Who Needs an AR-15?

Who Needs an AR-15?

Who needs an AR-15? Especially an AR-15 with a 20 or 30 round clip?

These are the kinds of questions that have become popular fare by talking heads like CNN’s Piers Morgan over the past few weeks. He criticizes “assault weapons” in general and AR-15s in particular–labeling them “killing machines“–and asks guest after guest on his television program, Who needs one?

One answer to Morgan’s line of questioning is that anyone looking for a home defense weapon or a self-defense weapon may very well need an AR-15 (or an AK-47 or SKS rifle).

Why for home defense? There are many reasons why, but for a homeowner who lives in an area where burglary-by-home-invasion is prevalent, the reason is obvious–it’s because home invaders don’t work alone. And when three armed men storm your home, instead of one lone armed burglar, an AR-15 could keep you from getting out-gunned from the start.

Why for self defense? Again, there are many reasons, but the central one is that an AR-15 (or AK-47 or SKS rifle) may allow a would-be victim under attack to gain the upper hand on his or her attackers faster than a handgun would.

Ironically, a “Personal Defense Weapons Solicitation” for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), lists an AR-15 variant as “suitable for personal defense.” 

So who needs an AR-15? According to the DHS document, it might simply be those who are looking for “personal defense.”

But here’s a crucial point that must be considered as well: We don’t have to have to “need” a certain type of firearm in order to own it. The right to keep and bear arms is sufficient to justify keeping and bearing them because we want to.

I wonder if Mr. Morgan owns only what he needs or if, by chance, he also owns a lot of things he wants? My guess is the latter, and that’s his business, but if it’s true, his position is hypocritical.

An AR-15 is great for those who need a weapon for home defense or self-defense–or for “personal defense,” as the DHS document put it. But it’s also a great weapon for people who simply want an ultra-reliable rifle that’s fun to take target shooting or hunting (in states that allow you to hunt with AR-15s). 

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