Friday, January 11, 2013

The AR-15 Justification

I have been pretty quiet on my blog as of late.  I've been waiting for a few things to complete a couple systems I intend to go over and while I have waited, I've been very active on social networks like Facebook.  I made a ton of new patriotic, like-minded friends, and have been very committed to getting information out to these people in earnest, which has helped spread a lot of facts and ideology regarding the 2nd Amendment and defense of liberty.  Alas, my blog has suffered somewhat as a result.

One thing I keep hearing over and over again, predominantly from the Left, is the question, "Why do you need an AR-15?"  What justification, or purpose does a "weapon of war" have with a regular civilian like me?  Why can't I be satisfied with a rifle that has a fixed magazine, or one that accepts a magazine with fewer than 11 rounds of ammunition?  My intention is to provide a forthright argument in favor of keeping weapons like this in my house.

Let me first talk about the 2nd Amendment.  I need to do this because until we have a clear understanding of what my interpretation of the 2nd Amendment means, we really can't have a viable discussion on my justification for weapons, such as AR-15's, in the home.  This is the actual text of the 2nd Amendment:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

I'm going to break this down a little because there are many people who feel that the first part of the the 2nd Amendment is ambiguous.  What is this "well regulated militia"?  It's you and me.  Title 10 of the US Code, chapter 13 states that the militia consists of men ages 17 through 45.  The Militia is then organized into two classes: the organized Militia (National Guard), and the unorganized Militia (you and me).  Of course, the age limit of 45 doesn't mean that older men can't participate in national defense.  It's just that men between 17 and 45 are typically more fit and capable of defending the country against threats.

But what about the "well regulated" part?  Does that not mean that only organized militias may have arms?  Nope.  The last section of the amendment states rather clearly, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."  The issue is not whether the National Guard is the only militia capable of bearing arms, it's a vernacular issue.  In the days of the drafting of the 2nd Amendment, "well regulated" meant to put into working order.  This meant that "a well regulated militia" consisted of men who had rifles, ammunition, appropriate gear necessary to bring to the fight as needed, and were trained to use them effectively.  Minutemen, who were ready in a minute's notice, had a good rifle, ball, powder, and essential clothing and survival gear needed to respond to threats against liberty.  They were also drilled, and practiced at their craft.  While there was already a Continental Army at the time of the Revolution, trained militias that consisted of everyday citizens, non-military men, were called upon to help the regular army in the fight for independence.  The nature of the 2nd Amendment is that it is intended for regular citizens, men and women, to keep sufficient arms as to stand as a last resort defense against an over reaching government.

You'll notice that hunting and sport are not mentioned in the 2nd Amendment.  These two purposes are simply byproducts of the 2nd Amendment, and both purposes are protected by the virtue that the 2nd Amendment does not define what sort of arms are for sporting purposes and what are for military purposes. This is a key point because to say that an AR-15 is not necessary but a bolt action rifle is, oversteps the limitations on government to control arms in this country.  You cannot say that a shotgun is okay to have in the house, yet AR-15 type rifles are not.  There is no justification for that argument in the 2nd Amendment.

Given this point, banning "assault weapons" (a misnomer at least) is not justified by the Constitution or the 2nd Amendment, therefore it does not have the force of law behind it.  Soldiers, law enforcement officers, and law-abiding citizens alike have a duty to nullify laws restricting these types of weapons because by banning these type of guns or severely regulating them into oblivion, goes against the very nature of the 2nd Amendment, and those who support such laws are traitors to the United States Constitution.  It's really that simple.

By now, you probably know what I'm going to say next.  What's the number 1 reason for owning arms such as AR-15's, AK-47's, SCAR17's, FN FAL's, etc?  Defense against tyranny.  Now, some of you might be rolling your eyes and saying that it is absurd to think that the United States government would ever turn on it's own citizens.  Really?  Must I remind you that just over 200 years ago, England turned on its own colonists, who then had to fight and die to protect liberty in America?  Or was that not in your high school history lessons?  I consider myself fortunate that my US History instructor was a patriot in every sense of the word, and augmented our assigned history book (about a page and a half dedicated to the Constitution) with an actual Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and a ton of reading of the Federalist Papers, and just what the patriots of 1776 were thinking.  By the way, our Founding Fathers were considered "radicals" by the Tories who supported a Statist government as well.  I feel that I'm in good company by siding with the Founding Fathers on issues such as liberty.

