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Why Do You Need an Assault Rifle?


This is a question that has been asked a lot since the Sandy Hook school shooting, and I have a simple, common sense answer to share with you today.

First though, let’s be clear. The guns that are being talked about, like the Bushmaster AR-15 allegedly used in the Connecticut school shooting, are NOT assault rifles. I used that erroneous term in the title in the hopes of this post finding people who are uneducated on the topic. If you think an AR-15 is an assault rifle, or worse, an “assault weapon”, please read this excellent article by Dustin Ellermann, where he explains the differences.

So from here on out we will use the correct terminology. The government wants to ban semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15. Those of us who are dedicated to preserving liberty and the Second Amendment, vehemently disagree. So the question is inevitably asked – why do you need an assault rifle a semiautomatic rifle like the AR-15?


There are many different reasons for owning a semiautomatic rifle, none of which are relevant honestly. Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it say that we need to justify a need in order to keep and bear arms, but I’ll play along anyways.

My reason is this – semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 are the most effective self-defense tools that we have today, that are both readily available to civilians and affordable for most people. When something else comes along that is more effective at putting down bad guys, that is readily available and affordable, well then I’m getting one of those instead.

So you see it’s really just that simple – because there isn’t anything better.

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79 Responses to Why Do You Need an Assault Rifle?

  1. Golden Release December 20, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    The argument of “need” is a simple one to defeat. One, ask about alcohol. Do you “need” a 1.75L jug of whiskey? What about pure 190 proof grain alcohol? Isn’t that much alcohol just a drunk driver waiting to happen? Then on to cars: do you “need” a car with more than 300HP? What about 200? One that weighs over 4000 pounds?
    The point is, I don’t want anyone telling me what I “need”, lest I also determine what you “need”. We are starting to see that with medical care already.

    • a76marine January 21, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      I think Golden Release is hitting the nail on the head. The AR15 is no more deadly in close quarters than a pistol, and no more deadly at distance than a deer rifle. So it comes down to the only reason for banning them is that they look cool.

      There are a LOT of cars out there that look cool and could kill you just as easily as an AR15. It can cause massive casualties too if some idiot takes it on a joyride and hits a bus for example.

      What about food too. Does anyone NEED a 2000 calorie bacon cheeseburger and fries? What about 1500 calories of cake and ice cream?

      At what point do we stop being told what we WANT isn’t good for us? Regardless of NEED.

  2. Joseph B Campbell December 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I don’t own an assault weapon. I have other weapons. But, if I deemed I needed an assault, I would like to think I could buy one. That’s the whole idea about the 2nd Amendment!

  3. Jake December 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I have a really hard time not snapping out at people who ask me this question…thanks, I’ll just send them this link. Much better for my blood pressure.

    • Ralphie December 22, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Very comforting words…”snapping”..LOL

      There is another point to the 2nd amendment, well regulated.

      Everyone wants to compare cars, booze and even ciggies to guns which has a sole purpose of harming others. Even though most anything can be used for violence there are a handful of tools designed with the sole intent of damaging or killing others and a firearm is one of them and just so happens to do the best job.

      Now back to these “other” products that are also harmful if used to kill. Most all of them have some sort of regulation in place to actually protect or warn the public of the dangers. Cars? multiple training requirements, registration, insurance, Licensing over the course of years and an active police presence that can pull you over and cite or arrest you if they THINK you are impaired or driving dangerously.

      Smokes? Cannot kill others with a cigarette…yet every hour there are commercials on tv trying to talk me out of smoking they are taxed like crazy to try to discourage me from buying them and law enforcement will send minors in to try to buy from people who sell smokes in order to enforce the law.

      I think it is time to have some standards as to who can own guns that can fire at high rates of speed and effectively wipe out dozens of lives in a few moments.

      • joe December 22, 2012 at 9:57 am #

        there is one, not so outlandish, interpretation of the 2A that says the “well regulated militia” clause means “because the militia needs to be kept in its proper place”. However you choose to interpret it, the operative clause is most certainly the second which says the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      • Dante January 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        “Smokes? Cannot kill others with a cigarette..” Really? So this second-hand smoke thing they have been propagating is a myth? Explains a lot. Then why all the bans on smoking in public places, restaurants and bars if you can’t kill others with a cigarette? So basically what you are saying is that you are okay with them taxing you and telling you you don’t need cigarettes and banning their use by law abiding people because you can’t kill other people with them?

        • American Clarity March 21, 2013 at 11:26 am #

          Dude, second hand smoke is such bullshit. Both of my parents smoked and i’m fine; 18 years of exposure to second hand smoke, and not a single cancer cell in sight.

          And I love how you absolutely twisted his words…he means that guns need to have the same regulations on them as some of these other hazardous items, in order to keep them in check.

          And I understand you’ll make the point that “Oh, the majority of gun violence is carried out by criminals, and since when do they pay attention to the law?” Well, if you make it so that NO criminals can get guns legally, you drive them into the shadows.

          When this happens, you force the dealers to increase their supply, and they begin getting sloppy. Plant a “Criminal looking for guns” and you’ve got his ass in a sting operation.

          • Brandon March 21, 2013 at 11:40 am #

            You really have no clue what you’re talking about…

            “Well, if you make it so that NO criminals can get guns legally, you drive them into the shadows.”
            Really? How did making drugs illegal work out? What about Prohibition? Stop listening to the Brady Campaign and pick up a book once in a while.

      • a76marine January 21, 2013 at 10:03 am #

        Explain your definition of “guns that can fire at high rates of speed”. An AR15 fires only as fast as you pull the trigger. It’s not a fully automatic machine gun, in case you’re not aware.

