Fox News talking head Sean Hannity, never one to let facts get in the way of his right wing mindset, aimed his spin toward the assault weapons conversation with an extremely biased, intentionally misleading video that tried to insinuate that the AR-15, with its “little” 223 round was just nothing to worry about: Those who support gun regulations are just being silly…can’t you see the holes? Why don’t mass-murdering shooters just use a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle?
Let’s look at his argument a bit closer. Most folks that choose an AR-15 as their gun of choice to commit crime do so because it is the most widely available, and it has the most accessories (and can shoot from magazines that hold between thirty and 100 rounds of .223 ammunition). They do not choose an AR-15 because it has the most powerful rounds, they choose it because it is, conveniently, the easiest to buy. While I am sure someone has developed an extended magazine for the 30.06 semi-automatic shown in Hannity’s video, those extended magazines are not sitting on the shelves of gun stores–and Wal-Marts!–or featured and fêted in gun magazines, related pro-weapons media and in on-line gun magazine stores.
Hannity and the shooter–National & World Champion Pistol Shooter Jessie Duff–argue that there is no need to pick on the little weak AR-15s when there are so many guns with bigger rounds available.
They utterly fail to convince anyone who does not already agree with them.
Hannity’s deceptive video–shot at the NRA range in Fairfax, Virginia–shows Duff shooting an AR-15. She uses an unusual technique that attempts to downplay the power of the AR-15. (For background, a semi-automatic rifle–like an AR-15–is a rifle that fires each time you pull the trigger. Therefore, thirty shots should require thirty separate trigger pulls.)
View the clip here, and see for yourself:
In the video, Duff pulls up to aim and fires carefully: bang! …bang! …bang! She squeezes off three very leisurely shots in about 2.5 seconds. This exhibition is intended to make the AR-15 look innocent, like just a “cans-on-fence-posts” plinker, but there are hundreds of folks more than willing to share their videos on YouTube, most of which feature AR-15 owners demonstrating just how quickly they can shoot their AR-15s.
In this example, the shooter fires 23 rounds from the same type rifle, with the same type .223 bullets in just under SIX seconds – or three times the rate of fire of Duff, the champion shooter.
In another example, the shooter is firing 20 rounds in under two seconds, but even that firing rate is not the fastest way to deliver rounds from an AR-15. An easy modification–which, notably, the BATFE says is legal because it doesn’t change the trigger configuration–is called “Bump Stock” and a gun so modified is capable of shooting thirty rounds in about three seconds.
The Hannity video intentionally shows a slowed and deliberately-paced firing of the weapon, which is not by any stretch of the imagination a demonstration of the true destructive capability and power of the weapon. The three examples mentioned show the true potential of the weapon: it can fire at least six times faster.
Duff scoffs about the AR-15 being the weapon “what everyone is wanting to ban.” First of all, no one but reactionary pro-gun nutbags are talking about an outright ban of all guns, even the AR-15; most discussion has focused on expanding and improving a system of background checks, and making it more difficult for a troubled or mentally ill or angry person to acquire a powerful gun like an AR-15 on a whim. Second, the reason people are talking about AR-15s and concerned about them–even people who know less than squat about guns in general–is that the AR-15 was the weapon of choice for the shooters in the Aurora Theater “Batman movie massacre” and the Newtown school shooting. We are talking about AR-15s specifically because we have had horrific demonstrations of just how deadly that weapon can be.
Consider this scenario: a shooter with a 100-round magazine can empty his weapon in ten seconds. It might take as long as twenty seconds if he or she is unusually slow. Now picture your two or three car garage, about the size of a normal elementary school classroom, with a shooter in the doorway armed with a weapon capable of being fitted with a 100-round magazine.
AR-15s can be fitted with such magazines.
Although [NRA shill Duff] tried to make the argument that other guns are more lethal, the bullet holes from the AR-15 were plenty big. Especially if you think of them in a first grader.
“More lethal” doesn’t much matter if the key word is lethal. (Consider the difference between being force-fed one pound or two pounds of arsenic: the end result will be roughly the same–and bad for your health and continued existence–even if, arguably, two pounds of arsenic is “more lethal” than just one.)
Folks with an interest in this topic can now see the difference between Sean Hannity’s public relations spin (no doubt pre-approved by the NRA; note that Fox News doesn’t bother to reveal that Duff is a co-host of the Friends of NRA TV series) about the AR-15’s capabilities and the true potential of the AR-15, as proudly demonstrated by its happy owners in videos posted all over YouTube.
For more observations by McAllister, visit Shoot From the Left Hip.