Handguns but no ARs

my friend and i had a short debate today over text. he’s pro-gun (handguns only) for protection, but doesn’t believe citizens should own ARs. i told him it doesnt matter, law-abiding citizens aren’t the ones shooting up schools, it’s the ones violently mentally unhealthy, not my uncle or grandpa. i told him banning them basically gives criminals access to ARs, but not citizens. but he does pose a good question: what is the point (from a self-defense standpoint) of owning an AR?

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I remember a year ago maybe slightly over a year there was a little boy around 12, 13 years old saved his younger sister somewhere in Texas with his Dad’s AR15 from home invaders. I don’t have a photographic recollection of that incident but he saved his little sister and killed one of the two perpetrators. Without that firearm (AR15) one or both of their lives could have been taken away


This is going to be a hot button discussion. In my view, your friend is not “pro-gun” at all, and what I have seen for years as part of the problem.

Does this mean they do not support the use of shotguns? How about if all I have is a lever action 30-30? What is the objection to AR’s? I could take the other side, and say that a 6 shot single action gate loading revolver is all you “need”, and would save lives since they are hard to reload. So, turn in those semi-auto’s and swing cylinder revolvers!! Those are for LEO only!!

Sadly, I have been discussing the same thing for 30 years with people that just don’t “get it”.


they said they’re ok with shotguns. not sure where they draw the line. not debating anymore.

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by “hot button”, do you mean there are many of those within the gun community that are anti-AR? i personally am not going to own one, a simple handgun with do for me, but i don’t think deciding what is and isn’t “appropriate” for one’s own defense is a tough line to draw, because once you start drawing it, where do you stop? like you said yourself, revolvers only, right? who needs a semi-automatic pistol? (me, i do, for me and my wife’s protection.)

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it’s a tough line to start and stop and im glad i am not tasked with drafting the gun laws. i believe the people should be trusted to own whatever gun they please, as long as they are not committing crimes with it. if they do, they go to prison. simple as that.

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It is not just limited to a talk about defensive arms either.

The “just hunting” bolt action guy that thinks anything else is too much, too potent, too fast shooting…etc. Of course you then call his hunting rifle a “Sniper Rifle”, and they get flustered. Or how about the “you can’t have military rifles” crowd. A bolt action was a military rifle, same as a lever action. Heck, you could say the same about black powder too. This is how the anti-gun crowd divides the gun crowd, and controls the narrative.

There are a lot pro-gun folk that are against AR’s. I have fought it first hand here in Montana in Hunter Education (and got it changed). Heck, I did not own one until I had a need for one, however I was not against them. What about Ak’s, Mini-14, M1A, FAL, etc… In the end, you are either for gun ownership, or you are not. Don’t fall down the slippery slope. The same could be applied to the defensive carry of firearms, the very reason that USCCA exists. By “hot button”, I mean that it can almost be like the “caliber wars”. People draw hard lines in the floor.

It is tough, no doubt about it. My current task is to work on my fiance’s mother, who is very anti-gun, yet owns a pistol, and goes shooting with us. Heck, she comes and watches matches!! Slowly changing her mind, but it is a very long road. She thought everyone coming to shoot were some hillbilly hick types that drooled… then met LEO, Doctors, Lawyers, and a bunch of techies. LOL. She does think that 5.11 pants are some sort of uniform requirement… LOL


The AR 15 is a very efficient self defense platform.

People take issue with the AR and AK platform because they are misinformed and uneducated about the platforms. They look scary or intimidating.

Show your friend a picture of a mini 14 and ask if they feel that’s acceptable firearm to own.
Just going on presumption based on what you’ve posted. They will probably see nothing wrong with the rifle based on looks alone. However the rifles are equally capable and fire identical rounds.


This hits on a talking point that gives me the shuddering horrors!

If we, as a society, begin to use ‘need’ as the basis for allowing or denying the acquisition of otherwise legal and useful products, we are taking a giant step into the mommy state.

Who really ‘needs’ four wheel drive? (Maybe 1% of the people who own them.) Who really ‘needs’ heated seats, power windows, etc? More than one vehicle?

Who actually ‘needs’ $500 jeans or $1000 shoes?

How about extra bedrooms and bathrooms? Multiple pets? An acre of lawn? Three or more TV’s?

You see where this is going. Think of everything you’ve ever seen that made you shake you head and wonder why anyone would think they needed it.

Who do you want deciding whether or not you can have what you want?



@David38 Exactly 5000% yes!! You make a better point than I do.