      • Jason January 21, 2013 at 10:42 am #

        It’s important to note, the term “Regulated” in the era in which the Bill of Rights was written means “trained, prepared, ready” I wasnt aware of this until some time ago – I thought “regulated” meant that it adhered to rules and standards, as we use the term today. Food for thought.

        • haversack history January 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

          Well regulated may also refer to the fact that a milita was made up of people with the same weapon; in the case of our founders, muskets commonly in .75 calibre with a .69 calibre ball. So, if at anytime a battle ensued, you could take up fallen commrades ammunition or weapon and continue fighting. You might recall that NATO has a standard round, etc.

      • Jim taylor February 7, 2013 at 9:18 am #

        Ralphie, the whole point is is is not a question of need. It is a right. As for comparison, all the warning labels, registrations and taxes have NO demonstrable effect on people being stupid. You are calling for pre confiscation tactics of a class of firearms which are used in fewer murders than fists and feet. Each year. Now that you know, any other argument is simply emotional response to something. Kind of like one liking or disliking a dress or the works of Monet.

  4. Ebbs December 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I’m sitting hear at my desk. Writing with my assault pen. It’s awesome.

    • Brandon December 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm #


  5. Steven Blalock December 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Haha yep its a simple as that thanks Brandon for furthering the effort to educate the ignorant. By the way don’t tell anyone but I’m typing this
    on my scary black assault phone…

    • Brandon December 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      My pleasure!

  6. Vanguard Armament December 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Government telling us what we need? That sounds vaguely familiar… oh right! That was communist Russia telling their citizens what they needed when allocating food and supplies.

    And we all know that politicians and central planners know exactly what we do and do not need.

    • Carl Wenrich December 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Agreed. The government always knows what is best for us. We should tear up the Constitution and let King O take care of us.

      • John Dunlap January 21, 2013 at 10:08 am #

        that entire premise is indeed the cause of the effect….the cause is people want to be led so they don’t have to really think, the effect is somebody has to PAY for it….& I don’t want to nor do I NEED to . . .

  7. Carl Wenrich December 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Well, got you all beat, I am using an assault keyboard and spitting out 240 characters per minute!!!

  8. AZViking December 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    I always ask back, “why do the police, IRS, FBI, US Marshals, etc al need “assault rifles”?” Every reason law enforcement “needs” them is valid for us, indeed we have more valid reasons than LE, chiefly to defend ourselves from them….,

  9. Yogesh December 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Here’s what Henry Blodget has to say about this. I disagree on many levels. But there are some valid points there. Opinions?

    • Brandon December 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Which valid points are you referring to?

  10. Ademar December 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    What we all need is to establish term limits so that extreme anti gun politicians can end their crusades after one term. What we all need is the senator like Feinstein to choke and weenie.

  11. Ademar December 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    ^on a weenie sorry

  12. Pat December 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    We don’t “need” a car that drives 120+ MPH either, but no one is calling for governors to prevent them from driving over the speed limit. Just as their are car enthusiasts who enjoy tinkering with, customizing and otherwise modding their vehicles to get every last MPH or horsepower, there are those of us who enjoy tinkering, with, accessorizing, or otherwise modding our AR – which by the way, stands for Armalite, not Assault Rifle.

  13. louis December 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    it is very simple, it’s not that I need a semi-auto with a large capacity clip
    it’s that it is my constitutional right
    that i am one of the last checks and balances before complete tyranny
    that i can defend my life, family, and property without having to rely on someone else.
    it’s not about making up new rules, we just need to get back to basics
    we are all like minded , i think most of us have our eyes wide open
    i challenge you to get a few converts
    happy taqiyya day for another 4 years

  14. Kurt Lassitter December 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    What about tobacco it kills more people than guns every year!

  15. Kurt Lassitter December 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I have a ar 15 i use it for hunting deer and just target shooting but it can be used for defence if needed . From what i have seen the shooting in Connecticut the ar 15 was not used it was in the trunk of the car 4 hand guns were found in the school . But i don’t think i should have to lose my rights because of a fue deranged people.

    • Tom December 21, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      Kurt Lassitter-
      “From what i have seen the shooting in Connecticut the ar 15 was not used it was in the trunk of the car 4 hand guns were found in the school.”

      This is what was reported from the beginning – the AR15 was found in the car. Now that story has changed to- the AR15 was found in the school.

      Strange turn…but remember the politicians NEED the AR15 “found in the school”…whether it was there or not.

      • Ronald December 22, 2012 at 8:29 am #

        the rifle was found in the trunk, there is video proof of that. and it is also not an AR that was found.

  16. Keven A John December 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    I do not own assault weapons. I own tools, mechanical devices, objects used for work, recreation and relaxation. My hammers, knives, drills, baseball bats and other items can all be used to assault someone. Thing is that is not what they were made for. My firearms are not made to assault anyone. They are made for target shooting, hunting, competition and self defense. I do not carry firearms to hurt/assault anyone. I carry them to prevent deranged/drugged up lunatics from doing harm to me or those close to me. My firearms, like the other items mentioned above, will not function without physical input from me. The hammer won’t drive a nail, the knives won’t cut anything, the drills will not make a hole and that bat will not hit a home run unless I manipulate them to do so. The Guns I own will not cause a projectile to leave the barrel until I pull the trigger causing it to do so. This stuff is so common sense people! Remove the control and you remove the problem. Drunk drivers kill not the automobile. The neighbors dog craps in your yard, don’t kick the dog, go tell the owner to control his animal. See how this stuff works? I’m not sure what is worse, the stupid politicians or those that voted them into office! Just saying….

  17. John December 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I own an AR-15 style rifle that I assembled the way I wanted it within the law. I did it because I wanted to. I hope and Pray every day I don’t “need” it, but if I do I have it.

  18. Billy Cochran December 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    The second amendment is not about hunting or even really self-defense against private criminals…Constitutional attorney Stewart Rhodes will explain it for you.

