The Political Focus on the AR-15 Is Mindless, Virtue Signaling Garbage, and the Facts Prove It

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Earlier in the week, a mass shooting took place in Boulder, CO killing ten people. An Arab man named Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa committed the atrocity with a Ruger AR-15 variant. What his motivation was is still being investigated, though it is noteworthy that he was politically left-wing and had apparently expressed terrorist sympathies. He also appears to just be a crazy person, which is to be expected of anyone willing to gun down random strangers.

Regardless, because this shooting doesn’t fit the preferred political narrative, i.e. a white supremacist, other angles must be pressed to make partisan hay. That means gun control and the banning of “assault weapons” are the topic of the day.

Joe Biden proposed this in response.

This obsession with the AR-15 is ridiculous, and when you actually look at the facts around gun crime in the United States, that becomes plainly obvious.

For instance, did you know more people are killed with blunt objects every year than AR-15s? This per Washington Examiner.

Indeed, more are killed annually with blunt objects such as clubs or with bare fists than with AR-15s. There are at least 16 million AR-15s in the United States. Each year, about 300 people are killed with any kind of rifle. Therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say that 99.99% of AR-15s are never used to murder anyone.

When you look at the real numbers, it’s no exaggeration to say that AR-15s barely register statistically when it comes to murders in this country. As noted above, out of around 8,000 gun murders a year, only 300 occur with rifles. Of those, only a smaller fraction are committed with an AR-15. This despite the fact that the AR-15 is the most plentiful rifle in the nation.

Put all that together, and the number of AR-15’s out there vs. the number of murders committed with them makes it likely the safest, least deadly firearm in existence. And contrary to the liberal narrative, you can absolutely use a 5.56/.223 round for everything from self-defense to deer hunting. Regardless, even if you couldn’t, that doesn’t mean the government has the right to violate people’s rights. I own an AR-15 and they are simply a blast to shoot. If only ammo were cheaper, though. Even still, there are far more powerful rifles out there. There is nothing special or “extra-deadly” about a .223 Remington round. In fact, it’s a very small caliber comparatively.

In the end, the only reason the AR-15 is focused on is that 1) several high-profile shootings have involved them, though the numbers dead don’t even register against murders with handguns and shotguns and 2) because they look scary. That’s it. There’s no actual logical case for banning them, nor even focusing on them if one wants to push a gun control message.

To summarize, it’s classic Washington virtue signaling. Banning AR-15’s wouldn’t make a blip in the murder rate, but it would make a lot of stupid politicians feel better about themselves. It’s also easy red meat for ignorant people on the left who have no knowledge of guns.

Regardless, Biden can ban whatever he wants. No one is going to comply, and federal agents aren’t going to start raiding homes to take “assault weapons” and 30 round magazines. It’s all just garbage, political posturing.