AR-15 style rifle

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An AR-15 style rifle is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle based on the Colt AR-15 design. An AR-15 style rifle is referred to as a modern sporting rifles (MSR) by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade association, and by some firearm manufacturers.



  • The Vietnamese Unit Commanders and US Advisers who participated in the evaluation consider the AR-15 Rifle to be a more desirable weapon for use in Vietnam than the M1 Rifle, BAR [Browning Automatic Rifle], Thompson Sub-Machine Gun, and M1 Carbine for the following reasons:
    (a) It is easier to train the Vietnamese troops to use the AR-15 than the M1 Rifle, BAR, M1 Carbine, or the Sub-Machine Gun.
    (b) The AR-15's physical characteristics are well suited to the small stature of the Vietnamese soldier (see photographs I and 2, Annex 17).
    (c) It is easier to maintain the AR-15 both in the field and in garrison than the M1 Rifle, BAR, Sub-Machine Gun, or the M1 Carbine.
    (d) The ruggedness and durability of the AR-15 are comparable to that of the M1 Rifle and superior to that of the BAR, SubMachine Gun, and M1 Carbine.
    (e) The AR-15 imposes less logistical burden than any of the four principal weapons presently being used by Vietnamese Forces.
    (f) The AR-15 is tactically more versatile than any present weapon being used by Vietnamese Forces.
    (g) In semi-automatic fire, the accuracy of the AR-15 is considered comparable to that of the M1 Rifle, and superior to that of the M1 Carbine.
    (h) In automatic fire, the accuracy of the AR-15 is considered comparable to the Browning Automatic Rifle and superior to the Sub-Machine Gun.



  • The farsighted Willard G. Wyman, the commanding general of the Continental Army Command, had asked Stoner to design a rifle precisely to take advantage of the “payoff” of smaller bullets. The AR-15, the precursor of the M-16, used .22-caliber bullets instead of the .30-caliber that had long been standard for the Army. As early as 1928, an Army “Caliber Board” had conducted firing experiments in Aberdeen, Maryland, and had then recommended a move toward smaller ammunition...


  • Over the past few years the gun industry has become increasingly dominated by manufacturers selling only AK-47 and AR-15 type assault rifles (newly christened “black rifles” by gunmakers to make them a little more cuddly and a little less killy), new high-powered handguns ranging from revolvers with the penetration power of rifles to AK-47 pistols, to anti-armor 50 caliber sniper rifles. Don’t believe me? Pick up a copy of Shotgun News and compare the number of gun ads for “traditional” hunting rifles (a handful) to those for assault rifles (all the rest). Military-style weapons are the guns that are flying off the shelves and into the homes of people frightened about the “change” that an Obama Administration represents.
  • Guns are now the only consumer product manufactured in America not regulated by a federal agency for health and safety...
    When presented with guns’ unique niche in the pantheon of consumer products, the industry and its cheerleaders like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) go into a well-practiced spiel of how in fact they’re actually the most regulated industry in America — citing dealer and manufacturer licensing, the minimal paperwork necessary to buy a gun under federal law, the Brady background check all buyers must go through to purchase a weapon from a licensed dealer, and the fact that ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] is allowed to check a dealer’s sales records once a year (a privilege the agency has the manpower to employ on a far less frequent basis). Yet these are sales standards, not product safety standards. ATF lacks any of the health and safety authority that is routinely granted — and usually expected by the American public — for other consumer products...
    And as the gun industry continues to exploit its unique status with increasingly lethal military style weapons for the civilian market, this disparity can only become more evident.


