by Mark Chesnut, Editor - Friday, July 1, 2016
The AR-15 rifle is once again under fire by gun banners—who ignore the fact that rifles of any kind are seldom used in crime, and seem to despise anyone who dares to own one. Many who are ignorant on firearms even consider the gun a “weapon of war,” suitable for nothing but murder and mayhem.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Fact is, the AR-15-type rifle is the most popular rifle in America for many reasons. Here are my Top 10 reasons to own an AR-15, in no particular order:
Gun-banners would have you believe the AR-15 isn’t useful for home defense, but they couldn’t be more wrong. NRA commentator and former Navy SEAL Dom Raso, who now trains individuals in self-defense, said it best: “For the vast majority of the people I work with, there is no better firearm to defend their homes against realistic threats than an AR-15 semi-automatic. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. It’s accurate. It’s reliable.”
If you can find a rifle out there that’s more fun than the AR-15 to take to the range and punch some holes in paper, I’m not sure what it would be. From short-range plinking to longer-range precision shooting, the gun is easy to shoot—and easy to hit targets with. And, as you know, nothing’s more fun than hitting what you shoot at.
With simple operation and very low recoil, there’s no better rifle to teach youngsters the skill of accurate rifle shooting. The fact that shooting this rifle is easy and tons of fun also makes it great for starting out new shooters, regardless of age. I’ve yet to take a beginner—young or old—out to shoot an AR-15 without them getting a huge smile on their face after the first magazine.
The AR-15 and its big brother, the AR-10, are excellent hunting rifles. AR-15s in 5.56/.223 are perfect for varmints and predator hunting, and with the proper ammunition can make a great deer rifle. Of course, the AR-15 is also chambered in a number of other more powerful cartridges for big game, and the .308-chambered AR-10 is a deer hunting favorite for many. Don’t buy the gun-banner lie that the AR-15 can’t be a good hunting rifle.
If you like to tinker, the AR-15 is the rifle for you. Aftermarket parts and upgrades are readily available from hundreds of sources, and the gun’s easily understandable operation system makes it simple to work on. If you can’t build one of these rifles on your kitchen table with just a few specialized tools (legally, of course), you probably skipped shop class in high school. Installing new stocks, triggers, hand guards, pistol grips and other parts is also a breeze.
The AR-15 is an excellent all-around rifle for farmers and ranchers to carry in their trucks for predator control or other utilitarian uses. Excellent accuracy combined with good magazine capacity is enough to put the hurt on a pack of coyotes preying on calves or lambs—or on wild hogs tearing up your alfalfa or wheat field. An AR-15 is also handy for farmers and ranchers to have on hand in remote areas should they run into those who would do ill to them.Fact is, the AR-15-type rifle is the most popular rifle in America for many reasons.
The AR-15 platform is excellent for a variety of competitive shooting sports. As a 3-gun competitor, I see hundreds of people shoot AR-15s safely and accurately on a regular basis. Banning ownership of AR-15-type rifles for law-abiding Americans would be devastating to 3-gun—the fastest growing shooting sport in the country right now.
I’m not someone who believes in an impending doomsday scenario where we will all find ourselves in a critical survival situation sometime soon. But I’m also not one who thinks that couldn’t happen. I don’t see how any survival situation wouldn’t be made better by having an AR-15 or two on hand. In fact, the AR-15 might just be the perfect SHTF firearm.
Bringing Women Into Shooting
Women are currently the fastest-growing demographic in the shooting sports, and the AR-15 is doubtless one of the reasons why. Women love the “cool factor” of the AR just as much as men do. And those with zero shooting experience—who might harbor some fear of rifle shooting because of a rifle’s perceived “kick”—quickly learn that the soft-recoiling AR-15 is not only a pleasure to shoot, but fun to customize just the way they want it.
While those who hate guns would have you think the AR-15 is nothing more than a murder machine, in truth it’s the musket of our day—everyman’s rifle, proudly owned by patriotic men and women of all ages, colors and interests. As Dom Raso said in his recent video: “I guarantee you, if the Founding Fathers would have known this gun was going to be invented, they wouldn’t have rewritten the Second Amendment, they would have fortified it in stone. Because they knew the only way for us to stay free is by having whatever guns the bad guys have. This firearm gives average people the advantage they so desperately need and deserve to protect their life, liberty and happiness.”
Regardless of why we, as Americans, choose to own AR-15 rifles, we will always face the scoffers—Second Amendment deniers who would be happy to take away our right to own any gun. In the end, we don’t need to puzzle for answers to anyone who rudely asks us, “Why do you need an AR-15?” Instead, we should simply ask our own question: “Why should the government be able to deny us the constitutionally protected right to own one?”
Owning an AR-15 is as uniquely American as baseball, apple pie and the Second Amendment. It’s a classic example of American exceptionalism, independence and ingenuity—all the things that make us the land of the free and home of the brave.
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