I think this nails it

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Nova, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Nova

    Nova livin on the edge of the ledge Writer

    Mar 29, 2004
    As a matter of principle I stay out of the gun control threads because frankly I don't have the passion on this topic that the 2A folks do.

    But this was as clear as I've heard a relevant point made, and not from a gun grabber, and seemed worth sharing...

    Hi, there. I'm a gun owner. I have in my house, right at this moment: 2 pistols, 2 rifles, and 3 shotguns. Which is a lot, especially considering that my wife has never touched any of them. I'd like to talk to you about why America's obsession with AR-15s is just so damn odd.

    For decades--as far back as the ATF hands out statistics on the web site--Americans bought about 3 million firearms a year. Which seems like a lot. These aren't paper napkins. They're not disposable. Every gun I own is over 40 years-old. One of the shotguns was made in 1908.

    Around 2008, the number of new guns bought each year started going up rapidly. After decades at around 3M a year, it jumped to 5, then 6, then 8, then 10. What happened? What happened was a whole new category of gun. Up until around 2008, the majority of rifles sold fell into one of two categories: .22 rimfire 'plinkers' used for holing paper targets or hunting small game, and larger centerfire 'deer rifles' used for pretty anything bigger than a ground hog. Many were lever or bolt action.

    Guns like the AR-15 were out there, of course. I saw plenty of ads in my Sports Afield or Field & Stream when I was a kid (and I'm old). I just never knew what the hell I would do with one. They were expensive to buy, expensive to shoot, and kind of useless. An AR-15 is worse, and a lot more costly, for shooting at targets than a .22. You certainly can't use it on small game. When it comes to deer, or elk, or antelope, it's not nearly so good as guns purpose built to knock down those targets. For decades, most gun owners agreed.

    When people talk about the AR-15 as "America's favorite rifle," what they leave out is that this is an extremely recent phenomenon. Go back a couple of decades, and these guns were a tiny percentage of gun sales. Even for gun owners, they were kind of a rarely seen item. It wasn't until 2005 that sales of AR-15 style rifles, from all manufacturers, exceeded 100K in a year. By 2008, they had jumped to 300K. In 2012, they exceeded 1M. They topped 1.5M just one year later. The AR-15 *became* "America's favorite rifle" in just a few years.

    In the last few years, deer didn't suddenly become smarter. Rabbits didn't stage an uprising. Woodchucks didn't discover flack jackets. What did happen was a national epidemic of fear, one that allowed expansion of new category: rifles for hunting people. That 3M or so annual demand for plinkers, deer rifles, shotguns, and target pistols is still there, as it always has been. It's just that now it's topped by 6M+ a year in AR-15s and ugly Glock-style pistols (guns for hunting people, pocket edition). Which means that in the last two decades millions of Americans now purchased guns that really aren't much good for anything other than shooting millions of other Americans. And that "America's favorite rife" is a gun few gun owners cared about until very recently.

    But of course, everyone has reason to care about AR-15s now. And to worry about people who are SO DAMN SCARED that they paid out large sums to buy a machine designed for nothing else but killing people. In large numbers. Quickly.

    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 3
    • popcorn popcorn x 1
    • TL;DR TL;DR x 1
  2. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne Gay™ Formerly Important

    May 17, 2005
    San Diego
    Interesting. :chris:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 the only real finish line

    Nov 28, 2004
    front and center
    well allow me to explain why the AR-15 platform is so popular:

    1) yes it's more expensive to shoot than a .22 rimfire but then again EVERY GUN is more expensive to shoot than a .22 rimfire.
    2) the AR-15 cartridge can be loaded with a wide variety of bullets and powder loads and thus can indeed be effectively used for thin skinned medium sized game like deer as long as you limit your range and your shot placement is perfect. So not the best choice for a deer rifle, but they do get the job done. Also predator hunting is becoming more popular since coyotes (for example) have spread well beyond their original range - the AR-15 is ideal for coyotes. Also wild hogs are a menace in many states and again, the AR-15 is a great weapon because hogs run in groups, and once the shooting starts and the hogs scatter the AR-15 can engage multiple targets quickly and accurately.
    3) the AR-15 platform lends itself to modifying , accessorizing and general customizing for gun enthusiasts who enjoy getting the most enjoyment out of their hobby besides just shooting their guns.
    4) the AR-15 is a great home defense weapon because it has very low recoil (smaller framed family members won't be intimidated by heavy recoil) and is very easy to learn how to shoot accurately. Despite the low recoil the high velocity but lightweight 5.56 mm round packs plenty of punch to stop any human threat with dependable efficiency.

    this is just off the top of my head, but if you are interested you can google more about it.
    • TL;DR TL;DR x 1