    …”The whole point of the Second Amendment is to preserve the military capacity of the American people – to preserve the ability of the people, who are the militia, to provide for their own security as individuals, as neighborhoods, towns, counties, and states, during any emergency, man-made or natural; to preserve the military capacity of the American people to resist tyranny and violations of their rights by oath breakers within government; and to preserve the military capacity of the people to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, including those oath breaking domestic enemies within government. It is not about hunting, and at its core, the Second Amendment is not really even about self-defense against private criminals. It is about self-defense against public criminals – against tyrants, usurpers, and foreign invaders. Above all other firearms currently available to the American citizen, modern military pattern, semi-automatic rifles provide that military capacity. Protecting the keeping and bearing of such arms of military utility is the heart and soul of the Second Amendment. Thus, any attempt to ban their possession, sale, purchase, or transfer, is an attempt to disarm the American people.”…

    • Dirk D. December 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      This is an excellent quote, and points to the difference between the world circa 1770 and the one we live in today. The tyranny of those days doesn’t exist now. And ten highly trained Russian soldiers could probably wipe out an entire US town even if the whole town was armed with AR-type rifles. Because most aren’t trained.

      That document was written before nuclear weapons. Before chemical weapons. Before drone aircraft.

      That document was written back when the closest thing anyone had to an automatic weapon took about 30 seconds to fire two rounds.

      These things are all relevant.

      • Brandon December 22, 2012 at 8:05 am #

        The tyranny of those days doesn’t exist now because you’re not paying attention, and I’m not seeing the quote.

  19. DJ December 21, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    This all seems like a question of priorities and responsibilities in my mind. I feel like people have the right to defend themselves – but they also have a responsibility if they are going to own a gun. I think we can do more to respect the power that these weapons hold (and to call them anything else is just delusional – as a tool, they only have one purpose).

    The potential to cause damage and death is such that they should be permitted – the same way that you are permitted to drive a car or operate heavy machinery, operate a bar, handle someone’s taxes, sell mortgage, etc… You should have to prove yourself responsible enough to own an AR-15. You know why? Because we owe it to our neighbors to make sure we keep rifles in the hands of stable people who respect the tools they weild.

    • DJ December 21, 2012 at 2:46 am #

      Typo correction: Wield.

  20. DJ December 21, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    By the way, I mean no disrespect to anyone on this forum, but in my mind, the availability of weapons is simple a factor in a numbers game:

    The more weapons are around, the more will slip into the hands of deranged idiots. It’s not a matter of “good guys” and “bad guys” in my mind. This is a problem where guns seem to be far too easily accessible when someone cracks up. Think about it this way (an admittedly simplified example): You’re drunk and angry. There’s a gun on the table. Things have a much better chance of getting messy than if the gun was not in the house.

    A gun in every house will statistically just lead to more accidents. You want to hunt or shoot? Cool. Keep your gun at the club.

    Are you worried about crime or defending yourself? That’s what the police are for. And they’re much better at it than you. The case might be slightly different if you are in a rural area, but in a place like Newtown, or Aurora… We’re better off without them. Statistically, you’re more likely to get hurt with a gun in your house. Everyone says it won’t happen to them – but accidents are far more common than someone protecting him/herself with a gun. That’s a fact. Black and white.

    • Mandy December 21, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      When seconds matter the police are minutes away.

      Statistically victims of attempted rape who are armed with a handgun are more likely to both survive and not be raped than victims who are either unarmed or armed with any other weapon.

      If the police are going to raid a criminal’s home, they are armed with 5.56×45 semi automatic rifles. If a criminal is going to enter my home for nefarious purposes, I want to have the same weapons available to me because the choice of that weapon by the police isn’t because it looks scary. The reasons for the police and FBI using 5.56×45 include a lowered risk of hurting someone through a wall, and that is one of very many completely valid reasons for me to use the same thing.

      When a man armed with a knife kicked in a friend’s apartment door to attack her after stalking her for months – the police could not possibly teleport immediately to her defense. Her shotgun, however, saved her life and also the lives of her two roommates who tried to hide. She didn’t even have to fire it for the monster who wanted to do horrible things to her to turn tail and flee.

      I own rifles and handguns for my own protection, for fun, and not for hunting. I don’t belong to a gun club and I don’t hunt. I shoot my firearms at a public range. The only shooting of animals I do is with a camera. Requiring a person to belong to a club or purchase a license amounts to a poll tax. The government can not put a price tag on the right to self defense guaranteed in the Constitution.

      After being the victim of crime once, I promised myself never would it ever happen again. No amount of martial arts training will make up for the fact that I’m a very petite woman with a slight mobility impairment. A gun does, as it makes all people equally capable of acting in their own defense. If everything goes well, not one of my firearms will ever be used to kill anything. I, however, prepare for everything not going well, because in the past it hasn’t and I don’t want to be rendered helpless ever again.

      Everyone says it won’t happen to them. “I live in a good neighborhood.” “I don’t go to dangerous places at night.” “I’m not taking any risks.” But that doesn’t make any difference because crime happens everywhere. There’s a handgun on my hip and a rifle in my home so that if it happens a second time I will not be left to uselessly wish for psychic police to come to my rescue when I’m unable to call for help because I’m too busy being a victim.

      • Erik Olsen January 18, 2013 at 9:47 am #

        ‘Hot’ break ins don’t tend to happen in my neighborhood as the criminals fear homeonwers more than jail. Who am I to buck a trend or prove to them otherwise?

    • Steve Jacobs (@BigfootSteve) January 17, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      >>Are you worried about crime or defending yourself? That’s what the police are for.<>And they’re much better at it than you.<<

      Then why do they have a higher murder rate than CCW permit holders?

      It's hard to believe in this day and age there are still people this stupid out there.

