AR-15s are the top-selling rifles in the United States, year after year.
AR-15s are the top-selling rifles in the United States, year after year. This example,with a mounted light and 30-round magazines, is very commonly chosen from home self-defense.

We’re all well aware of the fact that Maryland’s anti-gun Democrats take a very dim view of the Second Amendment, and of the right of citizens in the state to defend their liberty and lives with firearms as the Founders intended.

This reckless disregard of reality is shockingly evident as the state Attorney General’s office filed a patently dishonest brief before the state argued in federal court about the constitutionality of Maryland’s so-called “assault weapon” ban:

Lawyers for the state wrote in briefing papers that even if the ban does limit the Second Amendment right to bear arms, it is a reasonable measure designed to protect public safety.

“Assault weapons are a subclass of unreasonably dangerous firearms developed and adopted for their military effectiveness, with features appropriate for military and some law-enforcement purposes, but which are not commonly owned generally, or commonly used for self-defense,” wrote a team of lawyers in the Maryland Attorney General’s office.

The claim is a factually dishonest polemic, full of hyperbole and falsity, devoid of fact and reason.

“Assault weapons” are not a subclass of anything, but are instead a political creation of citizen disarmament advocate Josh Sugarmann which was supposed to confuse citizens about the differences between actual military firearms and normal sporting firearms that share similar appearances. They do not and cannot be readily converted to function as machine guns. Likewise, the phrase “unreasonably dangerous firearms” is a subjective matter of opinion, quite apart from objective fact.

Further, Maryland Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler’s office is blatantly factually dishonest when they argue that such firearms,  “are not commonly owned generally, or commonly used for self-defense.”

Variants of AR-15s rifles (one of the firearms affected by Maryland’s disputed ban) are the single most popular rifle sold in the United States year in and year out, with a very conservative estimate of 5 million in the civilian market at this time. Tens of thousands more sold every year across the nation. Kalashnikov-pattern firearms are only slightly less popular with the rifles being imported from around the world to keep up with demand. Many other firearms also affected by the ban are equally useful and very common around the country… except, of course from the areas in which they’ve been banned.

These firearms are “commonly owned generally” and “commonly used for self-defense” precisely because of their intentional design as self-defense firearms.

Common features of these banned firearms include:

  • pistol grips, an ergonomic aid which help users better control their firearms
  • low-recoiling pistol or intermediate-caliber rifle ammunition designed specifically for stopping threats at short to medium distances
  • detachable magazines, which enables users to reload their firearm in a reasonable amount of time so that they will no be defenseless for long when encountered by a threat.

Actual firearms experts and trainers—as opposed to these dishonest, politically-motivated lawyers—recognize that these firearms are far better suited for self-defense than almost every other kind of firearm, including most other types of rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

Many reputable firearms trainers choose an Ar-15 with iron sights, a red dot or holographic site, and a weapon light as their primary home defense firearm due to a combination of controllability, accuracy, low recoil,  low risk of over-penetration with proper ammunition selection (less than most centerfire pistols), user-friendly ergonomics, and (when not banned) a respectable standard magazine capacity which assists in addressing most conceivable threats in home defense scenarios or in scenarios where users might be able to access a vehicle stored firearm.

Perhaps Maryland Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler should stick to hanging out with drunk teenagers, and leave conversations about firearms to those who actually understand how they work, and who can talk about them honestly.