders (38 kids, 6 adults, 58 injured). No guns used in the killings. All done with explosives.

      No gun control law could have prevented this killing.

      The problem with people such as yourself is that they do not believe in nor understand the concept of evil.

  3. Most of the people who have something to say negatively about firearms don’t know the first thing about them. For instance, the big one is that AR15’s are weapons of war or so-called assault rifles. As I understand it AR15’s were never approved by the military to be in use for them. AR16’s were the final version of the original AR15 that were approved and used. Civilian AR15’s are semi auto only and not automatic which sometimes people say or assume the are. Recently there was an article on Truth About Guns where a contributing writer confused the two. In another case I had someone respond to a comment I made referring to pistols and rifles as automatic weapons. I had to point out that you needed a special ATF license to obtain such weapons and those sold to most civilians are semi automatic. If you are going to be a critic it pays to know what you are talking about.

    • The problem is the term ‘AR-15’.

      The AR-15 has never been in military use, has never been a ‘weapon of war’, is not and never has been an ‘assault rifle’. The AR-15 was not and never has been used on the “battlefield” by the U.S. military.

      What was used by the military was a rifle (originally designated) designated the M-16 which was a heavily (for its type) modified and redesigned version of what was actually a temporary designation of a rifle design called ‘AR-15’ by its creators of Armalite Rifle company. The AR stands for ‘Armalite Rifle’ and the ’15’ stands for the 15th rifle rendition in the design chain of a series. Armalite stamped this on their prototypes, it was customary for this to happen for them but the stamping stayed with their relatively few production models when they thought they could sell the rifle.

      In 1959 ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-15 design to Colt, it did not sell a rifle but rather a patent for a general modular pattern. After modifications and re-design Colt rebranded it the Colt 601 for sale to the civilian market, however it still carried the Armalite markings ‘AR-15’ due to patent purchase contractual obligations to Armalite/Fairchild Aircraft Co. Then Colt decided to market their Colt 601 to various military services around the world, and were successful in landing a U.S. military contract with its military modified and redesigned version of the Colt 601, it was adopted by the U.S. military in January 1962 and subsequently designated as the M-16 rifle in December 1963 and went into production and service in 1964. Its at this point in Dec 1964 where the actual ‘AR-15’ as a potential rifle ceased to exist, the rifles manufactured for the U.S. military were never AR-15’s.

      In 1964 all remaining Armalite stock of the original AR-15’s were destroyed. Colt never sold an actual AR-15, what Colt sold to the civilian market was a redesigned and modified version based on the patent concept of the pattern. This established what is termed the AR-15 (as a general terminology referring to the general pattern) as a separate rifle from that of the military model. The “AR-15” designation today, now known more properly as ‘Modern Sporting Rifle’ (MSR), is not and never has been an “assault rifle”, “assault weapon”, “weapon of war”, or a “military rifle”. There has never been one documented case where an AR-15 decapitated and dismembered anyone or ever excelled at “blowing people apart”.

      In 1961, ten military model rifles designated ‘AR-15’ were sent to South Vietnam. These are the only 10 rifles that ever made it into U.S. military hands made by Armalite and they were actually redesigned and re chambered AR-10’s prototypes and not really AR-15’s.

      Colt later continued to use the AR-15 trademark for its line of semi-automatic-only rifles marketed to civilian and law-enforcement customers (not military), known as Colt AR-15 using the ‘AR-15’ to capitalize monetarily on the Armalite brand name.

      In 1989, using the generalized marketing term AR-15, long after the patents expired, Jim Glazier and Karl Lewis started manufacturing the first civilian versions of a rifle they called the ‘AR-15’ but it too was not an actual AR-15 but rather they had done what Colt had done and simply used the term to market trying to capitalize on the Armalite brand name. This is where the term ‘AR-15’ started to grow to now historic usage as applied to anything that looked similar cosmetically to the military rifle. A rifle Jim Glazier and Karl Lewis claimed was based upon the military model, but it wasn’t. The rifle was based on the generalized modular design not an actual rifle, then they added some tweaks to cosmetics to make it look like the military rifle and the market loved it.

      And today the term ‘AR-15’ is used so generically and interchangeably that in the minds of the public, the anti-gun industry, and most of the gun community, the distinction is lost that the term was never an “assault rifle”, “assault weapon”, “weapon of war”, or a “military rifle” but rather always was and still is simply a general modular pattern design and not an actual rifle and today that general modular pattern design is called the ‘Modern Sporting Rifle’ (MSR) and rifles based upon that general modular pattern design are referred to as ‘AR-15 platform’ or ‘AR platform’ rifles. In actuality the ‘AR-15’ term today is simply a historic ‘trademark’ and marketing type of thing, one can not buy an actual AR-15 as they do not actually exist and have not since 1964.

      There are a few of the very early AR-15 designs from Armalite floating around.

      Armalite did make a small number of a military only model of their AR-15 design, it had a full auto setting and it did make it into a few of the military forces around the world prior to the patent sale to Colt. After the patent sale Colt replaced these with their own version if a military wanted to do so, and the old ones were accounted for and destroyed by Colt.