      • DJ January 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

        Oh thanks Steve. Let us dive into your enlightened viewpoint. First, I would love to see where you dug that statistic up. Second, assuming it’s true, you decided to pair ALL police officers against a SUBSET comprising roughly 1% of gun owners. So… that makes no sense as a meaningful comparison. Third. Your hat is ridiculous. But far less creepy than your mustache.

        Back to business: Are you attacking police officers? Who constantly put themselves in harm’s way for your benefit? Mature. Got anything to say about our Veterans while you’re at it?

        Also along this line of inquiry, the statistic that you’re citing, is it actually the MURDER rate, or are you comparing the police homicide rate against private citizen murder rates? Do you aware there’s a difference? A big one.

        Also, none of this goes against my main point that with all the studies done, only one fact has been shown to hold true: more guns = more homicides, statistically speaking. In 2010, there were 11 thousand gun murders. In 2011, there were 55,000 nonfatal shootings. Compare that with 500 gun murders in England and then call me stupid.

  21. ERW23 December 21, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    The whole idea behind the 2nd Amendment was was to prevent the federal government from attempting to disarm a state and leave it defenseless to external threats, including the federal government itself. Remember, when the 2nd Amendment was written, an expert marksman would only be able to fire 3 rounds in one minute, and was considered an accurate shot if they hit any part of their target. Today’s guns, even the non-automatics, are much faster and more accurate than anything the Founding Fathers could imagine. I advocate gun control, but only in the sense that I believe that guns should only belong in the hands of trained persons. Guns are offensive weapons meant to end lives, and are useless in a purse, pocket, holster, or gun safe. If someone is under attack, the only way a gun is useful is when its in the hands of a trained person ready, willing, and able to kill. Guns are not tools, like a hammer or kitchen knife, and their use should be regulated.

  22. Kenpoboot December 21, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I’m sorry DJ, but I don’t trust the police in my area, nor would they get anywhere in time. You see, I used to work security here, and I know for a fact that the police like to wait until you’re already dead and the suspect is gone before they ‘come to the rescue.’ They are not here to ‘protect and serve’, they are here to ‘solve crimes.’ These are words straight from the mouth of a local cop, a guy I had respect for until he said this. And no, it wasn’t just his words, all his fellow officers have agreed, everyone I’ve spoken with since then. So don’t go with that, the cops will protect you stuff, because it’s just not reality and it’s not going to happen. So thank you, leave my guns alone, and I’ll take care of my own.

    • Vic December 26, 2012 at 5:58 am #

      I seriously doubt all the police in your area prefer to “wait until you’re already dead”. Just because you know a few pieces of sh*t that don’t deserve to wear a badge, doesn’t mean that all of us cops enjoy sitting around with our thumbs up our asses waiting for a crime to solve. Sure I’ve met a few cowards on the force, but the majority of the officers I’ve had the pleasure of working with go out of their way to respond quickly or actually be present while the crime is taking place to keep anyone from getting hurt. That being said, we cannot be everywhere at once.

      Having gotten that out of the way, I still think our 2nd Amendment rights need to be preserved and I am delighted in knowing that there are responsible citizens out there that possess weapons like AR-15 rifles and the ability to defend themselves. Regardless of whether or not the police WANT to be there, we aren’t always going to be. It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all that someone wants to take steps to protect themselves. As a police officer, I’d much rather show up on a scene where there is a dead bad guy and a legally armed citizen that is unharmed, as opposed to a crime scene where an unarmed or unprepared citizen has been robbed, raped, killed, etc.

      I’m not even going to get into the “regulated militia” and defense against a tyrannical government stuff. I’ll let Monderno handle that. There are plenty of reasons for people to own semi-auto rifles aside from defense against crooks, but self-defense alone is reason enough to shoot down any kind of weapons ban.

  23. steve jolivette December 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Obama administration thrives when America is at its darkest hour. The administration wants Americans to make snap decisions without clearly thinking the process through. That way they can implement a new law any way they want. So what is an assault gun? An AR-15 is getting a bad rap for being an assault gun. I have a 9 mm pistol and can empty a magazine and put a new clip in the gun faster than an AR-15. And whether it is 16 round clip or 30 round clip, one just uses more clips to make up the difference. There are several hunting rifles more powerful than an AR-15. And what about a shotgun? A 12 gauge Shotgun is about the most dangerous gun at close range. Not too many people are wounded by shotguns, it’s usually fatal. How about a 22 caliber rifle or pistol, they are just a small caliber gun, but the bullet travels at such a high velocity it can do more damage than most high powered guns. And all these guns are semi-automatic in firing.

    Take any semi-automatic pistol, attach a longer barrel to it, attach a butt stock to it and what do you have? An AR-15 ASSAULT RIFLE. Therefore, all semi-automatic pistols should be called assault pistols. A Tec-9, Mac-10, and other pistols were used by drug dealers in the 1980s, and 1990s. The dealers would take the pistols which were 12 to 14 inches long, made them fully automatic and put up to 50 round clips on these guns. One could fire off 50 rounds in 6 seconds. And I am talking about pistols having this firepower. The only major difference between a semi – automatic pistol and an AR-15 is the distance of the bullet. An AR-15 can be accurate up to 200 – 500 yards since it has a longer barrel. A pistol is good for about 30 yards.
    So if you ban the AR-15 today, tomorrow your semi- auto pistol will be banned. Because after the government get its way with the ban on the AR-15, they will come back and ban the semi-automatic pistols based on the above scenario. There is NO difference between the two types of guns.

