6 things the right gets wrong about the AR-15


Many people that advocate for gun control often make outrageous claims about what firearms are and are not, and what they can and can’t do. Under fire for many years now has been the most popular rifle platform in the USA: the AR-15. It can be easy to debunk or dismiss a lot of what they claim about the AR-15, but often times people on the other side of the aisle make equally outrageous remarks to try and shutdown the opposition.

Let’s examine a few things we hear a lot (or even say a lot) on the pro-gun side that isn’t really true, and let’s figure out how we can be honest with ourselves and our anti-gun opponents.

1. “It’s just a 22!”

Often when someone supporting gun control mentions the destructive power of AR-15s, 2A advocates will respond with “It’s a tiny bullet! It’s only a 22!”. Even though this statement is technically true, it is extremely misleading.

When people mention a 22, they are often referring to the 22lr cartridge. Even though the 22lr cartridge and the 5.56 NATO cartridge share the same bullet diameter, that is where the similarities end. A modern 22lr cartridge will generally contain about 5 grains of powder, and exit the muzzle of a rifle at about 1200 fps producing 95 ft lbs of energy. On the other hand, a 5.56 NATO cartridge will contain about 26 grains of powder, and exit the muzzle of a rifle around 3200 fps producing 1300 ft lbs of energy.

The AR-15 and its 5.56 NATO cartridge are vastly more capable and destructive than the humble 22lr out of a rifle like the Ruger 10/22. Down playing this fact only makes someone seem dishonest.

There is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that allows the restriction of powerful weapons, and every citizen should be able to own a rifle as powerful or even more powerful than an AR-15.

2. “It’s not a weapon of war/assault rifle”

The gun-grabbers love to call AR-15s and other similar rifles “assault rifles” or “assault weapons”. While the technical definition of an “assault rifle” is a rifle equipped with a select fire control group allowing for full-auto operation, the “assault weapon” classification is not completely wrong.

Their logic is that there are variants of these rifles being used by militaries across the globe in actual war and by law enforcement. The idea is that these rifles are effective tools for such even though they lack the ability to fire full-auto.

The AR-15 began its life as a submission for a contract for new infantry rifles for the United States military in 1958. After failing to win the contract, the design was sold to Colt in 1959, which made some slight design changes, and successfully sold 8500 rifles to the Unite States Air Force in 1960. After that, Colt started marketing the AR-15 to other militaries, law enforcement agencies, and finally, to civilians. The AR-15 started out as a “weapon of war” and then became a civilian sporting rifle.

In many of their writings, our founding fathers made it clear that the reason for including private firearm ownership in the Bill of Rights was to ensure the citizens could defend their individual liberties especially from their own government. If the government is meant to be for the people, by the people, the people should have the same arms as the government to maintain the balance of power.

Many 2A advocates will dismiss this, and say “It’s not a weapon of war! It’s a sporting rifle!” or “The military uses M16s and M4s! They are different!” Instead, they should be saying “Yes it is a weapon of war, and that is why we have the right to own them.”

3. “It’s just a sporting/hunting rifle”

This goes along with the last point about it being a weapon of war. “It’s just for sporting purposes” or “I have it just to hunt”. While these rifles are very capable for at the range, competitions, and hunting, they are also just as capable for self defense, home defense, and the defense individual liberty.

Not only does saying this downplay the reason for the 2nd amendment, it can lead to being under prepared, and lack of proper training.

If you own an AR-15 for hunting and sporting purposes, that is what you will train for. If the need arises for you to defend your life, the life of others, or your freedom, you will be at a huge disadvantage.

4. “A pistol brace is not a stock”

Technically a pistol brace is not a stock, and was designed to help disabled veterans fire their AR pistols more safely with one hand. However, many people purchase them to affix to their AR pistols and use them as a stock to circumnavigate the National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations on Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs).

While circumnavigating laws that infringe upon your natural rights is a great way to practice peaceful civil disobedience, it will not get the point across if it isn’t called what it is. Buying a pistol brace should be a statement to our government that the NFA is unconstitutional, and that citizens should be able to own SBRs without registration.

5. “An AR Pistol is not an SBR”

An AR-15 with a barrel under 16” and lacking a stock and certain features is by legal definition a pistol. But once a stock is affixed to the rear of the weapon, it is now considered a short barreled rifle by legal definition. Why should one be legal and not the other?

This is another example of circumnavigating NFA regulations. Again, buying an AR pistol should be a statement to our government that they have stepped too far, and we won’t capitulate.

6. “A FRT, Bump-Stock, etc is not a machine gun”

While Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs), Bump-Stocks, and other such devices require a single function of the trigger for each round to be fired making them technically not a machine gun, they do increase the rate at which a user can take follow up shots to simulate full auto fire. They achieve the same goal of sending more lead down range at a high rate. They serve the same purpose as an auto sear.

Our founding fathers wanted citizens to be armed in the same ways the military was armed. This includes fully automatic weapons. This is again another example of skirting firearm restrictions that should be done as a statement, not as an excuse.


The AR-15 is the most popular rifle platform in the USA today for a reason. It is a very modular, capable, and affordable platform for the defense of individual liberty.

We need to remember why our founding fathers decided to include unrestricted firearms access and ownership in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States. It was not simply to allow people to put meat on their tables or to have a fun weekend of target practice. It was to allow each and every citizen to defend their freedom to the point of blood. As responsible citizens of a free nation, we should have “weapons of war”, machine guns, and short barreled rifles.

Stop making excuses otherwise.

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