  • Classified reports from Vietnam were giving the AR-15 high marks and providing a surprise. Reports from the field claimed that when a bullet fired from the AR-15 struck a man, it inflicted devastating injuries.
    The causes were apparently twofold. First, the metal jacket of early AR-15 bullets tended to shatter on impact, sending fragmentation slicing through victims. (In the army, this was variously seen as attractive and worrisome. In classified correspondence, some officers were thrilled by the perceived wounding characteristics, which one prominent army doctor described as "explosive effects." Others wondered whether the .223 round might be illegal under international convention.) Second, the bullets often turned sideways inside a victim, a phenomenon known as yaw. In one respect, the effects of yaw somewhat resemble what could be seen on the surface of a lake when a speedboat turned sharply. In this case, the energy delivery manifested itself as a shock wave within a human body, which could create stretching or rupturing injury to tissue not directly in a bullet's path. By turning, the bullet also crushed and cut more tissue as it passed through a victim, creating a larger wound channel.
  • ArmaLite was an infant and an upstart, a company that began as a workshop in the Hollywood garage of George Sullivan, the patent counsel for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Sullivan was an engineer fascinated with the possibilities of applying new materials to change the way rifles looked and felt. In 1953, he met Paul Cleaveland, secretary of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, at an industry luncheon. The pair talked about lightweight firearms and new ways to manufacture them. Cleaveland mentioned the conversation to Richard Boutelle, Fairchild's president, who was a gun buff, too. Boutelle and Sullivan agreed to collaborate, and ArmaLite was founded in 1954 as a tiny Fairchild division. It hired a former Marine, Eugene Stoner, as a designer.
    One of the early creations was the AR-15, made at the informal request of an Army general who wanted a prototype rifle that would fire a small, high-speed round. The AR-15 looked like nothing else in military service. It had an aluminum receiver, plastic furniture, and an odd-looking carrying handle. It was thirty-nine inches long. It weighed, when unloaded, roughly 6.5 pounds, about half the weight of an automatic M14. Its appearance — small, dark, lean, and synthetically futuristic — stirred emotions. To its champions, the AR-15 was an embodiment of fresh thinking. Critics saw an ugly toy. Wherever one stood, no one denied the ballistics were intriguing. Stoner had designed a narrow but powerful new cartridge, the .223, for his weapon. The cartridge's propellant and the AR-15's twenty-inch barrel worked together to move a tiny bullet along at ultrafast speeds — in excess of thirty-two hundred feet per second, almost three times the speed of sound.
  • One of the greatest talents of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry has been their ability exploit high-profile events to pump up gun sales: Bill Clinton, the Brady Bill, the federal assault weapons “ban,” Y2K, September 11, and now, of course, Barack Obama. Regardless of the event, the solution remains the same: buy a gun. And if industry and gun fan mags are any indication, it should be an AR-15 assault rifle.
  • The Freedom Group, a “family” of gun companies cobbled together by Cerberus Capital Management (the former owners of Chrysler, among many other things), has just filed new documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in anticipation of a long-threatened stock IPO (Initial Public Offering). And the picture isn’t pretty.
    Freedom Group companies run the gamut from sporting arms to assault weapons. In addition to Bushmaster and DPMS (two leading manufacturers of AR-15 type assault rifles), companies and brands that comprise Freedom Group include: Remington, Marlin, Harrington & Richardson, New England Firearms, L.C. Smith, Dakota Arms, Advanced Armament Corporation, and Barnes Bullets. Freedom Group states that it has the number one U.S. market position in shotguns (31 percent), ammunition (33 percent), traditional rifles (37 percent), and “modern sporting rifles” (48 percent).


