“Dangerous and unusual weapons” is the new mantra the liberal Democrats are using to base their gun control fight on. This phrase is the key to their strategy since Justice Scalia used it in an opinion he wrote on gun control, referencing a 1939 U.S. Supreme Court decision. So let’s examine whether the phase “dangerous and unusual” accurately describes a so called assault weapon like the popular AR-15.
“Dangerous” means something is able to inflict injury. Clearly all guns are dangerous. Knives are dangerous; a frying pan which was just used to cook bacon is dangerous. An AR-15 “assault” rifle is also a defensive rifle. It is also used for hunting and target shooting. An AR-15 uses the smallest caliber ammunition of all guns, .22 cal. That means that the diameter of a bullet is only 0.22 inches. It is the same size as a beginner’s rifle in the Boy Scouts, 22 cal. It produces an exceedingly tiny hole in its target. In colonial times in America, the common rifle was a musket which used an 0.80 cal bullet, that means it was 0.80 inches in diameter. The colonial musket was accurate out past 100 yards and made a very large hole in its target. Cowboys used 0.45 cal revolvers. A .45 cal bullet is 0.45 inches in diameter, more than twice the size of a 0.22 cal from an AR-15.
The AR-15 sold to civilians, is a semi-automatic gun. Almost all guns today are in essence semi-automatic. All it means to be semi-automatic is that a new round is put in the chamber with every pull of the trigger. That is no different than any common .38 cal revolver which is so commonly used for self defense. With ever pull of the trigger a round is advanced into the firing chamber. This is no different than a Colt 45 revolver that cowboys used in the wild west of the 19th century. All of these guns fire only one bullet with each pull of the trigger, including the AR-15. An AR-15 is NOT a fully automatic rifle, aka a machine gun.
An “unusual weapon” means that it is not common. Clearly an AR-15 is not unusual. In fact it is just the opposite. The AR-15 is the most commonly sold gun in America, perhaps the world! It is also the same gun that the army chooses for its soldiers, except that they get the fully automatic (machine gun) versions.
So why is the AR-15 so popular? Simple, it is light, accurate, reliable, uses a small ammunition round which results in very little recoil or kick and it is very easy to fix. It was designed to use very simple parts and can be easily modified for various purposes such as hunting, competitive target shooting, long and short range, and of course it is excellent for defensive and offensive operations. Because of its modular construction and standard mounting rails for sights and lights, it gives it a menacing look to liberals who have no experience with guns. They are afraid of it. But, then again, they think we should all drive a Prius and scoff at anyone who purchases a Corvette or an SUV. Why would anyone need such a powerful automobile? Liberals want to force their view of the world on the rest of us and in so doing deprive law abiding citizens of their Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, they also know nothing about guns.