The AR-15 is a rifle used in Vietnam to replace the M-14,  the last, official U.S. battle rifle.    As the nature of war changed, the instruments of war changed with it.  As a military weapon the AR-15 (M-16) was fully automatic.  In its civilian incarnation, it is semi-automatic, meaning each bullet fired requires a separate squeeze of the trigger.  The AR-15 can be accessorized with scopes, lasers “and more.”  One of the “more”’s is the bump stock, which uses the recoil of the weapon to reengage the trigger. The bump stock converts AR-15 back into an automatic weapon. It takes about ten minutes to install, unless you blow your head off first. Then it may take longer.

Even without a bump stock, the AR-15 is a very effective weapon, It has high muzzle velocity, and with a .223 caliber round, because of the violent ricochet, it can cause a freakish amount of damage if it hits something organic, For that reason, many people still consider the AR-15 to be an assault rifle, not a sporting gun.  

Simply put, even as a semi-automatic rifle, the AR-15 is capable of firing repeatedly with a manual trigger.  It’s a lot lighter than the traditional carbine rifle and has far less recoil.  A shooter is quickly ready for another round. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the NRA’S TOP TEN REASONS FOR OWNING AN AR-15.  

Reason No. 10: It is America’s Rifle:, the “musket of its day.”  A seasoned musketeer could get off two or three rounds per minute.  Statistics are inconclusive because not very many 18th century watches had sweep second-hands.  I hope you don’t need to google that, but if you grew up with a phone on your wrist instead of a “watch,” you might.   America’s rifle – how’s that?  The NRA calls on no less an authority than former Navy SEAL turned Second Amendment advocate Dom Raso (no, I hadn’t hear of him either):

“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. 

Well, hell’s bells!  I didn’t know that the Founding Fathers didn’t say anything about “bad guys.” They didn’t need to fortify it in stone on account of the availability of parchment – talk about a difference in muzzle velocity!  In stone carving, militia would have been an easy one with mostly i’s, l’s  and t’s.

Reason No. 9 Bringing Women Into Shooting.   The days of the derringer are long gone. No dainty handgun for the ladies. With those big pocketbooks, you can stuff an AR-15 in the bag.  The NRA says the distaff side likes the “cool” feel of the gun and no hard recoil.  Geez, I’ve never heard it put that way.

Reason No. 8. Disaster Preparedness. Should you encounter a nuclear blast or the zombie apocalypse, which presumably is what the NRA means by “doomsday scenario,” you would do well to have an AR-15 by your side.  Actually, I don’t think it would help with either the bomb or the zombies before they eat your brain.  

Reason No. 7 Competitive Shooting.  I have friends who shoot skeet – they also shoot trapped, defenseless and mostly flightless birds I have never seen one of them use an AR-15 to do it but if you are having a dinner party for 20, you can’t waste a lot of time picking up the entree. 

Reason No. 6  Farm/Ranch Use. A case can be made that a farmer like Oliver Douglas  from Green Acres would need a semi-automatic to take down a fox or coyote.  Then again, he packed up and went back to Park Avenue. It’s about predator control, and when faced with a pack of coyotes or foxes-although they  don’t travel in packs- you would certainly need multi-shot equipment.

Reason No. 5 Tinkering.  Now we are getting into the heavy-duty reasons, the ones that make the gun irreplaceable.  It’s fun for kids of all ages!  Add a scope, a laser, change the hand guard or pistol grip.  Build your very own from scratch with a kit.  I’m sure you’ll find a kit in your local hobby lobby.  If you want to tinker, you also can weaponize Lego’s!

Reason No. 4. Hunting.  This is where we get down to the nuts and bolts.  For those of us who really do eat what we kill, unlike those suits who have borrowed the expression, it has been scientifically proven that animals could not be caught and shot to death with the older manual bolt guns or a bow and arrow, which is why we are all born vegetarians. Besides the lead fusillade adds thatinrral-rich flavor. 

Reason No. 3 Teaching/Learning.   Do  you want to know the truth?  Can you handle the truth? We need the rifle to teach other people how to use the rifle.  If you didn’t have the rifle, how could you teach anyone to use it.  Watch on You Tube?  No.  You need to have it so that everyone can learn it.  That’s why we working a bull whip is mandatory in most K-12 curricula, not to mention charter and home schooling.

Reason No. 2. Fun and Recreation.   If you can impress your girl on a date with that “cool” recoil or bond with your sons and daughters learning to tinker and discharge the AR-15, what could possibly be more satisfying? Imagine a snowy, winter day, just you and your brood competing to see who could break down and reassemble that little beauty the fastest. And girls, let those boys win once in a while.

Reason No. 1.  Self-Defense. How can anyone dispute the need to have a repeating rifle to fend off an intruder or put down a street attac?. You can’t take a chance of lodging one shot in the dark – you need to unload a clip or two to make sure you’ve nailed the creep.  Or picture yourself walking home from a night at the theater, when someone (probably an immigrant) comes up to you with an AR-15 pointed out your head, saying, “Gimme your iPhone!” Then you can draw out your AR-15 and gun the crook down.  We need to figure out where to conceal the piece from f you don’t stash it in your date’s pocketbook.  And folks, remember to tip the coat check server when  returning your overcoat and assault rifle to you. Picture a math teacher, chalk in one hand, AR-15 in the other.  Now, that’s how you run a class.

By now, I am sure you are as convinced as I am that the AR-15 is as American as apple pie. It is not just America’s rifle. It is America itself, and its image belongs on the flag, where the Founders would have put it instead of the ball and musket.

My only question is if owning the AR-15 is America’s First Freedom, why is it only the Constitution’s Second Amendment?