Anti-gunners love to scream about the AR-15. Due to it’s visual similarities to the M-16/M-4 rifles used by the military, it’s referred to as a “weapon of war” by opponents. It’s described as the preferred weapon of mass shooters as anti-gunners continue to demonize the weapon in the minds of the American people.
However, their efforts are horribly misguided. In fact, vending machines may be almost as lethal as an AR-15 in the hands of a mass shooter [emphasis mine]:
The report goes on to explain that the law’s larger impact on overall gun violence was minimal, because the banned weapons were rarely involved in criminal acts in the first place. According to the FBI, rifles — a broader category that lumps together your grandpappy’s hunting rifle with military-style rifles — constitute an average of 340 homicides per year. Though any loss of life is tragic, these numbers don’t exactly rise to the occasion in solving what is commonly characterized as a national epidemic.
But this debate isn’t about just any old rifle, right? The scope of this debate is often targets one specific style of the rifle: the infamous AR-15.
Again, analysis regarding the AR-15 — the so-called “weapon of choice” of mass shooters — produces less-than-impressive numbers. Between 2007 and 2018, 173 people were killed by mass shooters using an AR-15, according to a New York Times analysis — roughly, 15 per year. (For perspective, 13 people die per year from vending machines falling on them.) The fearmongering regarding this weapon becomes even more apparent when one considers the estimated 8 million AR-15s currently in circulation — the vast majority of which will never be involved in a crime.
Let that sink in for just a bit. When you compare the number of people killed with AR-15s in mass shootings and the number of people killed by vending machines falling on them during an 11-year span, only two more are killed annually with what is termed a “weapon of war” compared to something you get drinks and snacks out of.
Yeah, I don’t really see the issue here.
This is especially true when you remember that the Las Vegas massacre (58 people killed) and the Pulse Orlando shooting (49 people killed) took place during this same time period. Those two shootings alone accounted for most of those killed during that 11-year span. Take those out, and a mere 66 people were killed in mass shootings with AR-15s.
Of course, anti-gunners will point to those same two shootings as if it’s proof that the weapons need to be banned. To be fair, those two shootings were horrific.
However, let’s also remember that Virginia Tech still stands as the worst school shooting in American history and the killer used handguns. The weapon itself isn’t the issue, especially since, as noted in the above-linked quote, there are millions upon millions of these weapons in circulation, and only a handful have been used for such purposes.
Let’s also remember that the worst mass killing in modern American history involved a rental truck, some fertilizer, and racing fuel. There’s been no ban on any of those materials.
The AR-15 isn’t the vile tool of evil as the Left tries to portray it. It’s a symbol of liberty, empowers people to keep that liberty, and a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. It’s not particularly more deadly than anything else.
It looks like you may want to be a bit more careful around vending machines, though.