  24. Dirk D. December 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I’m still not seeing a need here. Show me the reports of the guys with semi-automatic rifles that saved the day with them. Someone earlier wrote that when seconds matter, police are minutes away. Well, when seconds matter, your semi-auto should also be about a minute away from being used. Unloaded, in a safe, probably in your basement, while you sleep upstairs in your bed. If I’m waking you in the middle of the night with a little derringer and I’m in your bedroom? Doesn’t matter that you have a semi-auto anywhere. You’re going down. Unless you’re good at hand-to-hand. But then if you are, why even have a semi-auto?

    Having a semi-auto is a security blanket. A non-functional one. Because odds are you’ll never, ever have the chance to use it in self defense. And if you’re stalking around your yard looking for bad guys every few weeks, AR15 at your shoulder, you’re just crazy and probably shouldn’t be permitted to own any firearms.

    Little kids shouldn’t have to grow up fearing death by gun, through friendly or hostile fire.

    I own 2 handguns (Walther PPQ 9mm a Ruger GP100 .357 revolver) and a shotgun. I take part in IDPA shoots once in awhile and they’re a ton of fun. But being there also has taught me that only the really highly practiced/trained shooters are going to be worth a shit when the shit goes down (and an experienced SO told me once that most gunfights only last a few seconds anyway). The rest are just spraying bullets. My time spent hunting pheasant, rabbit and deer over the last 20 years have also shown me that not too many gun owners can be counted on to shoot true when the pressure is on. If you can’t take down your target in a single shot most of the time, guns might not be for you.

    I can’t stand Michael Moore. A bash him at most every opportunity because much like the far right, he’s maniacal and unreasonable.

    This isn’t the wild west. And Ze Germans aren’t coming for any of us. If we’re at war with another country on our soil, it’s gonna happen by air. Pea shooters of all varieties won’t matter. And if you’re at war with a bad guy that’s broken into your house, if he got there before you? HE might have your AR15, because the cheap safes are easy to break into. Cordless drill, metal bit and 30 seconds and your guns are his.

    If the bad guy got into your home after you, you better hope tonight wasn’t the Duck Dynasty marathon, otherwise by the time you realize you need a weapon the fight’s already over and you lost. Unless you like polishing your weapon while you watch a bunch of hillbillies.

    So don’t ever leave home. And walk around all day with a loaded AR15 so it’s ready when the bad guys stop over.

    Or realize that your semi-auto rifle doesn’t make you any safer than your kid’s binkie makes him safer.

    An airbag makes you safe in a car because it’s there at the moment you need it. The odds that most of the gun owners in America would be capable of adequately defending themselves with an AR15 or similar firearm when they have 5 seconds to respond is infinitesimally smaller than the odds were that kids under 18 would be killed by them.

    So what’s important? Having a false sense of security or kids really being safer by not allowing their killers to be armed with weapons that don’t need reloading for 30 rounds? (And to the person who said they can make up the lack of rounds in a smaller clip with more clips has obviously never been in a spot where he needed to reload quickly.)

    Nobody is looking to take away all guns. Nobody is. Well, maybe Michael Moore is, but like I said earlier, batshit crazy.

    It looks like the vast majority here are in favor of being able to own semi-automatic rifles, so some of you may know the answer here: how many lives have been saved in the United States by regular folks (non-military, non-police) over the last 20 years because of the use of a semi-auto rifle? We already know 26 children died last week from their use. But how many were saved? (And don’t use “deterrent” as “use” because you could use a piece of wood carved to look like a gun in that case – I’m talking rounds fired, bad guys neutralized.)

    How many of you have fired one in self defense? Anyone?

    • Brandon December 22, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      Dirk it’s hard to respond to “mind dump” rambling comments…but I’ll try.

      I don’t have to show you need. That’s not the way it works. However, because I’m a nice guy, I’ll do PART of your research for you. Here’s just one example of an AR-15 used for self-defense. Google is your friend.

      Seriously bro, turn off CNN.

      “your semi-auto should also be about a minute away from being used” – wrong. I carry all day everyday. This applies to several of your subsequent points as well.

      Dirk, I’m sure you’re good guy and that you mean well, but it’s gun owners like you that will make us into England. You’ll keep laying down, and laying down, until there’s nothing left. And please explain how kids are safer by taking away guns from the law abiding people?

    • Scott December 22, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      I wonder if the Korean merchants who protected their lives and property during the LA riots with semi-auto weapons would agree with your completely under-informed opinion.

    • Vic December 26, 2012 at 6:00 am #

      Is it unfeasible that a bad guys kicks your door in in the middle of the night, but you have your AR-15 in your hands before he gets to your bedroom because you keep it loaded by your bed?

    • Steve Jacobs (@BigfootSteve) January 17, 2013 at 5:47 am #

      So much stupid, where does one even begin?

  25. Tavis Howery December 22, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    It’s called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs.

  26. Scott December 22, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    I’ll most certainly be buying at least one more EBR (Evil Black Rifle because that’s really what the liberal cower-in-the-corner-and-pray-for-a-man-with-a-gun-to-come-and-save-me-from-the-bad-man crowd means by “assault rifle”). So, on this unseasonably cool Florida morning, with my steaming cup o’ joe, I decided to do some EBR browsing. As all of you here know, all the normal channels are not only totally sold out but many of them are now warning customers that they may not or will not be re-stocked for the foreseeable future. At top speed, the makers cannot keep up with our orders. You’ve probably read that one online retailer of parts and accessories sold a 3 year supply of magazines in 3 hours. The Democrats had better be paying attention to this. If you are a Democrat and wish to see your legislators have any influence on governance after the 2014 mid-term election you’d do well to tell them to back off of these bans. This has happened before because gun owners are Democrats and Republicans. After passing the 1994 Crime Bill the Democrats lost control of both houses. Wrecking the Second Amendment is a no win situation. Merry Christmas all.