  • The Bushmaster a variant of a type of gun called the AR-15 ... which was designed and developed for military use roughly during the Vietnam War period. It is one of a variety of assault rifles that militaries of the world developed when they realized that most soldiers do not — when they're engaged in combat — do not take accurate aim, do not fire at long distances, but rather just spray bullets in the general direction of the enemy at short to medium range. When the military accepted this as a fact — that soldiers are not marksmen, and they tend to just fire in bursts at ambiguous targets, and in fact most battlefield injuries are the result of just being where the bullet is and not someone actually aiming at you — the militaries of the world said, 'OK, we need a type of gun to give our soldiers that will do just that.' ... This was the genesis of the assault rifle. The first one was developed by the Germans in 1944. It was called the StG-44. The Soviet army quickly ... made a design similar to it, which is called the AK-47, probably the most widely used rifle in the world.
  • Colt Manufacturing, which had the military contract for the M-16, recognized that there could also be a civilian market for this rifle. So they developed what they called the AR-15, which was actually the original developmental designation of the rifle. The only difference between these rifles that are sold on the civilian market and the rifles that are issued to our soldiers and soldiers all over the world is that the purely military rifle is capable of firing what's called fully automatic fire. That means if you pull the trigger and hold it down, the gun will continue to fire until it expends all the ammunition in what is known as the magazine, the thing that holds the bullets. Machine guns have been outlawed in the United States, effectively, for civilian use since the mid-1980s. So what these guns need to be configured to be are semiautomatic. That means you must pull the trigger for each round fired. There's a question about rate of fire which the industry and the NRA and other advocates of having these guns in civilian hands make, and it goes like this: Well, the military guns are fully automatic, therefore they're technically machine guns, but the civilians guns are not. They're semiautomatic, and therefore they're not assault rifles. That's a distinction without a difference, as many writers on the gun side noted in the early 1980s, when even the industry called them assault rifles, until they became involved in unfortunate incidents...The reason I say it's a distinction without a difference is that the trigger can be pulled at a very rapid rate in semiautomatic fire, and it's actually more automatic fire the gun has a tendency to rise upward, to travel. If you go to shooting ranges where automatic weapons are used, you'll often see, in the ceiling, bullet holes because you pull the trigger and the characteristic sounds of - bbrruppp - the gun will rise. Semiautomatic fire doesn't do that, which is why the military encourages soldiers to shoot semiautomatic rather than automatic whenever possible.
  • What the gun industry has done is sort of appeal to the inner soldier, the insurrectionist feelings and high-tech desires to market these military-style guns. Now, they don't call them assault rifles. They have a couple of terms they use. They call them tactical rifles. They call them modern sporting rifles. I personally don't care what you call them; they are basically assault rifles, and their purpose is to kill people.
  • The grotesque irony? The National Shooting Sports Foundation locale. They’ve taken the lead in working to rebrand assault weapons as modern sporting rifles.
  • Last Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook School with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Much of the ensuing debate has focused on ways to regulate and potentially ban weapons like these. So, how many auto-loading rifles actually exist in America?
    In its 2011 report “The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market,” the non-partisan Violence Policy Center noted that “selling militarized firearms to civilians—i.e., weapons in the military inventory or weapons based on military designs—has been at the point of the industry’s civilian design and marketing strategy since the 1980s.” And in its 2011 annual report to investors, Smith & Wesson Holding Company noted that there was a $489 million domestic, non-military market for “modern sporting rifles,” a euphemism for auto-loading, assault-style rifles. Modern sporting rifles are perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the domestic long gun industry. From 2007 to 2011, according to the Freedom Group’s most recent annual report, domestic consumer long gun sales grew at a compound annual rate of 3 percent; modern sporting rifle sales grew at a 27 percent rate.
  • The feverish demand for military-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines is outstripping supply, ahead of legislative efforts to ban them in the wake of mass shootings....
    Online retailers are running out of semiautomatic rifles—known variously as assault weapons, tactical rifles or modern sporting rifles -- and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
    Brick-and-mortar gun shops are also working furiously to meet demand.


  • The Washington Post style guide describes the AR-15 as a "modern assault weapon."
  • Assault weapons were designed for and should be used on our battlefields, not on our streets. There is no inalienable right to own and operate 100-round clips on AR-15 assault rifles.
  • Those design features in a civilian market have horrific consequences. So you can call it whatever you want — tactical rifle, black rifle, assault rifle, modern sporting rifle. It has the capability that the military wanted for warfare...It's just a fact that hunting has been in serious decline, so those kinds of guns just don't sell as well. Well, you're in business, you got to sell something. These assault rifles — these military-style rifles — appeal to a broader range of people.
  • It's just a fact that hunting has been in serious decline, so those kinds of guns just don't sell as well. Well, you're in business, you got to sell something. These assault rifles — these military-style rifles — appeal to a broader range of people.
  • AR-style modern sporting rifles are a major contributor to the success of the American firearms industry, no question.
  • The AR-15 is, essentially, a gun that was designed to inflict maximum casualties, death, and injury, in close to medium range. That's what it does. The real problem is that we allow that kind of firepower to come into a theater or into a first-grade class. The names you see now are 'modern sporting rifle,' 'tactical rifle.' Those are all just euphemisms for 'assault weapon.' They're being very rational as marketers and as businesses—and as industries. They're only doing what cellphone companies do to make cellphones look different and be more attractive. The difference is what they're selling is lethality.
  • In 1994, the AR-15 hit a speed bump. Congress passed a 10-year ban on "assault weapons," which legislators defined as semiautomatic rifles that included two or more specific features, like pistol-type handle grips and metal mounts, called bayonet lugs, to which bayonets could be attached. People who already owned such rifles were allowed to keep them.
    The ban made the rifles only more desirable for some consumers. To meet the demand, gun makers removed prohibited features, like bayonet lugs, and marketed them as legal alternatives.
    "It was unfortunately an industrywide event where companies were openly bragging about their ability to sell guns in circumvention of the law," says Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a research and gun-control advocacy group in Washington.
    The industry produced an estimated one million modified AR-15-style rifles during the ban—more than it had produced of the original version in the previous decade.
  • Hunters, quite frequently, will not be impressed by the “tactical coolness factor” that has drawn many shooters into the shop looking for a new gun ... The tactical coolness factor does, on the other hand, attract a lot of first-time gun buyers. Many of them are younger and unfamiliar with firearms, making them prime candidates to be unsure of what to look for or even what they want. Unlike many of the hunting demographic, these potential buyers will likely be interested only in tactical guns, and the military-ish looks and features will be a big selling point with them.
  • Very little separates a civilian AR-15 from the M-16s that are the standard-issue rifle for the American military. The military versions are semi-automatic, but also come with the ability to fire in a three-round burst; this feature is rarely used.


  • Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries....
    Lee Bright, a state senator from South Carolina who is challenging Senator Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary, has given away two guns, one online and one by direct mail. In the online drawing, the prize was an AR-15 rifle....
    In Colorado, Mr. Brophy was not the only Republican in the governor’s race who held a gun raffle. Tom Tancredo, the former congressman and presidential candidate, also had one.
    His pitchman, the rocker and N.R.A. board member Ted Nugent, had a dark message. “We all better wake up and fight back together before it’s too late,” Mr. Nugent wrote in an email to supporters. “Enter to win a semiautomatic AR-15 — when you’re done, consider making a donation of $25 or more to help Tom keep our freedoms protected.”
  • The AR-15 platform, usually a .223-caliber rifle with a 30-round magazine, is popular because of its ease of use and cleaning, and its reliability.


  • The Trace: Does it matter what kind of gun a victim is shot with?
    David H. Newman: It matters a great deal. If it’s a small caliber gun, the wounds are visibly smaller. If it’s a shotgun wound, it’s more visually striking. I’ve seen children who have been shot with a shotgun. I remember this one boy, I think he was eight, he and a friend were playing with a shotgun, and his friend shot him in the face. When he came in, he was still very much alive, but he was in terrible pain and didn’t really have any facial features.
    But the worst is a wound from an AR-15 or AK-47 — high-muzzle velocity weapons, which impart a tremendous amount of kinetic energy into the body. Those are much more destructive. You’re looking at a wound that, externally, is two, three, four times bigger than any handgun wound.
    And that is reflective of the damage that happens on the inside. When a bullet from a high-muzzle velocity weapon hits the intestines, it’s like an explosion, whereas a low-muzzle velocity can be very similar to a knife going through the intestines; there’s bleeding, but it doesn’t destroy the whole area. A high-muzzle bullet, however, destroys whole areas of body. With a bone that’s been shot with a standard-issue caliber handgun, you’ll see a break, a hole in the bone, and maybe some displacement. But a high-muzzle weapon shatters that bone into hundreds of microscopic pieces, in a way that cannot be repaired. You need to essentially clean out the bone that has been struck and remove it from the body; it’s now a worthless tissue. You can’t believe that a bullet could do this amount of damage.




  • To get a perspective on how an AR-15 bullet differs from a 9-millimeter bullet, the 60 Minutes team spoke to Don Deyo, a former paramedic and Green Beret who witnessed mass casualties up close on the battlefield. He demonstrated the difference in bullets by shooting rounds into a cut of pork that's similar in size to an average adult human thigh. At first glance, the two rounds looked similar, both leaving an entry wound that's nothing more than a tiny hole in the flesh.
    But flip the pork over, and the difference is stunning. The 9-millimeter exit wound was small, without much damage to the surrounding area. The AR-15 exit wound left an enormous, gaping hole and shattered the surrounding bone. Those bone fragments, Deyo explained, become projectiles that create further tissue damage....
    After an AR-15 style rifle bullet blasts a large cavity through soft tissue, blood pressure then pumps that cavity with blood, causing many victims of AR-15 shots to bleed out before rescue workers can reach them.

