… a lot of merchants in the Korea Town section of Los Angeles used them to deter looters during the Rodney King riots.The problem isn’t AR-15s. It’s criminals who use them to commit crimes and idiots who don’t handle them properly.
Writing at RedState, Moe Lane points out that the Left’s attempts to stigmatize the AR-15 have backfired and have contributed to it’s becoming the “modern sporting rifle.”
Something similar is in play here, I think: the anti-gun Left has managed to successfully categorize a whole variety of handguns and rifles as ‘assault weapons.’ What they clearly did not consider is that talking up the AR-15 – which is essentially a hunting rifle that you can accessorize like it was a Barbie doll** – as a scary ‘assault weapon’ will not dissuade anybody who might be worried that, say, Islamist terrorists might be planning to shoot at them in the near future. Because the map is not, in fact, the territory; and relabeling ‘Duluth’ as ‘Albuquerque’ doesn’t actually get you to New Mexico any faster.
**It’s actually called that. I mention this for anybody who just wandered in, mind you. My regular readers already know this.
Read the whole thing.
BTW, I own one, but it’s an oddball. When I first moved to Maryland in the early ’90s, I had hunting privileges in an overgrown orchard next to a 6,000 acre no-hunting environmental area and a 200 acre corn/soybean field. The woods were dense enough that the longest shot possible was less than 100 yards, so a .270 Win. or .30/06 was overkill. I used a .45/70 rifle for the first few years but decided that something like a .30/30 would make more sense. I went to a gun show looking for a deal on a Marlin 336 and stumbled on a dealer who had a Colt AR-15 in 7.62×39 mm that he wanted to sell cheap. The price was right, and I bought it. It performed well with Winchester 123 gr. soft points and has been a nice woods gun. I’ve had even better results using Hornaday Zombiemax ammo.
The rifles used by the shooters were 5.56 mm NATO caliber, a DPMS Model A15 and a Smith & Wesson M&P15. These are AR-15 pattern rifles.
This demonstrates how effective the California “assault rifle” and “high-capacity” magazine bans are in the real world (which probably shouldn’t be confused with California.)
UPDATE—Steven Hayward at Powerline has some thoughts on better gun control.
Dianne Feinstein was one of the primary
pushers sponsors of the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. That ban had no measurable effect on crime for the decade it was the law, but it did increase the public’s interest in the AR-15 and similar rifles. Sen. Feinstein has recently started an effort to reinstitute the ban, and rifle and magazine sales are booming. (I’ve recently bought a few spare magazines for a couple of my rifles.) I wonder. Does she think that another ban will erase her legacy of unintended consequences?
Given her record as one of the top firearm salesmen of the passed two decades, Patterico has nominated Sen. Feinstein for an NRA Lifetime Achievement Award.
UPDATE–Stacy McCain notes the irony of it all.