You can’t hunt with an AR-15. Unless you want to turn that pheasant into Swiss cheese, you should probably shoot it with something that won’t pump it full of bullets in a few seconds.
So whether you are so afraid of your shadow that you buy a mass killing machine for “protection” or you buy a mass killing machine to kill people en masse, your character is flawed. The AR-15’s only purpose is to kill lots of people quickly.
“I have the right to protect myself and you can’t tell me an AR-15 is off limits.”
So where’s the line? If you manage to make a nuclear bomb, do we get to tell you that’s too far for self protection? Or do you agree that its only purpose is to kill A LOT of people, fast? It’s easy for even the nuttiest of gun nuts to say nobody needs a nuclear bomb to protect themselves, but they have this attachment to assault rifles simply because people are trying to take them away and they don’t want to be told what to do by people they don’t like.
The AR-15 has long moved past the point of an actual gun debate about its purpose or whether the Founding Fathers meant “musket” or “assault” rifle. The AR-15 is a political wedge where one side still has common sense and the other side refuses to lose or be wrong. Any discussion or argument that eschews common sense for “don’t tell me what to do — I don’t even like you” will never be settled with facts or empathy. The fact that no one NEEDS an AR-15 or that children keep being killed by them means you should never argue with a gun nut.
Your job Dear Reader, as a sensible, logical, empathetic, reasonably intelligent person who understands the link between GUNS and GUN DEATHS, is to find other people with that same sensibility and make it politically unfeasible for politicians to bow to the NRA. Politicians follow the money. They have NRA Money, and they have Money From Everywhere Else. The only way to get them to reject the NRA Money is to threaten their Money From Everywhere Else by letting them know your vote is dependent upon cutting ties with the NRA. If they are not in office, they get No Money. Your job is make that prospect a reality, so call them and let them know.
Your job is not to convince stupid, angry people to change their minds about their death machines. Don’t waste your energy. Direct it at your politicians.
(You actually can hunt with an AR-15 but clearly this conversation is around semi-automatic rifle being freely available to anyone. Unless you have a hoard of 300lb feral pigs on your property, you don’t need to be hunting with a semi-automatic assault rifle. And you definitely don’t need to be in suburban Connecticut buying one for the hell of it.)