By Scott Dismukes, with thanks! Editor’s note: Scott answered the title question very well a few months ago and his answer deserves wider distribution.
Why do gun owners need AR-15s? If they want to defend themselves, a handgun will be enough. If you want to hunt, there are rifles for hunting. Why would they want a deadly, war-like weapon?
Scott’s answer, with pictures! So is this a war-like weapon?
Back to hunting rifles, is this warlike?
The first rifle is a Remington 700 deer rifle. Also used as a sniper rifle, and commonly used in Vietnam. The second rifle is a Remington 7400, a semiauto rifle, much more powerful than the AR15 – and which is available in a whole variety of very powerful hunting calibers. It came about around 1950, first as the model 740. Semiauto rifles in general have been around since 1885 – why suddenly are they “warlike” and unsuitable for self defense or hunting? Weren’t they equally unsuitable in 1885? Why now?
The longbow was used in hunting and war [NAB: For at least 1200 years, right up to WW2]. The spear is perhaps the earliest “longer range” melee weapon, but also used in hunting [NAB: since at least the time of Moses!].
The last rifle is the semiauto M1 Garand – the battle rifle used by US forces in WWII and Korea. Also used extensively by hunters bought from milsurplus suppliers, frequently lightened (sporterized) to save weight. The M1 shoots the .30–06 round, also far more powerful than the .223 fired by the AR15. The M1 rifles have been around since the late 1930’s. But they evidently don’t concern you. Why is that? Do you just not know what you’re talking about? Frankly, it certainly sounds like it. It sounds like you’re parroting talking points without even thinking about them.
Are you totally ignoring the fact the AR-15 is a great varmint rifle, and a fun sporting rifle?
As to handguns, they are very frequently used for self defense. But who are you to decide for other people what their choices must be? Sounds awfully authoritarian. Are you seriously grading the law abiding by the actions of a few who misuse their guns? Should your driving be graded by the actions of drunk drivers? Should your banking habits be graded by those of bank robbers?
NAB: Fear, like beauty, is often in the eyes of the beholder. Despite the rhetoric of FDR, freedom from fear is NOT a right, guaranteed by the Constitution or common sense or God. Indeed, in the Bible, we are commanded to “Fear not, for I am with you always.” Claims about “war-like weapons” refuse to accept that ALL weapons can be, and are, weapons of war.