Most people would say an Assault Rifle, after all that’s what the AR means. And they would be wrong. AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the original manufacturer of the weapon.
The AR-15 has been copied by multiple manufactures over the decades since its introduction in 1956. And are commonly called an AR-15 even though they are truly an AR-15 style rifle.
The term Assault Rifle is debatable. Since “assault” is an action and thus any rifle can be used in an assault and be called an assault rifle in my book. Hell you can have an assault screwdriver if you use one in an assault.
But this is how the US Military defines an Assault Rifle:
- It must be capable of selective fire. (that means Semi-Automatic, Fully Automatic, and Burst)
- It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle, examples of intermediate cartridges are the 7.92×33mm Kurz, the 7.62×39mm and 5.56×45mm NATO.
- Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
- It must have an effective range of at least 300 meters (330 yards).
The Colt AR-15, the most common AR-15 rifle in civilian hands, is semi-automatic-only. It is not capable of selective fire and therefore NOT an assault rifle by definition.
Semi-automatic weapons are the most common form of firearms today in both handguns and rifles and they have been around for a century. Semi-automatic means you don’t have to cock the weapon every time you fire a round. The next round loads automatically for easy firing.
The Browning BAR MK 3 is the same as any AR-15. Except it doesn’t look like a scary military weapon. Which is really why some people seem to hate the AR-15 style rifle.
Firearm enthusiasts like the AR-15 mainly due to the weapons versatility and dependability. A tried and true design that takes a lot of punishment.
So it’s not really the weapon that is the problem. We have had semi-automatic rifles and pistols for more than 100 years at this point. Although we have had mass shootings documented as far back as the 1920’s. A time period of high crime, gangsters, and fully automatic weapons. I’m guessing that mass shootings go back to the beginning of firearms.
Yes the weapon makes it easier to kill innocent people. But it shouldn’t be punished, nor should law abiding people. The weapon is necessary for a free people to remain free against an oppressive government. When a government becomes contrary to the Will of the People. Guns are the first victims.