The AR-15 , simultaneously the most loved and the most hated firearm in the US today. While there are plenty of firearms on the market today for some reason the AR-15 seems to be one of the most popular and controversial firearm today, and the majority of the anti gun or pro gun control crowd have either no idea what they really are or are completely misinformed about them by either the news media or anti gun propaganda. Hopefully with this article I can shed a little light on this subject and clear up some of these misconceptions, because the AR-15 doesn't deserve the reputation that the anti's have given it.
First off the AR-15 is not an assault weapon, it only resembles one cosmetically. It is simply just a semi automatic rifle, just like any other semi automatic rifle that is commonly used for hunting and target shooting, it just has cosmetic differences that make it stand out from other more traditional semi automatic rifles. These differences are what makes it so popular, it has a telescopic stock so that it can easily be adjusted for smaller or larger shooters without changing stocks like you would have to do with other conventional firearms which would be time consuming and expensive. Then there are the accessory rails on the hand guard and on top of the receiver that allows for endless combinations of lights, optics, scopes, bipods, and sights, these allow you to set up your rifle with any aiming device or accessory that suits your own personal needs instead of being limited to either a scope or open sights. These two features, the adjustable stock and accessory rails, are both completely cosmetic, and are the reason why they look like our military weapons, I guess our military also saw the need to be able to configure a weapon for different shooters and easily configure it for different situations, maybe that's why it's so popular.
Other similarities to the AR-15's military counterpart are the pistol grip and the removable upper receiver. The pistol grip is simply just that, a grip, one that's more comfortable and again easily changed to a softer or bigger or whatever you need to make it even more comfortable without breaking the bank, another thing that's purely cosmetic. The easily changed upper receiver not only allows you to change calibers quickly for more versatility but also allows for easy take down, maintenance and cleaning. These characteristics, the cosmetics, and the ergonomics is where the similarities between the AR-15 and it's military counterpart end.
The biggest differences are in the operation. On the AR-15 the selector switch on the lower receiver is basically a safety switch, which only allows either safe or fire positions, the military's versions selector switch allows for safe-semi auto-and either three shot burst or full auto fire positions. While an AR-15 can be converted to full auto, it is almost impossible unless you know exactly how to do it, have the tools to do it, and can get the parts to do it with, which would be virtually impossible unless you're a certified gunsmith licensed to do so.
So what's the problem? As I have pointed out here the AR-15 is really no different than any other semi automatic rifle, it is just cosmetically and mechanically similar to our military's assault rifles, but it's not the same. Because the AR-15 is so similar and because it's so popular in the United States it is guaranteed to be publicized non stop every time some nutcase uses one in an atrocity, yet rifles of ANY kind are rarely ever used in the commission of a crime. So to put it simple banning a firearm simply because of cosmetic features is ludicrous, please educate yourself about any weapon that anyone wants to ban before you jump to conclusions.
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