Every time someone who passed a background check uses an AR-15 to open fire in a gun-free zone, ignorant media pundits and their ready surrogates in Hollywood and D.C. talk about the need to ban automatic weapons.
But the AR-15 is not an automatic weapon — it is a semi-automatic weapon. In other words, it does not shoot multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled. Rather, it fires one. That’s right — one round per trigger pull. But this seems to be lost on a growing number of outlets, celebrities, and politicians. So, Breitbart News thought it best to present this handy AR-15 users guide for those who simply don’t get it.
The AR-15 is a rifle that shoots .223 and/or 5.56 rounds. Americans love it because it is reliable, accurate, and numerous accessories are available for it. Those accessories range from lights to special grips, stocks, optics, sight packages, and beyond. Because of this, the AR-15 has become the Colt 1911 of rifles. Like the 1911, you can always buy the part you need to make it better or repair it in the event that something breaks.
The gun is great for women as well as men — for petite-framed people as well as large — because the stock absorbs the recoil. So even though the rifle shoots a .223 or 5.56, it does so with less recoil than a .410 shotgun and just slightly more than a .22 rifle.
The gun shoots one round every time the trigger is pulled — period. Yet following the terror attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando, UK’s The Telegraph described the rifle as “controversial” and claimed that it “[allows] a rogue gunmen [sic] to kill dozens of people in a matter of seconds.” What The Telegraph is alluding to is the spray-and-pray tactic of shooting whereby a gunman simply squeezes the trigger repeatedly, rattling off as many rounds as he can, hoping some of them find their target. Although such an approach to shooting appears to be wildly popular with gun control advocates — many of whom may have never shot a gun — it is not an accurate or efficient way to shoot an AR-15. It is not reality.
Knowing the rifle — the same way a concealed carry permit holder knows his or her handgun — is crucial, and this is because shot placement is crucial. Perhaps this would not be so if shooting an AR-15 were the kind of thing leftists depict in their movies, where “assault weapons” often fire fully automatic, and the ammunition magazine appears to be limitless. But in the real world, every shot has to count.
Regardless of these things, some of the early reports on the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting included references to an automatic weapon. Many of those references disappeared as the day went on, but they were there nonetheless.
Additionally, celebrities like Seth McFarlene tweeted things like: “These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don’t get to be “shocked” anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.”
These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don't get to be "shocked" anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
And during the June 12 airing of Meet the Press, Bernie Sanders said, “We should not be selling automatic weapons.”
Sanders’s statement is nothing new for Democratic office holders. Breitbart News previously reported Hillary Clinton’s penchant for referring to AR-15s as “automatic weapons.”
So far, Clinton, Sanders, McFarlene, The Telegraph, and so many other outlets that don’t know any better, let’s say it together — an AR-15 is not an automatic weapon. It is a semi-automatic rifle that Americans own for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense.
WR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.