    • To be fair, self loading handguns were called automatic pistols as far as the 1970s. It was confusing to me, as a kid in the 60s, and is still confusing to many adults, even today (a fully auto handgun is basically incontrollable without a forward grip point).

    • The AR-16 was the *conceptual* .308 progenitor of the AR-18, just as the AR-10 was the progenitor of the AR-15. I’m not sure if they ever actually made any AR-16s.

  4. Democrats always talk about compromise, so what are they offering to give back to us? Nothing! Nothing is all you ever get from these leftist tyrants, and nothing is all we should ever give up for them.

  5. The AR-15 was orginally designed for civilian use. And back then the ATF certified it as a civilian rifle. Not a military rifle. The ATF did not designate it as a military weapon.

  6. It’s not just the AR-15. They will ban every semi auto rifle down to the ruger 10/22. And you can kiss your semi auto shotgun good-bye.

  7. First of all, an AR-15 is NOT an “assault rifle”, as there is no such thing.
    Second, an AR-15 is a magazine fed, SEMI-automatic rifle capable of only firing one shot at a time.
    Third is is NOT a “weapon of war”. It is not capable of firing either the three round burst of current military riles nor automatic fire (i.e.: continuous fire by depressing the trigger.)
    I am more than sure that MINOR MINER49er and dacian the Dunderhead and a few other will contest these FACTS.

    • They’ll argue that the military tends to encourage semi-auto use even in select fire firearms, and there’s some truth to that – but it doesn’t matter. 2A isn’t for hunting or “sporting”, it’s to defend against tyranny. “Weapons of war” have been in civilian hands since before the founding of the country – exactly the same as, equal to, and in some superior to the standard military long arms of regular armies at the time. Standard issue long arms have advanced much since then, so it’s entirely within national legal tradition for civilian arms to mostly follow suit.

    • Walt – sorry but you are incorrect in your first point. “assault rifles” DO exist and have ever since adolf coined the term circa 1944 – original German ‘sturmgewehr’ literally ‘assault rifle’ – there is a very specific military and legal definition. What far too many get confused is the lame stream media intentionally calling them ‘assault weapons’ a term coined by Art Agnos in the mid ’70s and then adopted by Josh Sugarmann (hack ptui) to confuse folks.
      Your main points are spot on otherwise.

      • well,..they certainly looked like one…[a selling point]..,but the narrative of the left found the term useful and has used it constantly ever since…..

      • Good point, but the fact still remains, there really is no such thing as an “assault rifle”. There are so many definitions of the term, it is meaningless.

  8. The 2nd Amendment is too old so it’s an anachronism that doesn’t belong in this modern age.

    Modern mad men in technology have created this Uber evil AR that is far too advanced for these primitive people to have.

    Reminds me of “that pistol is too small to have any purpose other than murdering children” and “that rifle is too large to have any purpose other than murdering children.”

    Or “that firearm has no military utility therefore we can ban it” and “that rifle is a weapon of war and should be banned.”

    All mental gymnastics and willfull ignorance to justify the end goal.

  9. Assault Weapon is a label concocted by sleazy Gun Control zealots. It is used to scare politically inept history illiterates to the point of laying the Second Amendment at the feet of hypocrite democRats who have armed 24/7 security.

    The Assault Weapon label is used in the same way bigoted democRats used the N-Word to denigrate and conjure up fear and hate towards Black Americans.

  10. What I personally HATE the most : The term ‘assault rifle’. They need to stop that now. An MSR ( I own two ) IS NOT in any way, shape or form an ‘assault rifle’. I have a Ruger Ranch Rifle that fires the exact same round just as fast as I can pull the trigger and utilizes extended magazines. The only difference is the way it looks. I love that Ruger. It is a machine. But it is not labeled an ‘assault rifle’. The lying mainstream media needs to knock it the F off !

  11. I doubt I will ever use my Colt or Windham to defend myself, my family, or my home. I doubt I’ll need to pull my Shield 9mm today while running errands. I doubt I’ll need my seat belt or airbags today, or smoke alarms, or fire extinguishers, or insurance policy. I hope I’m not, but I could always be wrong. But, if I’m wrong, I’m ready.

    • Scooter – and in the unlikely event you do need to use any of those items you listed today your insurance may* help you to resolve the issues that result and recover from them. Most of us keep band-aids on hand for minor cuts/scrapes and aspirin for headaches rather than having to call EMS. Of course the nanny state would prefer none of us rely on our own resources or skills for anything.

      * I can attest from numerous personal incidents that it helps but by no means resolves all issues 🙁

  12. Things to consider.
    A hundred and fifteen years ago, in 1907…our great grandparents were first able to buy the rifle pictured. The semi-auto Winchester Model 1907.
    This is a gun they could buy from a Sears catalogue and have delivered via US Post. It was/ is a semi-automatic, high powered center fire rifle, with detachable, high capacity magazine.
    About 400,000 semi-automatic rifles were produced before WW2 Civilians had hundreds of thousands of these for 40 years, while US soldiers were still being issued old fashioned bolt action rifles.
    The 1907 fired just as fast as an AR15 or AK47 and the bullet (.351 Winchester) was actually larger than those fired by the more modern looking weapons..
    The ONLY functional difference between the 1907 and a controversial and much feared AR15 is the modern black plastic stock.

    The semi auto, so-called “assault rifle” is 115 years old. It isn’t new in any way.
    The semi auto rifle was not a weapon of war. The government MADE IT a weapon of war 40 years after civilians had them.
    The semi-auto can be safely owned by civilians. The proof is that literally 3 generations of adults owned and used them responsibly and no one ever even noticed.
    Want to fix the horror of mass shootings? Fix the things that have changed for the worse in the last 50 years. Family Values, Prayer from Schools, Ten Commandments from court houses, Spanking ” Kids, Morals, What is socially acceptable, Confusion on Genders, Left Wing Liberalism, Socialism….

    The rifle technology in question was here long before this insanity.;_ylt=AwrNOYl6Mp5iEWsGQ5Y2nIlQ?

  13. Why do we entertain this idiotic nonsense???? Miller made it clear (although lying about other things, like whether a short-barreled shotgun was “used by the military”) that the 2A was INTENDED to allow/protect civilian use of and access to “military-style weapons”. This entire argument is absolute clown-world.

    YES, at the time the 2A was adopted, civilians were “allowed to own” cannons.

    YES, the 2A was INTENDED to allow civilians “access to military-style weapons”.

    NO, the 2A was NOT intended to grant us rights – the rights were recognized as inherent. It was SOLELY intended to prevent “the government” from f***ing with those rights.

    dacian the stupid and MinorIQ are babbling idiots.

    All of these things can be, and are, true. Time to tell the gun-grabbers to sod off. I am hopeful that SCOTUS will issue a REAL 2A opinion (and Scalia and his never-to-be-sufficiently-damned “footnotes” can suck my choad). If the DoD has it, I can have it. Period. End of story. dacian the stupid, please ESAD.

  14. If the AR-15 really is as scary and deadly as the far left claims, then I pity the fools who try to take them away from their lawful owners.

  15. Getting pedantic about what an AR-15’s origin or how it is functionally equivalent to a Remington from 1907 isn’t going to convince anyone outside the gun enthusiasts echo chamber. Go on a gun forum and start a thread about an AR vs a turn of the 20th century Remington for SHTF and you’ll get an earful about how effective an AR is and how effective an old Remington isn’t. If it’s a net benefit to society for intermediate power detachable mag semi automatic rifles to be widely available, then make that argument. Looking down your nose at someone because they don’t know a magazine from a clip isn’t going to get you anywhere. What they do know is that lately the AR has been the weapon of choice for crazies seeking to get their 15 minutes of infamy and they’ve been very effective for taking out a bunch of unarmed people in a short time – and they’re not wrong.

    What may resonate is that if we’re expecting the police to come save the day, we’re likely to be disappointed. Therefore we’re responsible for our personal safety and should have the means to take on that responsibility effectively.

  16. Take the same type of gas operated action and put it into a traditional wood rifle stock and the current bunch of idiots are fine with it. But, because there is a cosmetic similarity to current issue military arms and a common rifle becomes a weapon of war or an assault weapon.
    The AR platform rifles are no more or less lethal than any other rifle of similar size/caliber. What has made them popular with those who would commit some atrocity with a firearm is nothing but the media/political hype.
    Honestly, were I going into a combat situation, or felt the need to have a fighting weapon, I would likely choose something like my Springfield M1A, or an FN FAL. Since I caught a bullet from an AK 47 many years ago, I am not a fan of the weapon. Your choice and that should be your right to choose.
    Now, who are the militia, for the sake of argument. At the time the BoR was written and ratified, the basic definition was any free man of military age. My personal take would be anyone who would be willing to step up in time of need to assist where needed. Whether that be in defense of the country, or to help their neighbors during and after a disaster/emergency. The folks who showed up with their own boats after Katrina. The people who jumped in to render aid after the Twin Towers collapsed. The people who show up with tools and help dig out victims after a tornado or earth quake. The guy who stops at an accident and renders first aid until the professionals can get there. The people who volunteer to look for a lost child or hiker.
    Those folks are the modern militia. Common folks who will show up to help if they can.
    Also, under the classic definition of militia, the volunteers were expected to supply their own arms and munitions and have arms compatible with munitions from government stores.
    Lastly, again back when the 2nd was written, the common military arm was a smoothbore musket. Many civilians had rifles with longer ranges and much greater accuracy than the common military muskets. Which meant then and still does today, civilians actually outgunned the military in terms of their weapons.

    • old – good points.
      I won’t quibble with your weapon choices but will point out that for some of us with various broken bits and pieces and terrain factors, there are likely ‘better’ choices. Regardless, that is OUR choice to make, NOT some nameless, faceless and unaccountable bureaucrat sitting in a comfy office protected by armed guards of one sort or another.

    • …the bayonet made the difference in most of those early fights…the British had them, relied on them and were well-trained in how to use them…

  17. the kid in Texas could have just as easily bought a shotgun or a mini-14 and he would not have been using a so called “assault rifle” …


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