But let's not get off track here.  Has our own government not turned on us already?  Who among you actually wanted Obamacare?  How many of you are in favor of raising the debt ceiling, and printing and spending more and more dollars we do not have?  How many of you voted for Obama and thought that his recent tax hike for citizens making less than $250K per year was a good idea?  How many executive orders has our current President made in his term in office?  And what is this about the possibility of us getting a third term for this president?  Has your government not turned against you yet?  Obama says he has the support of the majority of the people, yet in a republic, 51/49 does not represent an actual majority.  That's class warfare.  If you don't know the difference between a representative republic and a democracy, may I suggest a few minutes on Google?

History has shown time and time again that government is no friend to personal liberty.  Government, by its very nature, serves to restrict liberties of the individual by imposing regulations and laws - many of which are totally unnecessary.  Are some of these regulations a good thing?  Sure.  Making it illegal to murder people is certainly a good law, but then again most people in this world don't need to be told that murder is illegal.  In their hearts, they know it is wrong and goes against the fundamental laws of nature and God, so by doing so they know they'd be going against everything that is good in this world.  That is why they don't do it.  The law simply recognizes that.

When you look at recent wars and tyrannical governments, you can see that utilizing the natural right of self defense against them is really good for America.  Look at the atrocities committed in West Africa, Iraq, the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, the killings of millions by Hitler and Stalin, etc.  Then go further back to the campaigns of Persia against Greece.  Look at the wars waged by Alexander the Great, King Agamemnon, and King George III, just to name a few.  History is filled with examples of over reaching, tyrannical governments that sought to control the people under their rule with impunity and violence.

If you don't think that this could happen in America, you need to have your head examined.  In the historical sense, America is an extremely young country.  We have been spoiled by the freedoms and liberties we have.  Our children have all the toys and crap in the world that they want.  Most families are bulging with material goods that only liberty could buy.  We go to work and make enough money to have all of our needs met, and are able to spend money we don't have on frivolous things we don't need.

Then there are kids in war torn 3rd world shit holes that have a stick and a rock to play with.  Their bellies aren't full, their parents are dead, and warlords round them up for execution, recruitment into their brutal armies, and to defile young women.  This is the reality of tyranny.  It's not about being forced to drive an economy class car, or pay extra taxes, or be forced to take a health insurance plan you don't want.  It's about suffering, dying, rape, violence, and power.

This is my number 1 reason for owning an AR-15.

 I wish the argument could end there, but unfortunately, there are those who say that AR-15 rifles are not ideal for home defense.  I must ask, have you actually fired an AR-15 in your life?  How do you know what is, and what isn't ideal for home defense?  I believe that the AR-15 is perfectly suited for home defense.  I'm going to pick a couple details off the top of my head against the philosophy of home defense, and counter them with actual experience in training.  The first argument is that the round over penetrates.  True, the 5.56/.223 round is designed to shoot through things in order to hit the intended target.  The problem is that when you say that the .223 round over penetrates, you are being intellectually dishonest by not saying that the 9mm or the 45 ACP doesn't.  The last time I checked, both of those rounds easily penetrate sheet rock, wood, and steel.  These two popular rounds are capable of over penetrating with the best of them, so why does the issue lie only with AR-15 type rifles?  I don't see the logic.  Even the venerable 12 gauge buckshot round will over penetrate medium objects found in the average house.  Yet it is arguably the best self defense weapon you could own.

Why is that?  Because it is a devastating weapon.  Self defense isn't about defense.  It is about destroying threats.  When you shoot someone, you aren't defending yourself anymore.  No, you are destroying a person when you shoot them. You are destroying everything they ever were, or ever could be.  When you shoot someone, you are no longer on the defensive.  That ship set sail long ago when you presented your firearm.  When the threats persists against you, and you pull that trigger, you are taking the offensive.  If you can't overcome this mindset, then you don't have any business handling a gun.

