Why the Media's Fixation on the AR-15 Is Foolish

Why the Media's Fixation on the AR-15 Is Foolish

To listen to gun control gun proponents talk, the AR-15 is a heinous “killing machine” that needs to be banned because it gives a shooter the ability to kill more people than would otherwise be possible with a different gun. On September 16, Piers Morgan said the availability of AR-15s makes “mass shootings in America” worse.

Yet Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis did not use an AR-15. So how was he able to kill 12 people in such a short window of time?

He was able to kill so many people because he used the best close-quarters gun anyone can use–a shotgun. And the effectiveness of the shotgun once again shines a light on the fact that the fear-mongering around the AR-15 is both inaccurate and foolish.

An AR-15 is a rifle–it fires one projectile at a time. When you take one to the range and shoot it, it fires one bullet every time you pull the trigger (that bullet is less than 3/10ths of an inch wide).

A shotgun is just that–a gun that shoots “shot.” Like an AR-15, a semi-automatic shotgun fires one round each time you pull the trigger. The difference is that its shells contain numerous shots–small balls of lead–that produce a “pattern,” or circle of lead, that might be 7 inches, 10 inches, or 15 inches wide (or more) depending on the choke of the shotgun and the distance between the target and the gun.

Whether you are 10 feet from the target or 50 yards from the target, an AR-15’s bullet remains a single projectile less than 3/10ths of an inch wide. But with a shotgun, even if the target is extremely close to the gun–6 to 8 feet–a shooter can hit two targets at once. At a medium range–12 to 20 feet–a shooter could hit two or three targets at once because the pattern of the shot gets wider the further the target is from the gun.

The effectiveness of a shotgun blast depends on numerous things–including the weight of the shot used. Shot weights are signified on shell boxes as “No. 4” or “No. 7,” etc. The smaller the number the bigger the shot.

Think about it this way–you could give one shooter an AR-15 with a 30-round magazine and give another shooter of equal experience a 12 gauge shotgun and 20 rounds of ammo. If the shooting is in close quarters, the person shooting with the shotgun will double and could triple the number of hits of the person with the AR-15.

Drop an individual with a shotgun into a gun free zone–where the victims cannot shoot back–and the amount of carnage that could be done was witnessed in a small degree on September 16.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins