A USA Today column presenting the AR-15 as the end-all be-all for mass shooters was politely disrupted by a gun store owner who told the paper that there are far more lethal weapons than the AR-15.
Because of this, the column, which hinged on quotes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, actually served to undermine the left’s hysteria-charged perception of AR-15 rifles.
For example, USA Today quoted the Brady Campaign saying, “[AR-15s] are accurate and they can basically shoot as quickly as you can pull the trigger.” They continued, “Along those lines, [AR-15s are] very customizable — most average people can figure out how to install accessories like forward trigger grips that let you hold the gun at waist height and spray bullets while stabilizing the gun, laser sights, and you can add high-capacity magazines.”
Note the use of “forward trigger grips” (whatever those are) and the intimation of a pray-and-spray shooting style.
But master firearms instructor and gun store owner Dean Hazen looked right past the hype and told USA Today that the focus on AR-15s is not because the firearm is the best suited for mass public attacks but because those carrying out such attacks have a “copy cat mentality” which causes them to use a gun used by previous attackers.
Hazen said, “It’s really just a perception thing.” He added, “There are rifles that are more powerful and more dangerous than that, but they’re not being used.”
He is correct inasmuch as there are far more effective weapons. However, the left does not see this because they focus on things like “forward trigger grips” (whatever those are) and other firearm accessories that sound ominous to them. In reality, the greatest advantage an attacker has is time and when the area he strikes is designated “gun-free” then time is certainly on his side.
For example, Breitbart News reported that the Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman had over 9 minutes without armed resistance during his December 14, 2012, attack. With that kind of time the type of firearm used is largely a moot point, as an untold number of people could be killed or wounded by a gunman armed only with a snub-nose revolver and a pocket full of bullets.
Yet there are firearms that could make heinous crimes even worse. Those firearms are “more powerful and more dangerous” than an AR-15. Hazen alluded to his when he said, “Thank God [the attackers] don’t know any better because if they did they would use much more effective weapons.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.