Thanks for the response, and thanks for reading more than one article. I get that you might have an emotional response to them. I think everyone has emotional responses any time their indoctrinations are challenged. It’s part of human nature. We cherish our indoctrinations, because tearing them down and building new ones is extremely difficult. So I’m not trying to argue, I’m just trying to shine some light on an alternate position, one that I think is more factually supported. You don’t have to adopt it, but it would at least be nice if you’d acknowledge that people holding different premises may also be rational, good people. If we can at least get to that point with the public dialog, it would be an improvement.
The AR 15, a popular assault rifle, can fire two rounds per second. When it’s fitted with a bump stock its rate goes up to about nine rounds per second. The sole design purpose of these weapons is to kill humans, not just one or two but many, in a very short time.
I preemptively yield on bump stocks, and have already done so publicly with my solutions article. Bump stocks are machines that exploit a legal loophole from a poorly written law. They never would have appeared if the law was better written, and could honestly probably be banned administratively by the ATF reinterpreting the law that’s already on the books. If not, pass a new one that clarifies the old one. Nobody even uses those things. They’re pretty worthless. But let’s really drill down on the “sole purpose” argument, because it comes up a lot.
The sole purpose of every single gun is to kill things, mostly people. Or practice killing things, mostly people.
The sole purpose of all handguns is to kill people.
The sole purpose of the M-1 Garand is to kill people. Mostly Japanese, Germans, and Koreans.
The sole purpose of a slug shotgun is to kill people, and perhaps also blow open door hinges.
And yes, the sole purpose of the AR-15 rifle is also to kill people.
The sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment, which by the way I didn’t even cover in any of the seven gun articles, is to enshrine the right to own people-killing-things. But I don’t even want to get into a rights argument. I just want to point that out.
The fire rate for the AR-15 rifle (without one of those silly bump stocks) is the exact same fire rate as any other semi-automatic firearm, as well as every double action revolver. Your grandmother’s pistol shoots as fast as an AR-15. Every single modern pistol fires bullets as quickly as the AR-15 rifle. The only functional difference between the AR-15 and the Glock 9 carried by your local police officer is the cartridge and the barrel length. With the AR-15, you trade out concealability and encumbrance in return for better range.
Why do we need all these different kinds of people killing guns? They’re all designed for different scenarios. Handguns are the best option for close range, indoor, concealable, portable, people killing. Crime, and crime response. The people who anticipate having to kill someone in close quarters, or having to kill someone when they’re out and about town, or having to kill someone without preparing in advance for doing so, buy a handgun.
The AR-15 rifle has a pretty narrow scenario for which it was designed. Intermediate range running gunfights with other armed opponents. The people who buy these are preparing for a scenario where they think they’ll have a little bit more warning, and may have to kill someone armed, at a distance.
I can’t put this in an article because I don’t want a loony to run with it, but it’s probably safe to mention in a comment thread: AR-15s are very suboptimal for random mass school shootings. When you look at the weapon profiles of these things, and the damage done, mag size doesn’t matter. Parkland was an AR-15 with 10 round mags, and the shooter shot kids until his backpack was empty, and then got caught. Sandy Hook was an AR-15 with 30 round mags and he shot kids until his backpack was empty, and then got caught. Both discharged about the same number of rounds in the same timeframe, around five minutes, and their limit was not mag size, it was how many rounds they could fit in a backpack. It was round weight.
Virginia Tech was two pistols and he shot kids until his backpack was empty, put his guns in the empty backpack, walked past the cops, went to McDonalds, went to the post office, sat by a lake and ate lunch, refilled his backpack with more mags, and then shot up an entirely different building 3 hours later. All while the police were on scene. And you can fit more pistol rounds than rifle rounds in a backpack, because they weigh less. He was an engineer, he probably thought it out more.
So this “sole purpose” argument against AR-15 rifles really doesn’t fit the facts on the ground. We (unfortunately) have test cases. Magically evaporating all the AR-15s would in fact funnel mass school shooters and such into choosing more effective firearms to do their terrible deed.
Setting the rights thing completely aside for a moment, if the magic gun fairy were to replace all handguns in the country with AR-15s, gun deaths would go down, not up. They’re not concealable, not very good for crime, and you can see them coming. If the magic gun fairy were to replace all AR-15s with handguns, then school shooting deaths go up, not down. These are facts, that go back to the comparative design features of each gun.
So if you’re trying to eliminate gun deaths via gun control, logically speaking, you have to target all guns, not one flavor of them, and especially not a flavor (AR-15s) that’s far less useful in murder, thereby funneling the murderers into better murder weapons.
And when we run the math on the “seize all guns” scenario, or even the “buy back all guns” scenario, it simply doesn’t work.
The Magic Gun Evaporation Fairy
Three Reasons Why Gun Ownership Rates From Other Countries Don’t Matter
So we really have no choice here, but to look at ameliorating the other half of the gun death equation, which is the motivation. And I think we can do a better job of this.
The Gun Solution
We are nearing the end of our series on guns, in which we use critical reasoning skills and actual data to formulate…
Thank you for your level, reasoned response. It’s refreshing, and even if you don’t choose to unravel your indoctrinations and adopt my personal position, I hope you will at least grant that people in my camp are also reasoned.