On the Popularity of the AR-15

During the first assault weapon debate, it was the AK that was the real demon. That was the first gun I bought, which I did solely because there were certain types of people telling me I shouldn’t. It was an act of defiance. I hardly shoot either of my AKs, because they just aren’t as ergonomically satisfying to me as the AR platform. It’s funny, then, that even NBS News and the New York Times are forced to acknowledge  the rifle’s popularity. Though with this kind of nonsense:

On one level, what is happening here and elsewhere simply reflects supply and demand. The gun industry has spent decades stoking demand for the AR-15 and rifles like it. Now, after the mass killings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, President Obama wants to reduce the supply.

This is, of course, quite humorous to people who know this issue in any detail. The industry did not embrace the movement toward ARs. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming. Ask anyone with close ties to the industry, like Michael Bane. Not because they hated black guns, or bought into the gun control movement’s nonsense, but the industry is very traditional and risk averse.

Journalists just assume this stuff is true, and print it as truth, but the truth is that the gun culture changed first, and then the gun culture changed the industry. The industry did not change the gun culture. When is the left going to recognize that this is a movement composed of millions of actual people? Thinking people. People who are often smarter than the journalists who write this crap.

14 thoughts on “On the Popularity of the AR-15”

  1. I seem to recall Michael Bane saying that by the time of Clinton’s AWB there were only 6 AR manufacturers in the US and now we are running close to 70.

  2. Do you think if they have to recognize that it is a cultural shift/movement that it is harder to demonize/combat?

    1. I think that’s part of it for a lot of hard-core gun control activists. I think journalists are generally just biased to thinking a certain way on the issue. It’s more cultural condescension. You don’t view the rubes can make their own decision, so clearly it has to be the horse being lead to the water.

  3. The left doesn’t view ANYONE as independent, thinking, individuals.

  4. The irony is that the gun-control movement itself stoked the desire for ARs by making them forbidden fruit. Then, by the time the AWB timed out, the pump was already primed for a newer generation of shooters to try out the Evil Black Rifle.

    *Apologies for the thoroughly mixed metaphors.

  5. Journalists just keep copying Brady Campaign/VPC press releases. And Brady Campaign/VPC are liars.

  6. Yup, they have had to swallow that the NRA actually has public support, so they are pushing the “tool of the gun industry” theme.

    That’s fairly easy to document as not accurate given the numbers involved. My new return sally is noting that, although the anti-gun rights movement claims to speak for a “silent majority” of gun owners and non-gun owners alike against the “vocal minority” of NRA extremists, they have yet, after 30 plus years, to offer paid memberships to give that alleged majority a public and financial voice in support of their positions. A chance to put their money where their mouth supposedly is.

    I then ask people to think why that might be the case, and note that their largest donors and advocates are white millionaire and billionaire 1%-ers, with few 99%-er grassroots to speak of visible in media.

  7. Gotta love the News Media. When it comes to reporting politically hot issues they are almost guaranteed to fail, leaving their readers worse informed than before they read the article.

    There are several frauds being committed, which overlap and sustain each other. The primary fraud is to misdirect the public for the fault of the buying panic. After all if the press acknowledged that buyers are reacting quite rationally to an anticipated future drought the press would be admitting that not only are the anti-gunners at fault for the buying panic, but also how the buying panic directly defeats the goal of a ban on so-called “assault weapons”, instead of reducing the number of AW and magazines in the hands of the public the efforts of the anti-gunners are increasing them.

  8. “The irony is that the gun-control movement itself stoked the desire for ARs by making them forbidden fruit.”


    I had only an academic interest (one among many) in “modern militaria” before the Clinton AWB reared its head. But, I was driving to a business meeting when I heard of the proposed ban on the car radio, and I picked up my first ugly rifle on the way home from that meeting.

    But, it also is true the industry and the culture lagged on that quite a bit. Because I was academically interested, at least, before the Clinton Ban, I remember complaining in the late ’80s and early ’90s that the American Rifleman and other gun magazines almost never had articles about modern military style rifles. And I remember in the early ’80s wanting casually to obtain some sample rounds of 7.62 x 39 ammo, and not being able to locate a single round in any local guns shops or survivalist stores.

  9. I myself, and I think most gunnies, like anything with a military history. It literally is American history you can own, hold and use.

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