  27. Chris December 22, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    I need one because it is my right as a military member, American, and because it would be disgraceful to all that have gone before me giving their lives for this country and this flag. If we just roll over and show our bellies we lose those rights and freedoms that we all have. This will only be the first if this amendment gets messed with or altered what will keep the government from trying on another one?

  28. Johnson January 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Its time to accept the responsibility for the Killer firearm that have overkill built into the design
    anyone with any experience in shooting a firearm does not need more than 6 shots to down a moose or deer, Spraying bullets allover the forest or streets or schools or shipping malls
    comes from the feeling of power the gun gives the owner operator its time to stop the power trip and accept the responsibility for allowing the Over Kill Guns on the streets for anyone to get their hands on for shame

    • Brandon January 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Self-defense and hunting are two completely different applications.

  29. Doc January 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Some of the responses here are mind boggling… The respondents seem to be living on a different planet, maybe there from Europe, bottom line is its our right, its not a privelege granted by the government… as for Dirk D comments, sorry bro that might be the fact in your house but not mine, my handgun and EBR are within fingers reach at 0 Dark-thirty, as is my wifes weapons and both my sons, of course thats if they get past my German Shepard……..

    • Wayne's Nuts January 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Europe is on Earth.. just pointing it out, because it sounded like you might be confused. Also, it’s “THEY’RE from Europe…” and “IT’S our right…” I could go on about the failings of your grammar, and how it most likely precludes you from debating amendments that were drawn up by lawyers in the 18th century, but seeing as you’re from America, I won’t hold your command of English against you – this time.

      I certainly won’t hold it against you while you incorrectly state that the right to bear arms isn’t a privilege granted by the government… Seeing as the right stems directly from your beloved Second Amendment, as passed by Congress.

      As such, I’d also point out another clause in that Amendment: Well regulated.

      We have a right to weigh the desires of gun owners against the life, liberty and happiness of the nation’s people as a whole, and when the threat of guns – which are more powerful than ANYTHING the founding fathers ever envisioned – infringe on those rights, as they have to a terrible extent over the past few years, we have the right to demand reasonable laws and restrictions that will help keep society safer.

      Here’s the thing, and you’ve probably stopped reading already, because – gosh, it’s just so hard… but, I do want to stop being a contrary punk for a moment and point something out:

      This is not about whether it’s a right or a privilege. No – a gun is a responsibility. It is a MAJOR responsibility, and we need to treat these objects with respect. Handing these things out like candy is both disrespectful and dangerous. It is irresponsible.

      We can take steps to reduce gun violence. I will be working towards that, and anyone who doesn’t have that as a goal should reassess their priorities.

      Finally, I don’t know where you live, but you should consider improving your community. It sounds like something needs to change if you can’t get to sleep at night without an assault rifle next to your bed. Have you talked to anyone about these deep seeded feelings of fear and paranoia? Also, who is THEY? Is someone mistreating you? Are you self-medicating, Doc?

      • Brandon January 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

        Wayne there’s quite a bit wrong with your comment, not the least of which is your self-righteous, arrogant tone. That doesn’t help your case.

        “Seeing as the right stems directly from your beloved Second Amendment” – WRONG. The right to self-defense is a God-given, natural right. The Second Amendment PROTECTS this right, it does not grant it.

        “we have the right to demand reasonable laws and restrictions that will help keep society safer” – demand all you want, the First Amendment protects this right for now. That one will be next though.

        Your comments and insinuations about what well regulated means show your ignorance. I suggest you do some research. You can start here.

        • Wayne's Nuts January 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

          Moderator didn’t let my first reply through, so here’s the short version.

          You have the natural right to self-defense. The means by which you defend yourself are subject to reasonable limits, as set by society’s judgment, State Federal laws. Example: You don’t have the individual right to defend yourself with a nuclear weapon. Such a course of action poses more of a harm to those around you, than its protective benefits to you.

          Take that theory, and step it down to the debate over assault weapons (or even hand guns, if you like): It is your right to protect yourself. But where is the balancing point between the benefit it has to you as an individual, and threat their availability poses to the public.

          There is a rational and reasonable debate to be had here, and I suspect the settling point comes somewhere in the middle of our two views. I would love to see a society in the States where guns are completely banned. But I’m realistic enough to admit that will never happen. You, on the other hand, cannot seriously say that the government doesn’t have a right to regulate arms.

          • Scarydad February 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

            No, my natural right to self defense is not to be limited by society’s judgment, hence. “…shall not be infringed.” You see, “limited by society’s judgement” is infringement. That’s what infringement means.

            Second, please don’t stoop to using nuclear bombs as some sort of red herring argument against the legal and responsible ownership of weapons for personal defense. You gave Doc shit for his grammar, I’ll give you some for fallacy. Nobody on the side of the Second Amendment is (reasonably) arguing for such things.

            I can seriously state that the government does not have any rights at all. Government is an administrative body that derives any power from We the People. If We the People allow the government to do stupid things like spend all the money on hookers and cocaine, then there really isn’t much we can do about it because we live in a republic. All we can do is vote for better leaders in the next cycle. However, when it comes to VERY SPECIFIC THINGS, the government has restrictions placed on powers, even if the public momentarily loses it’s collective mind. The right to defend one’s self from criminals, even government sanctioned criminals, is one of these.

            As an aside, do you find it ironic that I am willing to use my guns to defend your right to say I shouldn’t have guns?

      • Brandon January 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

        I also find it extremely ironic to be lectured on the purpose and meaning of the Second Amendment by someone in the UK.

        • Wayne's Nuts January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

          I’m not from Europe, I’m from Massachusetts. And I had a nice reply to your previous comment, but the moderator didn’t seem to like it. I didn’t swear or anything, I just don’t think he agreed with my point of view… Perhaps he was making a funny joke about the first amendment.

          • Brandon January 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

            Don’t know about your other comments, but these got flagged as spam by our filter. Takes us longer to sift through and find them.