How about a law that you only “need” 400sf of living space, per person? Heck, I own 2 3/4 ton 4x4 trucks, and no car. Yep, I pay for the privilege! FWIW, they both frequently get used in 4wd… :wink:


The AR is an incredibly good platform for self defense.

It’s much more accurate than any handgun, the standard 5.56 is a much higher energy round than common handgun calibers and is much easier to wield with high capacity magazines than any pistol.

The AR is really nothing more than the modern equivalent of the colonial rifled musket and the intent of the 2nd Amendment is that we should all be able to equip ourselves sufficiently to show up and do battle effectively in times of emergency.


Gun owners come from all walks of life with their own at times beliefs like your friend. We need to even convince our fellow gun owners to get away from the thinking that a certain class of firearms are bad (bad gun, good gun) Good gun, bad gun classification is dangerous. I agree with Wildrose, a long gun is more accurate than a handgun because of the fact it is shoulder mounted therefore more stable. For myself my primary defense gun is a shotgun, my backup is a Glock. One more thing and I will get off my soapbox, Even a cursory reading of the Second Amendment reveals that not only is it an individual right, there in the first clause is the para-military portion addressing the militia (us), therefore the AR is on top of the protected list of guns.


If an AR doesn’t blow my skirt up, that don’t mean no one should be able to get one. Right now, at least in my neck of the woods, it’s not bad enough as a rule to need an AR for protection but that can change in an instant. NO one gun is good for all scenarios and life is a fluid event.


As I pointed out to a local woman an hour or so ago who was questioning me about getting her LTC, “You’ll only need it once and not have it”.

For many years after getting out of the service I was very much against civilians owning AR and AK platform rifles but I eventually came around after a lot of thoughtful reflection.

Like most people I associated those platforms with people using them unlawfully to harm others because that’s what we see in the headlines and on TV.

In reality rifles of any sort are used in fewer murders than fists, feet, and hammers and I eventually came to understand my perception was wrong and based on the anti gun agenda promoted by the left and their main stream media cohorts.


My wife, has fibromyalgia. She can’t handle the recoil of a shotgun. AR platform rifles come in a plethora of calibers, that are low recoil. They have excellent capacity, and have adjustable stocks to fit a variety of arm lengths. Add that up, with a variety of ammunition that would be good for self defense and you have a sweet spot for self defense.


Also, yes we can be our own worst enemy, and even from big names in the industry. In case you are not aware, lookup Jim Zumbo or Dick Metcalf. Metcalf sorta survived his flailing; Zumbo did not. There was also a dustup with Recoil Magazine a few years ago, and it darn near went under until Ian Harrison took over.

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hey man, just fyi, you’ve been an awesome teacher since the day I signed up. I came here because I wanted to learn more about self defense and I love that when you explain your point you explain it with statistics and evidence instead of emotion. You really make it so that I don’t feel bad wanting to own a gun when I realize how much good they provide to society


I think a lot of people get hung up on the “AR” in the name. Thinking that it stands for assualt rifle instead of ArmaLite the company that developed this style of rifle back in the '50s. Add to this that people think they are military type weapons since they look like the M-16 and M-4 rifles used by our military. It immediately the bad connotation by some because of this and argued that a civilian doesn’t need a military grade weapon. However, they usually don’t have any issues with a 1911, Baretta 92, Sig P320, etc all of which has been used or is being used by the US military. It comes down to just like everything else people have issues with but don’t fully understand. Which is the lack of knowledge and the lack of wanting to do the research themselves. It is so much easier to listen to the media or whoever else they may trust and take their word as truth.


btw you pointed out to me once that lawful uses of guns vs gun deaths is 10:1. and that harvard did a study that found there were 2.5-3 million lawful defensive gun uses per year. do you have links to those studies?

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This study was done by CDC in conjunction with researchers from Harvard.


According to the FBI there are approximately 400,000 gun related crimes committed annually. You have to drill down on that though because even if a gun isn’t used it’s considered a factor if one is present.


If you then just look at the most common types of violent crimes perpetrated with a firearm you are left with murder, rape, and armed robbery.

Of those three categories around 72% of murders involve the use of a firearm with substantially falling rates for the others.

Let’s look at 2011.

467,321 total violent crimes reported.

Of those about 11,000 are homicides so about 7,500 were committed with firearms.

Of the other 450,000 or so if we take averages it’s safe then to say about 200,000 of those crimes were committed with a firearm.

So lets work backwards.

7,500 + 200,000 = 207,500 violent crimes committed with a firearm vs 2-2.5m lawful DGU’s.