Prevalence in mass shootings[edit]

  • The AR-15 was likened to "weapons of war" by then-President Obama in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, where 29-year-old Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people and wounded 53 others in June 2016. And it's the same rifle that keeps appearing again and again as a murder weapon in mass shootings.
  • The nation's mass-shooting problem seems to be getting worse. And the latest, most serious shootings all seem to have one new thing in common: the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.
    The AR-15 typically has large magazines, shoots rounds at higher velocities than handguns, and leaves more complex wounds in victims.
    In each one of the older shootings on the 10-deadliest list — including the 2007 attack on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., that left 32 victims dead — the shooters carried handguns. (The exception is the 1984 San Ysidro massacre, where the gunman also used a shotgun and an Uzi semiautomatic carbine.)
    But in all of the latest incidents — Newtown, Conn., in 2012; San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015; Orlando, Fla., in 2016; Las Vegas, 2017; Sutherland Springs, Texas, 2017 — the attackers primarily used AR-15 semiautomatic rifles.
    There are a couple of theories that might suggest why AR-15s would be associated with deadlier attacks. AR-15 rifles shoot small but high-velocity .223-caliber rounds that often shatter inside victims' bodies, creating more devastating injuries than the wounds typically left by larger but lower-velocity handgun rounds.
    Shooters also commonly use the rifles with 30-round magazines, which allow them to fire more rounds uninterrupted, compared with the smaller magazines commonly used in handguns.
  • Here is a list of mass shootings in the U.S. that featured AR-15-style rifles during the last 35 years, courtesy of the Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries and USA TODAY research:
    Feb. 24, 1984: Tyrone Mitchell, 28, used an AR-15, a Stoeger 12-gauge shotgun and a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun to kill two and wound 12 at 49th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles before killing himself.
    Oct. 7, 2007: Tyler Peterson, 20, used an AR-15 to kill six and injure one at an apartment in Crandon, Wis., before killing himself.
    June 20, 2012: James Eagan Holmes, 24, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber Smith and Wesson rifle with a 100-round magazine, a 12-gauge Remington shotgun and two .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistols to kill 12 and injure 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
    Dec. 14, 2012: Adam Lanza, 20, used an AR-15-style rifle, a .223-caliber Bushmaster, to kill 27 people — his mother, 20 students and six teachers — in Newtown, Conn., before killing himself.
    June 7, 2013: John Zawahri, 23, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber rifle and a .44-caliber Remington revolver to kill five and injure three at a home in Santa Monica, Calif., before he was killed.
    March 19, 2015: Justin Fowler, 24, used an AR-15 to kill one and injure two on a street in Little Water, N.M., before he was killed.
    May 31, 2015: Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, used an AR-15 and .45-caliber handgun to kill two and injure two at a store in Conyers, Ga., before he was killed.
    Oct. 31, 2015: Noah Jacob Harpham, 33, used an AR-15, a .357-caliber revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill three on a street in Colorado Springs, Colo., before he was killed.
    Dec. 2, 2015: Syed Rizwyan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, 28 and 27, used two AR-15-style, .223-caliber Remington rifles and two 9 mm handguns to kill 14 and injure 21 at his workplace in San Bernardino, Calif., before they were killed.
    June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, 29, used an AR-15 style rifle (a Sig Sauer MCX), and a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol to kill 49 people and injure 50 at an Orlando nightclub before he was killed.
    Oct. 1, 2017: Stephen Paddock, 64, used a stockpile of guns including an AR-15 to kill 58 people and injure hundreds at a music festival in Las Vegas before he killed himself.
    Nov. 5, 2017: Devin Kelley, 26, used an AR-15 style Ruger rifle to kill 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before he was killed.
    Feb. 14, 2018: Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
  • Newtown. San Bernardino. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. And now, Parkland. Five of the six deadliest mass shootings of the past six years in the United States. In each of them, the gunman had an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.
  • As officials continue to investigate 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who is accused of opening fire on his former high school Wednesday afternoon, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others, familiar details are already emerging about the weapon police believe was used in the massacre. Police suspect Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15-style rifle and “countless magazines” in the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This adds to a disturbing trend. In many of the most deadly mass shootings in the last several years, including the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1 and the shooting at a Texas church on Nov. 5, the lone gunmen were armed with assault-style rifles like the one reportedly used at the Florida school.
    • Wing, Nick; Reilly, Mollie (February 15, 2018). HuffPost. Retrieved on September 24, 2018. 
  • Six of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. over the past decade have used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. The latest instance was Wednesday’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 others injured.
    The gun used in the shooting was a Smith and Wesson M&P AR-15, federal law enforcement officials told the Associated Press. The same model weapon was used in previous mass shootings, including the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting that claimed 12 lives and the rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., that claimed 14.
    These rifles and other versions of the AR-15 are the civilian equivalent of fully-automatic M16 rifles used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. They are fancied by gun owners because they are typically easy to purchase — often for less than $1,000 — and can be customized with a number of accessories, such as bump stocks, which essentially convert the semi-automatic weapons into fully-automatics. A bump stock was deployed by the assailant in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
    Up until that point, the country’s deadliest mass shooting had occurred just a year prior at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where the perpetrator used an SIG MCX semi-automatic rifle — highly similar to AR-15s in aesthetic and purpose — to kill 49 people. Comparable weapons were also used at Sandy Hook Elementary School (27 dead) and a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church (25 dead).
    The high number of fatalities in these incidents highlight how AR-15-style guns, much like their M16 cousin, are capable of inflicting serious damage to a number of people at once.
    “For practical purposes, for the person that’s just tuning in, the non-gun owner, it’s a very similar type of firearm,” Rob Pincus, who has made a career out of training armed professionals, told TIME.
  • The gunman charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school on Wednesday used an AR-15 model rifle, a style of gun that has become more commonly used in mass shootings in the past decade. The AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle that allows the user to fire rapidly and use high-capacity magazines. Four out of the five deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history have taken place since 2012 and all four of those shooters used AR-15 model rifles in their attacks, including Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas and Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn. The AR-15 model rifle is among the most popular firearms today, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association. Gun owners like them because they are easily customized and can be used for hunting or target practice, according to the association. Some Democratic lawmakers and gun-control groups want to ban or restrict AR-15 model guns, calling them weapons of war.
  • An AR-15 once again made an appearance at a mass shooting, this time at a Parkland, Fla., high school on Wednesday...These AR-style rifles have appeared in some of the deadliest shootings in the last few years, including a concert in Las Vegas, a nightclub in Orlando, a church in Texas and an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
  • On average, more than 13,000 people are killed each year in the United States by guns, and most of those incidents involve handguns while a tiny fraction involve an AR-style firearm. Still, the AR plays an oversized role in many of the most high-profile shootings, including the nightclub shooting in Orlando and the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history: the attack by a gunman holed up in a Las Vegas hotel that left 58 dead and hundreds injured.
  • AR-15-style rifles have been used in recent mass shootings at in Aurora, Colo.; Santa Monica and San Bernardino, Calif.; Orlando, Florida and now Parkland.
  • Compared with pistols, assault rifles are used rarely in shootings. According to F.B.I. statistics, 374 people were murdered with any kind of rifle in 2016; 7,105 were killed by a handgun.
    But the AR-15 has been a recurring character in some of America’s most infamous violent crimes. Adam Lanza used his to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook. Stephen Paddock used an enhanced AR-style gun to kill 58 concertgoers and wound hundreds on the Las Vegas Strip in October. A month later, Devin Kelley murdered 26 congregants with a Ruger AR-15 variant at a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. And the rampage last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., renewed calls for assault-style rifles to be banned — a common refrain after mass shootings.
  • Manliness means violent domination, a point not lost on gun manufacturers. Bushmaster, the maker of the AR-15 rifle — which has been at the center of many mass shootings — advertised the gun with a “Consider Your Man Card Reissued” tagline.

