Townhall Media/Beth Baumann

Gun rights advocates have long warned them.

Fudds–people who usually start their anti-gun views with, “I’m a gun owner, but…”–have long sided with anti-gunners while laboring under the belief that their beloved hunting weapons would be untouched. Almost invariably, these people are hunters who take an anti-gun stance for everything not connected with hunting. The self-defense Fudd is a rare species indeed.

It seems that Fudds are always under the belief that your guns are up for discussion, but not theirs.

However, a writer for Salon is freaking out over long distance shooting –you know, the kind that most people use bolt-action, hunting-style rifles for–and asks the one question we AR-15 fans have heard over and over again [emphasis mine]:

OK, their use of “insane” is a kind of gun-lover-hipster-speak, and the Scorpio isn’t a semiautomatic assault rifle like the ones used to kill 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook, or the the 50 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, or the 17 students and faculty killed in Parkland, Florida, or the 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas. But it’s the same style of weapon, with the same style aluminum stock and ventilated “rails” alongside its barrel, and it’s got capabilities far in excess of what would be necessary for  any sort of legitimate civilian usage. “Loaded up with the faster 230-grain Berger round, I got hits on a 3-by-3-inch steel target at 2,000 yards,” the reviewer boasted. That is 1.13 miles, folks. This guy claims he hit a target about the size of your forehead from over a mile away.

Who the hell needs to hit something, anything, from over a mile away? I’ll tell you who: an Army or Marine sniper, that’s who. They’re selling military-grade rifles to the general public. That’s what this sniper rifle is, and that’s what all the various iterations of the AR-15 style assault rifles are. Military-grade killing machines. All of them are for sale on the open market here in the United States of America. You can go down to your local gun store and buy one tomorrow. That means you’ll be able to set the damn Scorpion up on its bi-pod and hit a so-called “soft target” so far away you need a goddamn telescope to see it.

Now, while the writer thinks he’s taking aim at an AR-15, he’s aiming at far more hunting rifles than so-called “assault rifles.”

Long-range shooting is a pastime that both bolt-action shooters and semi-auto aficionados enjoy. Both tweak their guns to get the maximum range out of them.

However, what the writer doesn’t understand is what those Army and Marine snipers he invokes actually use. By and large, they use bolt-action rifles very similar to those used by most American hunters. All those weapons are just tweaked and tailored for pinpoint accuracy.

Nothing about the Scorpio is unique to the AR-15 platform. While I’m sure it’s a fine rifle and all that, it’s not particularly unique.

Moreover, plenty will argue that a bolt-action would get better range.

So why the freakout?

But a freakout we get anyway. The Fudds need to take notice. When the criticisms of the AR-15 platform become criticisms that can be leveled against a bolt-action rifle, maybe it’s time to recognize that it won’t stop with a ban of the AR-15. It won’t stop with magazine restrictions or universal background checks, either.

Sooner or later, they’ll come for the bolt-actions.

Who needs a gun capable of shooting so far away, anyway?