The powerful AR-15 is becoming the weapon of choice for mass murderers.
It was used at Sandy Hook Elementary, where Adam Lanza killed 27 people, including 20 first graders. It was used in San Bernardino, where Syed Farook killed 14 people. And it was used in Orlando, where Omar Mateen killed 49 people.
The weapon, originally intended for military use, is capable of firing “as fast and as often as they can pull the trigger”
It is not a particularly useful gun for hunting or home defense. Experienced hunters say using a semi-automatic rifle essentially takes all the skill away from the activity. For home defense, a long gun like the AR-15 is less useful than a handgun in tight quarters and more likely to shoot through your wall and into a neighbor’s house.
But AR-15s are extremely popular and profitable for the gun industry.
In 2011, Smith & Wesson estimate[d] that “modern sporting rifles” like the AR-15 were a $489 million dollar industry — and demand has skyrocketed since. (Sales tend to skyrocket after each mass shooting.) There are about 9 million in circulation in the United States.
One group driving up the demand is the NRA, which repeatedly glorifies and promotes the weapon on its social media platforms.
“Try it, you’ll like it!”
In this post, the NRA explains you can make your AR-15 “even cooler” by adding a silencer
The NRA talks about the AR-15 like a good friend who will “treat you well”
Good follow Friday morning folks … I've been missing my AR-15 this week – what were you missing? #NRA
— NRABlog (@NRAblog) March 30, 2012
“Step 1: Buy a great #AR15 rifle”
— NRABlog (@NRAblog) May 21, 2016
The NRA regularly promotes giveaways where they give away AR-15s like concert tickets
— NRA (@NRA) March 4, 2014
AR-15s are also a great way to increase the size of your church congregation
NRA president David Keene compared the AR-15 to muskets used during the American Revolution
— NRA (@NRA) February 5, 2013
“She’s long, tan, and loves left-handers”
The NRA touts the AR-15 as well-suited for home defense
The AR-15 for Home Defense: Reliability http://t.co/qPKnN6p1tM
— NRA (@NRA) August 15, 2014
The NRA’s “April Fools” joke this year featured an NRA-branded AR-15
Building your own AR-15 is rewarding and fun!
It’s “more than just a gun”
The NRA attacked liberals who criticized the AR-15
The NRA sponsors a program to improve your skills shooting the AR-15 in a “fun environment”
What better way to celebrate your birthday?
“More accurate than you think”
The NRA never mentions when AR-15s are used in mass shootings, but will let you know when it’s not used