I have a great deal of empathy for the families who had loved ones stolen from them by an evil, murderous young man at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. That empathy doesn’t mean I have to tolerate it when they boldly and intentionally lie.

In the Washington Post, Mark and Jackie Barden, parents of seven-year-old victim Daniel Barden, attempt to make an argument that the most common rifle sold in the United States year after year should be banned.

This case is about a particular weapon, Remington’s Bushmaster AR-15, and its sale to a particular market: civilians. It is not about handguns or hunting rifles, and the success of our lawsuit would not mean the end of firearm manufacturing in this country, as Sanders warned. This case is about the AR-15 because the AR-15 is not an ordinary weapon; it was designed and manufactured for the military to increase casualties in combat. The AR-15 is to guns what a tank is to cars: uniquely deadly and suitable for specialized use only.

We have never suggested that Remington should be held liable simply for manufacturing the AR-15. In fact, we believe that Remington and other manufacturers’ production of the AR-15 is essential for our armed forces and law enforcement. But Remington is responsible for its calculated choice to sell that same weapon to the public, and for emphasizing the military and assaultive capacities of the weapon in its marketing to civilians.

The Bardens are being dishonest, as are their attorney, who considers the American people to be “notoriously incompetent.”

No nation on Earth fields a semi-automatic AR-15 as a general issue weapon for their military. this is a false claim, and they must know it to be false.

Their claim that an AR-15 is “uniquely deadly and suitable for specialized use only” is also clearly a bald-faced lie. We’ve noted their unparalleled versatility in great detail before.

Citizen demand in particular for AR-15 pattern rifles is especially high in recent years, for the most practical of reasons.

AR-15 rifles are very modular in nature. Depending on the needs and desires of the owner, an AR-15 can be set up in a wide range of configurations.

AR-15-style rifles are common among competition shooters, using iron sights or optics depending upon the kind of competition.

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Competition shooter Jules with her 15-pound AR-15 National Match target rifle, “Thor” in long-range precision shooting events from fixed positions with iron sights.
Professional shooter Lena Miculek uses an AR-15 in 3-Gun competitions. Image via 3-Gun Nation.
Professional shooter Lena Miculek uses a lightweight AR-15 in 3-Gun competition at short to medium ranges. Her AR-15 weighs 1/2 to 1/3 of “Thor.” Image via 3-Gun Nation.

Others prefer a scoped AR-15 with a heavy barrel for medium-to-long range target shooting or small game hunting.

An AR-15 target rifle from AR-15.com forum poster Westford86.
An AR-15 target rifle from AR-15.com forum poster Westford86.

AR-15 variants are increasingly common in medium and large game hunting as well, as long as long-range target shooting.

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A Nemo Arms “Omen” in .300 Winchester Magnum is capable of long-range target shooting or hunting the largest of North American game animals. Image via galleryhip.com.
A Daniel Defense "Ambush" in 6.8 SPC caliber is purpose-designed for deer and other medium-sized North American game.
An Ambush Firearms 6.8 SPC caliber AR-15 is purpose-designed for deer and other medium-sized North American game. This one was featured in Deer & Deer Hunting.

AR-15s are also commonly chosen as self-defense/home-defense firearms, and many professional firearms instructors and coaches recommend the AR-15 because it offers low recoil, a standard-capacity 20-0r 30-round magazine, and can be used with bullets that fragment more readily and pose less of a risk of over-penetration compared to most common defensive pistol and shotgun cartridges.

A home defense AR-15 set-up with a white light for target discrimination and a red-dot sight for target acquisition. Image via Personal Defense World.
A home defense AR-15 set-up with a white light for target discrimination and a red-dot sight for target acquisition. Image via Personal Defense World.

And of course, the AR-15 is well-known as the “modern musket,” particularly well-suited above all other firearms for the purpose of contemporary militia use.

When the Founding Fathers spoke of a “well-regulated” militia, they did not mean “regulations” as in restrictions. They clearly used the then-common term “well-regulated” to mean something “in a state of proper working order.”

In the late 20th Century and early 21st Century, no other firearm better helps the modern unorganized militia (literally, everyone nor currently serving who could be drafted to serve or volunteer in military or militia service) than the AR-15.

Mr. and Mrs. Barden have every right to grieve for a child stolen from them by an evil young man. I cannot imagine the pain they must feel.

That allowed, they do not have a right to lie to the American people, nor attempt to undermine the rights of 320 million Americans, just because they are in pain.