Back in the 1990s, several hundred years ago, the rage was the AK-47 assault rifle. At the time, the AK-47 was blamed for all bad things, including high tides and illness among the cattle. Today, of course, the AR-15 is the dreaded bogeyman weapon.
What a curious firearm the AR-15 is: if you want to get a bunch of gun people arguing over absolutely nothing, throw the phrase AR-15 into the conversation. AR-15 people will argue over anything. While they all agree the AR-15 is not an assault rifle, a lot of us will suggest it isnt even a rifle, but a weapons platform.
The AR-15 is the more-or-less fifteenth ArmaLite, Inc., Rifle (AR-15…get it?), developed by Eugene Stoner, an uber-Tony Stark, back in the late 1950s. Yes, it has been around that long. The rights were sold to Colt, who produced its first batch of AR-15s in 1959. The United States military loved the weapon and adopted it under the name M16, which you still hear today. You should note that the M16 is a fully automatic rifle intended for combat use; the AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle that is designed by and for civilian use.
Whats so cool about this weapon platform? It is the truest hotrod rifle in the world. If there is anything you dislike about this rifle, you can change it.
Let us review. You can take the basic AR-15 you see at the top of this post, change the stock, the grip, the sights, the barrel, the upper receiver, the lower receiver, the grip, the trigger, the forearms, the way the gun fires, what it fires, and the color. You can even change the materials its made out of, how the recoil works, the weight, and how it feeds bullets. Want crazy? You can change every single part of the weapon. Here is, no kidding, one of Sarah Palins AR-15s. It fires a .50 Beowulf cartridge, has a smaller grip for her hand, is made of special steel, and, yes, has pretty much every part changed.
This incredible ability to customize the weapon has actually made it incredibly hard for liberals to ban the weapon: you can outlaw any part of it and the owner simply changes that part out for a legal one. Of course, the real reason to do so is that you can make an AR-15 truly your weapon.
But if you change out every part of it, at what point does it stop being an AR-15 and become, well, something else? Nobody knows.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.