The next argument is that the AR-15 is hard to move around inside the confines of a home.  What?  Like as hard as a shotgun is?  Wait, I thought shotguns were acceptable.  The last time I checked, my shotgun was as long, if not longer than my AR-15.  So why is it okay to use a shotgun over the AR-15 if the AR-15 is so hard to maneuver inside a house?  If it is so difficult to move around inside a building with an AR-15, then why do many police SWAT agencies use them?  With just a little practice, moving a rifle around inside a house becomes just as effective as walking around with a handgun.  But wait!  Why not just use a handgun for home defense instead?  It's much easier to maneuver with a handgun.  Well, I'd contend that it's much harder to hit a moving target with a handgun than a rifle.  There are many advantages to using rifles over handguns.  That's why handguns are considered secondary to rifles.  If handguns are so great, why doesn't the military issue only handguns to our men and women in uniform?  That's because rifles are superior weapons.  The only reasons I have handguns is because they are easier to conceal, and come in really handy when your rifle malfunctions or you run out of ammunition.  As was once said to me, "we use pistols to fight our way to rifles."

Also, have you ever tried to clear your house with your handgun?  Okay, shooting fundamentals 101 teaches us that we do not fire our handguns when they are two inches in front of our noses.  So in order to obtain a proper shooting stance, we must punch the handgun out to full extension in order to properly acquire sights and take accurate shots.  I am here to tell you that the end of my pistol barrel is almost the same distance away from my body as the end of my rifle barrel when I'm ready to shoot.  The techniques for clearing a room with a handgun and a rifle are similar.  Stay away from the walls, cut the pie, and if the space is really confined, you lower each weapon platform to move around some walls or obstacles.  That's the nature of the beast.  Given the choice, I'd still take a rifle over a handgun any day.

If you take the picture of me, above, holding my Beretta M9A1 pistol at full extension, and compare it to the first picture of me holding an AR-15 in this blog, you will see that the muzzles of both my pistol and rifle are in nearly the same position in relation to my body.

Now, we get to the hot button issue of these so-called "high capacity" magazines.  First off, the AR-15 uses 30 round magazines as a standard.  The 30 round magazine is recognized as the standard capacity magazine, and this bears itself out by military use and law enforcement.  The fact of the matter is that AR-15 rifles are designed to accept, and function with, 30 round magazines as a gold standard.  If an AR-15 does not function with these magazines, it's junk.  Why do I need these feeding devices for my AR-15?  Why not simply be content with a 10 round magazine, or even a 5 round magazine?  Well, if you really must ask that question, I encourage you to reread the section of this entry regarding defense against tyranny.  If military and law enforcement can use these magazines, than so should I.  The point of the 2nd Amendment was so that we could match small arms against government.  No, that does not mean I need a bazooka.  It means I need a small arm typical of the type currently in use by the government.  Since they have no intention of reverting back to muskets anytime soon, neither do I.

When it comes to magazine capacity, there are two arguments I make.  With regard to a mass murderer, limiting magazines to 10 rounds or less won't make any difference.  If he is shooting up a crowd of people, creating all kinds of chaos and mayhem, he can take his time to keep reloading 10 round magazine after 10 round magazine.  If no one is shooting back, it's just a matter of seconds to get the weapon charged up and ready to shoot again.

In regards to self defense, however, it's a much different game.  If I'm up against two or more threats, I don't desire to have to reload after 10 rounds.  We have recently seen than 5 shots at point black range from a 38 special didn't necessarily kill the bad guy.  I've personally been "approached" by three menacing guys, and have had need to draw my pistol and level it between the lead bad guy's eyes.  At the time, my Beretta 92 FS was loaded with 15 rounds in the magazine, and 1 in the pipe.  I had two spare 15 round magazines on my hip.  But it didn't matter that I had as many rounds on my person as I did.  They still weren't enough.  You'll never hear anyone who has been in that situation say that they wished they had less ammunition on them.  When you are being attacked by one, two, or more assailants, the two to three seconds it takes to change a magazine could be the end of your life.

