Misconceptions about Guns in America: Part 1 of 2

Misconceptions about Guns in America: Part 1 of 2

So this is taking a lot longer than I expected. Trying to get this as correct as possible is quite tricky. As I promised before: This is going to be fact-based. No personal opinions from me, and no speculations. I'm going to post what I have so far. Otherwise I'll never get this finished.

So let's just dive directly into this and we'll start with the basics. The Second Amendment states:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."


Next are the four basic rules of gun safety.
1: Treat every gun as if it's loaded.
2: Never point it at anything you're not willing to destroy.
3: Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire.
4: Be aware of your target and what's beyond it.
The exact wording varies depending on who you ask and where you are in the country but the rules themselves are still the same.

Considering how wide-spread and prevalent the AR-15 is we're going to dedicate a small section to it.

"The AR-15 is and Assault Rifle/Assault Weapon."
"Assault Weapon" doesn't have a legal or official definition. Different states, government agencies, and individuals all have a unique definition. I'm not going to go into detail because I don't wish to deal in speculation, only fact and legal definitions.

The AR-15 is probably the most recognizable and consequently the most controversial rifle in America but it is NOT an assault rifle, so that myth is false. Why is it not an assault though? The definition of an Assault Rifle is "A select fire rifle chamber in an intermediate cartridge".

So what does all that mean? "Select Fire" refers to the firing modes. To be an assault rifle, the weapon must be capable of FULLY-AUTOMATIC fire. What does full auto mean? That means as long as the trigger is pulled the weapon will continue firing until the ammunition runs out, the weapon malfunctions, or the operator lets go of the trigger. The AR-15 is not capable of this fire mode. it is SEMI-AUTOMATIC. What does semi-auto mean? That means the weapon will fire only a single round per trigger pull.

Misconceptions about Guns in America: Part 1 of 2
Note: Safe, Semi, and Auto selections of the M-16/M4
Note: Safe and Fire selections on the AR-15
Note: Safe and Fire selections on the AR-15

What is an "Intermediate Cartridge"? An intermediate cartridge is a rifle/carbine cartridge that has significantly greater power than a pistol cartridge but still has a reduced muzzle energy compared to fully powered cartridges. Simply put, it is larger than a pistol cartridge but smaller than a "full Power" cartridge. We'll go over ammunition further on.

Misconceptions about Guns in America: Part 1 of 2

What does "AR-15" actually stand for? AR-15 means ArmaLite Rifle, model #15. ArmaLite is the original manufacturer of the rifle.

"The AR-15 was designed for Nazi infantry"
There's no other way to say it, but that's false. Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The AR-15 was first designed in 1956.

"The AR-15 was designed for the military"
This one is technically true, and I'll explain why. The original iteration of the AR was the AR-10. Armalite submitted the rifle to the United States military for evaluation. The military was unimpressed and chose the M-14 rifle instead. ArmaLite redesigned the AR-10 into the AR-15 and submitted it again. The military was still not convinced but did see potential. The rifle was redesigned yet again into what became the M-16 assault rifle. After the Army adopted the M-16 in 1964 the "AR" design was picked up by Colt and sold to the civilian and law enforcement areas.

All photos were borrowed from the internet.

Misconceptions about Guns in America: Part 1 of 2
19 Opinion