Weapon of choice in mass shootings[edit]

Barbie doll for men[edit]

  • They are Barbies for boys.
  • Smith & Wesson is one of many firearms manufacturers to produce a version of the AR-15, marketing more than a dozen models that range in price from about $700 to $2,000.
    The weapon is popular among collectors, military veterans and target shooters who say it is easy to handle and can be modified in numerous ways. Some soldiers call it “a Barbie doll for men” because it has a wide range of accessories and replacement parts, including different styles of barrels, stocks, magazines and scopes.
  • Enthusiasts praise the AR-15 rifle as lightweight, durable, accurate and, compared with other long guns, gentle in its kick. They describe the rifle as a gadget geek's dream—the "Barbie doll" of firearms, as one gun dealer described it—because of an array of accessories that allow it to be easily customized.
  • This is the man's Barbie doll — you know, the Mr. Potato Head of firearms, because you can interchange so many different things to make it customized to you, to be able to make it comfortable when you shoot.
  • For the most part all those add-ons are primarily cosmetic (folding stocks, bayonet mounts, pistol grips, etc.), which is why some AR-15 enthusiasts like to call them Barbie Dolls for Men.
  • Enthusiasts sometimes describe the AR-15 as “the man’s Barbie doll,” an almost infinitely malleable collectible that owners can accessorize with infrared scopes, grips, flashlights and other add-ons.

Weapon of war[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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