  30. john January 13, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    I don’t think an AR-15 (i own two and have experience with an m4 and SCAR-H in Afghanistan) is a very effective personal defense weapon, there are plenty more affordable and practical weapons out there for that. In addition, concealing an AR-15 is extremely impractical and 5.56 does in fact zip through people, where does that bullet go if you engage somebody in a crowded place. Many people, including military veterans and police officers are not and will never be trained up to a level I would feel comfortable with letting them run around with a weapon that has the ability to punch through most structures and walls in the US. Would you recommend they all go to mid south or shaws? who has time and resources in the civilian world to go to those type of schools and maintain the proficiency they would gain. Engaging moving targets at distance is even more difficult in my opinion and I ask the same question, should every citizen armed with a semi automatic rifle go to a Swat team and receive urban sniper training or simply go to an army DM course? Fat chance. While I am not against a ban and wish to keep my right to own and buy these weapons, billing them as one of the most effective personal defense weapons is a bit of a stretch and furthermore there is no other reason you need to state to sell it to me and those like me other than…. “preparedness” as your bio states you are the master of. This is just my humble opinion and I am sure many of you will disagree with me and that is why i love this country. Take it easy.

    • Brandon January 13, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      First off John, I take exception to your seemingly derogatory statement that my bio states that I’m a “master” of preparedness. My first reaction is that you’re deliberately being disingenuous, but I’ll give you the benefit of doubt and suggest that you re-read it. I claim that preparedness is a lifelong interest only (though admittedly I do think I know a thing or two). If you have a problem with that being an interest of mine, that’s too bad.

      Second, your comments focus on the AR-15 platform and the 5.56 round specifically, when my post uses the AR-15 platform as an EXAMPLE of the type, and makes no mention of caliber. If you prefer a different platform and/or caliber, have at it. My post is about SEMIAUTOMATIC rifles. Take your pick.

      Third, I disagree with a whole lot of what you said, and what you insinuate. I’ll address a few of your points since I have a few minutes.

      “…will never be trained up to a level I would feel comfortable with letting them run around with a weapon that has the ability to punch through most structures and walls in the US.”
      Your comfort level is irrelevant, as is the level of training that citizens have. Neither your comfort, nor a training requirement, are expressed in a citizens right to “keep and bear arms”.

      “Would you recommend they all go to mid south or shaws?”
      There are hundreds of training facilities all over the United States. Finding training isn’t a problem for people.

      “who has time and resources in the civilian world to go to those type of schools”
      Well obviously A LOT of folks do, myself included, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many training companies. This seems obvious, so perhaps you aren’t aware of just how many training companies are out there?

      “While I am not against a ban…”
      I really hope that was a typo, and you meant to say that you ARE against a ban.

      “…billing them as one of the most effective personal defense weapons is a bit of a stretch…”
      Please tell me what, in your opinion, is more effective at engaging targets at ranges from 0-300m (to arbitrarily choose an upper end) than a semiautomatic rifle?

      Looking forward to your answers.

      • john January 14, 2013 at 6:39 am #

        No offense meant Brandon and the post was not meant in a derogatory manner. I too consider myself prepared as I am sure many people who read blogs such as this consider themselves. It would truly be in everyones best interest to adopt a lifestyle more prepared for the violence that lurks in this world. Now, on to the specifics. While 5.56 is but one caliber available in these types of rifles, the majority of the remaining calibers are similarly high powered. I once again bring up the subject of training from my above post and ask a new question maybe to narrow the conversation down instead of running in circles. In what scenarios do you see an AR-15 (or similar rifle) an effective personal defense weapon? Are you defending your house with it? A pistol or a shot gun are both far more effective and safer for your neighbors and kids in the other room. Are you keeping it in your car? to blast a carjacker? once again a pistol is more suited for that. Are you going to carry this rifle around with you as you shop with your family? thats impractical and draws attention. I guess my issue is a lack of imagination cause I feel hard pressed to find a scenario that would realistically play out in todays America. In my opinion you would have to go out of your way to get in a pitched gun battle where your trying to shoot dudes out to 300m and this is where the extensive training comes in. You stated that my comfort level is irrelevant as is the training level of people who own these weapons. While I agree that it is a right guaranteed by the constitution I fail to see how my comfort level and the training of people carrying these weapons is irrelevant to the argument. I read what people are saying and some of their viewpoints and hear what some people think about these weapons and feel it is not based in reality at all and that makes me uncomfortable. Are you really against education? yea, it won’t get people up to the level you need to be at but its at least a realistic and down to earth solution to people who literally have no clue what these rifles are all about and what they can do. I am aware of all the schools that are out there, are you aware that many of them put out bad products? are you aware that to truly be proficient in shooting a carbine in the united states when you are trying to engage but a few “bad guys” your whole life needs to be about training. While people may go to the little school here and there, that level of proficiency comes only from it being your job. “Please tell me what, in your opinion, is more effective at engaging targets at ranges from 0-300m (to arbitrarily choose an upper end) than a semiautomatic rifle?” I do not think there is a better solution to accurately engaging targets out to 300m but that is like asking what is better for brushing your teeth than a tooth brush?. Assault rifles are built for that purpose as are the calibers they shoot. The true question is how are they good personal defense weapons? Once again take it easy, its just a conversation.

        • Brandon January 14, 2013 at 7:59 am #

          Thanks for clarifying. We agree that training is important, but I maintain that it should NOT be some sort of requirement set by the government. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms. As to when a semiautomatic rifle will be needed, I pray never, but I fail to see how that’s relevant.

  31. Sneak January 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    If anyone asks why you need a semi automatic weapon. Ask them “why do think you need to take it away?”

    Nobody can explain to me why my weapons are a threat or caused any tragedy, because I am in the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.

  32. Matt January 21, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Not sure if the article intended to use the common misnomer of the term “assault rifle”… of which an AR-15 is not. Politicians needed to come up with terms to help the anti-gun push, so they created “assault weapon” which an AR-15 is labeled.

    I don’t own any assault RIFLES… but I do own an AR-15. =)

    • Brandon January 21, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      Matt you should try reading the post before you comment.

  33. Steven dillon January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    The Liberals love to use the term Assault rifle, and to point out that we only had Muskets back in the days, that the Constitution was written. I believe this is just one of the many points they try to make, that drives me crazy. The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with the army, and it does not matter that they had Muskets at that time. The people were given the power to fight their own government, if it had become corrupt. At the time, they had Muskets in the Army, so the people kept Muskets, and ample ammo to be able to confront the government, and force it back to serving the people. Today, they have M-4’s as a basic arm, so thus, the people have AR-15’s. Yes, as one fellow pointed out, they also have tanks, nukes, ect. But we also take an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States, and use of the military against our own people is outlawed as well. It is not the Army that the second amendment refers to, but the politicians. When I was a young Paratrooper, in the 82nd abn. we were given a questionnaire from West Point, and the main question was If asked, would we follow orders to disarm civilians in the United States, and the overwhelming answer was NO! You see, most of the people serving this country, do not take that oath lightly, and we will not follow a unlawful order. I wish I could say the same for our current politicians, as they also take an oath to uphold the constitution, yet try to break it at every turn. Hell, Eric Holdner sold weapons to drug cartels, refused to answer questions into it, was held in contempt, and has not served any jail time, why? The fact that every one of the last 5 mass shootings were committed by Crazy, people, who were either registered liberal democrats, or grew up in a liberal democrat home, including the Theater shooter,who worked for the Obama Campaign is further proof in my mind, that the agenda is being pushed by them, even to their children. Maybe the meds, and constant Liberal garbage being spouted by their parents is the cause, who knows, but Evil is outside, and I plan on being able to stop it, before it gets my Family!.

  34. John Cylc February 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    This point may have been made, but the “need” for our Rights should not be in question. Period. No one asks why Rosa Parks needed to sit in the front of the bus. No one asks why gay people should have to parade around in leather and kiss each other in public. No one asks why minorities need to attend public schools. No one asks why people fveel they can sit on their ass and collect welfare, WIC, unemployment and food stamps, yet they still drive a Yukon or Merceded and have an ass load of gold around their necks and the best iPhone or Droid available.

  35. John Cylc February 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    My favorite response to “why do you need an AR when crazy people kill with them?”. If someone does yell FIRE in a crowded theater, do we all have to lose our 1st Amendment rights too?”

    • DJ February 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      That’s actually my favorite response too – because it IS illegal to yell fire in a crowded space, and people are smart enough to realize that there is a difference between common-sense regulation and losing your amendment rights. Yet people just freak out when we talk about sane gun policy…

  36. Eric February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I have survived 9 hurricanes and a few other natural disasters. In one of those cases (Andrew) I witnessed first hand the complete and total break down of any law and order for a good ten days. If you ever have the misfortune of experiencing that you will not ask why you might need a semi-automatic firearm with high capacity magazine that is light to carry and easy to operate. A sidearm or two will also become an obvious need very, very quickly. The press never even remotely covers what’s going on. I had friends and family in Katrina, it was worse. It’s not just as a last resort against tyranny that the second ammendment is there….

    • Emmanuel February 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Eric, You provide an excellent point. I am Cheif Warrant Officer Three, Emmanuel L. Vero. I am a member or the 1st Air Cav and flew a Blackhawk in response to Katrina. I have also been on every single deployment the 1st Cavalry has had since 2003, 51 months in combat both in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Katrina my team and I pulled 76 Americans out of the water. We had to disguise the food and water drops because men would beat women and children in order to take the Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) and water bottles. We would take a box and fill it with trash at the refuel point, then fly to where we saw a group of people stuck where we couldn’t land to get them. We would throw the box of trash out in deep water and the men would fight their way to it. When they swam to the the trash we would slide back and drop the food and water to the women, children and elderly. This was only THREE days after the storm. Three days without power and civilized Americans will destroy eachother for food and water. Everyone safe in their home who has never seen an actual war zone full of the worst things people can do to eachother, or who have never seen their fellow Americans after electricity has been removed, can talk about “Needs”. They have no reference, they think milk and eggs come from cartons. When you no longer have a use for locks because everything you own is on your body, then speak about the “Security Blankets” of others.
      As far as the “Need” of rights, how can anyone not see that to live truly free among others who are truly free, means that you must respect someone else’s lifestyle even if it ofends you to the point of odium (hate coupled with disgust). When I see the Kansas Church cheer and celebrate the death of my fellow Soldiers my first thought is, “Detonate an U-Haul truck full of ball bearings on their church and they put up a sign that says “Thank God For IEDs” and see how they like it.” However my discipline and training tell me that if they are not allowed to cheer for my death, and live completly on the other side of what I consider “right”, then I will not be able to live my life completly on the other side of what THEY consider “right”. People who are willing to give away my rights should first ask themselves what rights they are williing to give away. Will you register every American with a mental or social disability? Will you implement a process to remove those registered Americans from free society in order to protect what you percieve as “your group”? Will you accept into your own lifestyle, rules that change the way you live your life because your actions are deemed “hazardous, immoral or against the God” of a total stranger?
      If you are willing to take from others without giving of yourself then you and I stand on oposite sides. The only difference between us is that I will defend you from anyone, while you take and take and complain about what is available for you to take. What will you do when I leave? What will you do when I don’t disguise food as trash so you can eat? To quote my favorite comicbook hero: “You will look up to me and scream SAVE ME!! and I will whisper…no.”