AKs and ARs: Real assault rifles vs. mythical “assault weapons”

AK-47 assault rifles (not wespons) used by drug cartels

When Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, passed away, some media reports estimated that about 100 million AKs around the world. They are full-fledged and full-auto war weapons. There are between 3-10 million AR-15s in the United States. These are civilian, semi-automatic sporting rifles, and not weapons of war. This perspective is important. In the worst of the worst places around the globe − Syria, Rwanda, Somalia − AK-47s are the norm and the corpses are plenty. Civilian AR-15s are nearly never used in homicides in the U.S. (yes, it has happened, but statistically it is so rare you cannot assign statistical accuracy to their use in crimes). Mexican drug cartels show how this all gets in the way of gun policy. Drug cartels like AK-47s … a lot. South America is awash in Soviet made AK-47s left over from when the former communist block was exporting their ideology one bullet at … Continue reading

Media Meddling

Since I work with the media to help them understand the realities about guns and public policy, I receive many media inquiries. One source is via Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a service where reporters can widely query experts. After the rampage in Santa Barbara, a reporter from the Arizona Republic nakedly asked for expert to help the gun control industry craft better market messages. We all accept there is bias in all media. We also accept that reporters, like the rest of us, often skew their work. But the request from Megan Finnerty goes beyond bias: she is actively aiding a political ideology, and thus abusing the very word “journalist”. Here is her request (minus some links she provided). Folks everywhere should call the “newspaper” (800-331-9303) and express their concerns: I am looking for thoughts on how Richard Martinez, the outspoken father of a young man killed in the Isla Vista, … Continue reading