Why does anyone NEED to own an assault weapon anyway?
The next time you hear someone (often a non-shooter but not invariably so) posit this as a hypothetical, it might be a good idea to take them up on their "offer". There are many sound empirical reasons why an AR-15, the most prevalent of the so-called "assault-style" weapons these questioners have in mind, may be THE firearm of choice for a wide range of shooters and purposes. A partial list of these came to mind as follows, but due to the singular mudularity of the AR-15 platform it is probably subject to considerable expansion:
* The AR-15's functional resemblance to the M-16 (it is a semi-auto variant) allows veterans, active military members and law enforcement officers to directly apply their professional firearms training to the protection of themselves, their loved ones and their community because of their vast familiarity with the recoil and position of the controls under stress.
* It's ability to change calibers allows the less affluent to practice more affordably, thus becoming safer and more proficient, through the use of inexpensive surplus military ammunition in 5.56 mm, imported ammunition in 7.62 x 39 mm or .22 LR ammo
* This same cailibery flexibility allows owners to save money by purchasing the same common ammunition that they use in their handgun, eg 9 mm, .40 cal., .45 cal, etc., ammunition
* The ability to change calibers allows owners to protect loved ones more safely and effectively since they can quickly switch between higher-penetration rifle-calibers (eg 5.56 mm) in order to protect themselves from threats wearing body armor (as some of the mass shooters have elected to do) or downgrade to a pistol caliber in order to reduce the risk of over-penetration ("know your target and what is beyond it!") in more urban/home settings
* The range of available hunting cartridges (eg .22 LR, 5.56, 6.8 and .50 BMG) allows for the taking of small, medium, large AND dangerous game, making it arguably THE most suitable firearm for the widest range of hunting and sporting purposes.
* The ability to use sub-sonic ammunition in .300 Whisper and .22 caliber ammo allows indoor shooters to reduce the risk of hearing loss in enclosed spaces, not to mention noise pollution
* The ability to mount an array of optical sights, lasers and flashlights allows shooters in general, and the vision-impaired, the elderly and disabled shooters in particular, to defend themselves more effectively in exactly the kind of reduced light scenarios that comprise most self defense situations.
* Semi-Auto capability allows civilians to rapidly engage multiple targets, hardened targets and targets behind cover, and puts them on an equal footing with criminals armed with revolvers and semi-autos (unlike say bolt-action, pump-action or single-shot weapons).
* Higher capacity magazines reduce the likelyhood that a civilain shooter will need to reload during the course of a self-defense shooting.
Last edited by simonov jr; January 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM.