Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Maybe the Best Article on ARs I've Ever Read...

...from WIRED Magazine, no less!

Now that the post-Newtown nation has suddenly woken up to the breakout popularity of the AR-15, a host of questions are being asked, especially about who is buying these rifles, and why. Why would normal, law-abiding Americans want to own a deadly weapon that was clearly designed for military use? Why are existing AR-15 owners buying as many of these rifles as they can get their hands on? Are these people Doomsday preppers? Militia types, arming for a second American Civil War? Or are they young military fantasists whose minds have been warped by way too much Call of Duty?

Preppers, militia types, and SEAL Team 6 wannabes are certainly represented in the AR-15′s customer base. But fringe groups don’t adequately explain the roughly 5 million “black rifles” (as fans of the gun tend to call it) that are now in the hands of the public. No, the real secret to the AR-15′s incredible success is that this rifle is the “personal computer” of the gun world.

In the past two decades, the AR-15 has evolved into an open, modular gun platform that’s infinitely hackable and accessorizable. With only a few simple tools and no gunsmithing expertise, an AR-15 can be heavily modified, or even assembled from scratch, from widely available parts to suit the fancy and fantasy of each individual user. In this respect, the AR-15 is the world’s first “maker” gun, and this is why its appeal extends well beyond the military enthusiasts that many anti-gun types presume make up its core demographic.


Exurbankevin said...

Which further tickles some thoughts I've had for a while.
Given that the modern "progressive" movement was founded on Rosseau's baloney about the perfect state of natural man, I wonder how much of the anti-gunner's hatred of AR's, Glocks, etc, is based on what materials those guns are made of, and not what they do?
There may not be any functional difference between an M1A and an AR-10, but because one has a wood stock and is therefore "natural" and the other one is all black metal and plastic, one is accepted and the other is not.

For people who call themselves Progressive, they sure seem afraid of new ideas...

Anonymous said...

I wish the caption under the "U.S. paratrooper" photo had said XM177 instead of AR-15.

Anonymous said...

You may be right Michael. A very fine article indeed - and an apt description of the appeal of the AR-15. The AR-15 has been described, variously, as a Barbie Doll for shooters, the firearms equivalent of Legos or an Erector set. It's modular design is it's most fascinating feature for, like Michael, many of us find we are incapable of NOT modifying it to meet our needs - be they cosmetic, caliber, or ergonomics. And, in that regard, they are remarkably different than most anything than everything that came before it.

But I don't know that the gun grabbers care about the differences since - ultimately - they want ALL our guns, ammo and knives.
They see them all as dangerous, destructive devices, possessed by a populace both naive and experienced in their workings and capabilities - and that terrifies them. I believe they see in each of us the possibility of 5 million Newtowns - or at least they'd have the public believe so. They certainly play up the "scary, black rifle" sterotype - but ultimately they see little or no difference between an M4 Carbine and an M1 Carbine.

A wonderful article for "Us" to enjoy and appreciate - but ultimately filled with even more reason for "them" to demonize such a wonderful piece of engineering. It's modularity and the ability to build one with a few parts and common tools perhaps the scariest thing of all for the antis.

We see a thing of beauty - they see further proof that they're losing complete control of who owns and has access to what. And with 3-D printers churning out PMags and AR lowers and buttstocks - they see more ammunition (pardon the pun) for their cause.


Anomly said...

I never really wanted an AR but with all the hullaballoo I think I've changed my mind.

Jack said...

I've got 24 and will eventually have more! They are like Lay's you can't stop at one and so many flavors!

Bil said...

Michael, I'm listening to today's podcast and want to tell you your passion for defense of the Second Amendment is infectious. We are stronger and better because of this. Thank you.