I have a distant relative that thinks that magazines should be limited to three rounds because if you can't hit your target in three shots, then you suck.  Well she sucks!  She has no idea about terminal ballistics, mindset, the fact that bad guys don't just stand still, and the fact that we, as the people trying not to be killed ourselves, are not standing still either.

I have three appropriate weapons for home defense: an AR-15 carbine, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a handgun.  My AR-15 has a loaded 30 round magazine.  The shotgun is loaded with 7 rounds of buckshot.  The handgun is loaded with 20 rounds (yes, I have twenty round magazines for it).  If I suddenly found myself in a room, facing a door, with a single table in the middle, these three guns, my family in a corner, and a note that read, "In 60 seconds a man is going to come in this room and kill you all," I wouldn't hesitate to grab the AR-15 rifle over the other two.  The reason is simple.  I can shoot through the door, I have 30 rounds at my disposal, and when all else fails, the buttstock or a rifle makes a very good bludgeoning tool.

All other justifications for the AR-15 in my home are superfluous when compared to the reasons I stated above.  The sporting aspect of it is yet another byproduct of having the gun.  I take the weapon out and use it against clay pigeons, steel plates, paper targets, and the occasional unfortunate pumpkin.  By taking the weapon out and having a bit of fun with it, I'm reinforcing training.  Just because I'm shooting a pumpkin doesn't mean I'm not using it properly.  No, in fact, a pumpkin offers a great 3 dimensional target to shoot at, and augments my training.  We don't shoot for accuracy just for fun.  When I shoot my little steel plate from great distances, I'm honing my skills with the rifle.  When I'm changing magazines, solving failure issues, or operating the weapon, I'm reinforcing weapons manipulation and learning the odds and ends of my rifle.  In effect, I'm insuring that my weapon is in operational condition.  Should the time come that I'm called upon to defend liberty, I will add my own system to that "well regulated" militia that the 2nd Amendment is talking about.  By teaching my family, I'm insuring that they are ready in case I am not able to be there.

My AR-15 empowers my wife.  She knows how to use it.  She's a good shot with it.  She's also not very big.  Most men could easily force their way upon her.  I don't say this as a slam against her.  She already told me last night that she isn't strong enough to fight most men twice her size.  A weapon like an AR-15 levels the playing field so that she can defend herself against an attacker.  That attacker could be anything.  From a deranged druggy to a rapist, or even a tyrannical government.  I don't think that she would make herself an easy target or prey to someone looking to victimize her.  I also be in fear if I was an attacker, and she was defending our children.  There's something about protecting your children that brings out some rather powerful instincts in parents.  Suddenly, this life isn't filled with what your wants and needs are, but rather those of your kids.  Your needs come second to their needs.

So why have such weapons in the house?  They could be hurt or killed.  Wrong.  I am still alive to type this and my dad had all sorts of guns in our house when I was growing up.  They weren't locked away.  They were accessible.  The ammunition wasn't stored separately.  So why didn't I die or kill anybody?  Well, because even though we had our ups and downs as a family, we were still given a set of moral codes, a foundation if you will, that kept us in line.  Even though we'd have some really good verbal fights from time to time, the thought of breaking out Dad's old service revolver never occurred to us.

We were also trained in weapons handling.  My dad took me out at 5 years old to learn how to shoot.  My son got his first taste of shooting at age 3.  Yet when my children see me holding a gun, they aren't shocked, surprised, or at all interested in what "daddy is doing with his gun."  In fact, just this morning, I walked out of my bedroom with my AR-15 in hand, and my nearly 3 year old daughter saw it.  She immediately told me, in a rather stern voice, "Not in the house.  You shoot that gun outside."  Both my children have had the curiosity and naive excitement about guns taken out of their systems.  Whenever we go shooting, my son is always willing to go.  He likes shooting.  But he's also been taught that guns have their place, and touching them without mom and dad's permission is a big no-no.  My children don't go looking for my guns, nor will they touch them without being told it's okay.  And no, we are not training them to be little killers.  I'm 32 years old and I've never killed anybody.  And I've been shooting longer than I can remember.  What we are doing is teaching them to be responsible with firearms, especially with guns that do have so much killing potential.  I won't deny that the AR-15 is a fearsome weapon.  I know what it is capable of doing.  That's why I own one.  Because should the time come when I need to draw upon those capabilities, I'll have them.

