Current media coverage and controversy over AR-15 have made it a symbol of gun control debate in America. The gun’s notoriety stems primarily from its use in some of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas. Democrats suggest that it is a military-grade "killing machine" that is too powerful for unrestricted civilian use and have made it a primary topic for their 2020 elections. However, millions of AR-15 owners argue that AR-15s power is the exact reason why it is so valuable for self-defense and sport. So what is it about the AR-15 that makes it so special and effective and has the gun been wrongly vilified?
What is AR-15? I know many of you will have a smile on their face by now. But yes, let's once again define what AR stands for. Our friends at GunPros couldn't have said it better, "Contrary to popular belief, the "AR" in AR-15 actually stands for "Armalite," not "assault rifle." The gun was originally designed to meet the U.S. military’s request for an automatic rifle that could effectively replace the rifles and submachine guns used during World War II, which had been deemed underpowered or otherwise outdated... The AR-15 was first adopted for military use during the Vietnam War and was dubbed the M16. The M16 and its variants, which unlike the civilian AR-15 come equipped with either full-auto or burst fire capabilities, have become staples of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the original M16 was described by “American Sniper” Chris Kyle as one of the 10 firearms that changed United States History."
What makes AR-15 so effective? The four primary characteristics of AR-15 rifle are: lightweight, reliability, customization, and easiness to shoot. Because it was developed for US Army, these four characteristics were the primary focus of the rifle build, and remain so for civilian use.
Weight: The average AR-15 only weighs about 6 pounds stripped, which makes it convenient for both military and civilian use.
Reliability: According to Demystifying the AR-15, "the basic design has remained largely unchanged for the last 50 years (albeit refined), and a modern AR-15 can likely fire thousands of rounds using quality ammunition without any issues. AR-15s are also highly modular, meaning they can easily be taken apart and reassembled with replacement parts should anything ever fail."
Customization: With so many choices out there, the modern AR-15 became the most customizable rifle ever. Anything you can think of, from color to muzzle to take down pins, you can make and customize your AR to every particular detail you wish.
Easiness to shoot: AR-15 extremely popular for sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense purposes. The AR-15 is especially valuable for self-defense because almost anyone can use one effectively within the usual self-defense distances, regardless of shooting experience or physical ability (strength, age, physical disability, etc.).
So is AR-15 too powerful for civilian use?
Beloved by many and despised by many others, the AR-15 still remains the most controversial firearm in America. In view of 2020 election, many gun control advocates have suggested that all “assault weapons” are too powerful to be trusted in civilian hands. For them, AR-15 is the "assault weapon." These critics ignore the fact that according to the FBI, rifles of all kinds, including both semi-automatic and bolt-action rifles, are used in an extraordinarily small percentage of homicides—just 2.5 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2015. For them, it's just another controversial topic to drive the elections. According to GunPros: "Good public policy is rarely derived from snap judgments about the “least representative examples.” Firearms, like many other kinds of technology, have a direct relationship between their capacity to be used for good and their capacity to be used for evil; the same characteristics that make an AR-15 dangerous in the hands of a lunatic make it invaluable in the hands of a hero. It seems to me that the majority of Americans are good, law-abiding citizens who should not be wrongly punished for the horrible deeds of a few deranged individuals. Thus, a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 would likely do significantly more harm than good and make us less safe, not more."