The AR-15 is the most popular firearm model in the country. It didn’t use to be, but it seems that particular type of weapon soared into popularity about the time the government tried to ban them and they’ve just never looked back.
However, a lot of people are uncomfortable with the weapons. They’re downright afraid of them, mostly because they look scary or something.
A Canadian journalist decided we somehow needed to know that he’s actually afraid of them, which is fine. The problem is that he thinks we should be too.
Among the reactions to the Wisconsin court verdict Friday that found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty in the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of a third in a crowded Kenosha street, one comment from a gun-rights group leader sticks out.
“If Kyle had been convicted, there would have been a massive chilling effect on people coming to the scenes of urban unrest, with their guns, trying to help folks protect their property,” Nik Clark of Wisconsin Carry told the New York Times.
The gun in question in the Rittenhouse case is the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, an efficient killing machine invented for war that has become the weapon of choice for mass murderers, and which has in the past two decades become the most popular gun in the U.S. Many might think — especially Canadians — that it is precisely the kind of weapon you would want to discourage people from bringing into a tense situation.
Oh, that last paragraph is so full of wrong it’s not even funny. For example, handguns are still the preferred firearm for mass shooters, though the media doesn’t seem to really let anyone think that.
Second, if you find that you’re going into a tense situation, it may well be the perfect weapon.
Kyle Rittenhouse, as an example, might have been able to protect himself just fine with a handgun, but how many others there protecting businesses were untouched because of the mere presence of AR-15s?
Further, you don’t always know what direction a tense situation may go. While Rittenhouse didn’t need all 30 rounds, he just as easily might have. Mobs tend to outnumber individuals to a severe degree. It’s not impossible for a couple of dozen people to attack someone in such a situation.
But hey, the author here is just trying to be sensible, right?
As a Canadian unused to seeing anyone (even police) carrying these types of weapons, it is a shock to see them brandished in crowded streets. Their very presence makes what might be an already tense atmosphere potentially explosive. The shock wears off after a while. But you don’t get used to it. At least, I haven’t.
A gun’s very visible presence creates the possibility that any argument, or any misunderstanding, any flared temper or physical scuffle, could turn into a scene of carnage. Which is exactly what happened in Rittenhouse’s case.
I mean, to hear him tell it, Rittenhouse just got angry at an argument and started blasting. Never mind that he was the one attacked. I mean, that’s completely irrelevant, isn’t it?
What happened that night in Kenosha wasn’t the result of the presence of guns making a tense situation worse. It was the result of a mob that wanted to hurt anyone and anything that wouldn’t be bullied by them.
That included Kyle Rittenhouse.
The truth of the matter is that the AR-15 isn’t a villain’s weapon, no matter how much some in the media continue to try to paint it as such. It’s a tool, one that saved Kyle Rittenhouse’s life.
If a Canadian journalist wants to be afraid of it, that’s on him.
I’m more likely to be afraid of anyone who wants to take away my right to own an AR-15.