By now, I think I've made my position on this issue perfectly clear.  I'm going to close by stating that evil men exist in this world.  It's a dangerous world we live in.  If you don't believe me, just walk down the streets in Watts County or Chicago, IL.  The unalienable right to defense against evil, no matter what brand it is, was not given to us by the 2nd Amendment.  Instead, it was recognized by it.  The Founding Fathers put it there because they had just won a hard fought victory against tyranny and recognized the need for the American people to have this last resort check and balance against it.  Evil isn't just some disturbed person shooting up a place with a gun.  Evil is also the encroachment of a government that has overstepped its enumerated limitations.  When we lose the right to own rifles, such as the AR-15, we lose a very critical aspect of our right to keep and bear arms.  When the laws that supposedly protect us from gun violence does not work, the government will legislate stricter laws to tighten the noose around our necks and further limit our liberties.  They will do this incrementally until guns are completely banned.  When that happens, we will no longer be a free society.

I was asked, is the cost of 11,000 people killed with guns each year worth it?  Let me ask you this.  If the government was somehow capable of rounding up every gun in America, and it really did lead to a safer society, would the cost of tyranny be worth that?  I am willing to accept the fact that murders are committed with firearms because I am unwilling to accept that safety is worth the cost of tyranny.



  1. Well stated James.

    I was born in one of those other countries were the inhabitants are subjects rather than citizens; therefore the only ones with the firearms besides the government are the criminals. And of course the crime rate is many times higher than in the US.

    As a full fledged US citizen and proud of my country, I was swore in and pledged to honor the US Constitution, which empowers us to stand up to tyranny. This is what makes us, Americans, different from other countries in the world, and we should all be ready to defend our rights.

  2. Thank you for the kind words. It's important for many of us, who were born here, to hear the words of people, like you, who immigrated to the US from other countries, where the rights we have taken for granted simply don't exist. I have two friends from Bosnia, who escaped in the 90's, and they have told me so many horror stories of what it was like to be in those countries. They wouldn't trade their rights for anything.

  3. Thank you James for this article, but... I disagree. I am a fellow gun owner and consider myself a patriot of our country. I am a liberal (and have therefore lost the attention of everyone on this post) and yes, I'm writing this 2 days after the 17th school shooting of 2018 (and it's February 16th), so perhaps my rationale may be emotionally motivated. I came to this website to hear what other gun owners were saying about owning AR-15s and grasping at justifications. The more I read, the less I can justify an AR-15 being "easily attainable". I do not believe that their ownership should be denied. However, there is an epidemic of certain individuals who are failing in life and the only way for them to gain notoriety is to go shoot up a school. They may be notorious, but at least people will know their name and stop ignoring them - and yes most of these individuals are mentally ill, though likely undiagnosed and definitely not receiving any kind of treatment(a whole other discussion).
    Owning an assault rifle to defend against Tyranny is not a good arguement. At the very least, the militaries arsenal is automatic, but that's just their guns. The other technology and weapons in their arsenal make an AR-15 a joke. To stand up against the forces of an over reaching American Government, one would need weapons of mass destruction and I can't justify the ownership of those by the public either.
    So I think I'm going the route of the left-wingers who say that tighter gun controls need to be put in place. Will it stop ALL mass shootings? Nope. Will it stop even one mass shooting? Absolutely and that is worth it. People who look to lawfully attain AR can, but it might take longer and may subject the individuals to a psychological screening they will pass with flying colors. However the VT shooter or the Florida shooter, who mow down 17 people and then go to Subway for a drink and snack would probably fail that screening. Put SOMETHING into place. Its only logical.