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Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Jews should Own the AR-15

As Jews, we've spent hundreds if not thousands of years subject to prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. False rumors and accusations about us persist to this day. Because of our past, we try to avoid rushing to judgment and making uninformed decisions about others.

The AR-15 rifle platform, like the Jewish people, has suffered similar discrimination and oppression, such as being subjected to discriminatory dress codes, exiled from certain lands, and used as a scapegoat by politicians. Today it is accused of being an evil "assault" rifle. Now for the truth about the AR-15.

The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle. It is NOT an automatic "machine" gun. What's the difference? Simple. For our purposes, a semi-auto rifle or pistol will fire one (and ONLY ONE) round for each pull of the trigger. A full auto machine gun will fire multiple rounds for as long as you hold down the trigger. Wait a minute, you say...one round every time you pull the trigger? Well that's just like every gun I know...what's so bad about that? The answer: nothing. Remember, I said that there are many misconceptions floating around about the AR-15.

The AR-15 is no more powerful than other hunting and target rifles. The most popular round for AR-15 use is .223 Remington, which is readily available at Wallmart. Wait a minute you say, it doesn't use any special "assault" ammunition? Nope. Again, misconceptions.

So what's all the fuss about? Why have the anti-gun crowd maligned the AR-15? Why do they want to ban it?

Answer: because of its cosmetic appearance. That's the only reason. It looks like what an uninformed person thinks an "assault" rifle looks like, so the knee-jerk reaction is to ban it. It does look like the military M16, but it is not an M16. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has recently produced a video to help educate the public on the true nature of the AR-15. But because much of the public doesn't know any better, politicians still use the cosmetics of the AR-15 to their advantage and scapegoat the rifle to placate their anti-gun supporters. Now you know better.

Should you own an AR-15? Let's put it this way, the AR-15 is the rifle you want in your family just in case they do try to round up the Jews again. It is simple to use, extremely accurate, extremely versatile, extremely rugged. As long as there is an anti-gun lobby in the US, AR-15 rifles are going to hold their value extremely well, although at the moment certain configurations may be a bit overpriced.

However, I don't think its a good choice for a first rifle. I think the novice will be much better served by a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic that fires .22LR. It is much less expensive to own and shoot, and a great platform to develop basic rifle marksmanship on if one prefers a semi-auto over a bolt action rifle.

I have recently started using the AR-15 for target competition, and will post about that soon.


  1. ARs are great. I have two and three stripped lower receivers and parts to make three more (motivated by last November's election). (I also like the Mini-14 and the SKS and have a few of each - not as accurate but economical and practical self defense weapons.)

    I put Tech-Sights on my only 10/22. http://www.tech-sights.com/

    Same sight picture as the AR and cheap practice. I considered a .22 conversion for one of my ARs but decided it was not worth it. Learn to use good open sights on a 10/22.

    I read they will soon have one for the CZ452, another great .22 rifle.

    And here's what I think about preserving the RIGHT to have an AR15:

    "Assault weapon" conjures up images from movies and TV. If the average person watches TV and goes to movies, they see bad guys with these weapons and military/SWAT with these weapons. The fact that ARs are popular with "civilians" is known pretty much only by their many owners.

    It is extremely important that somehow the message become widespread that AR15s are among the most popular and widely owned sporting firearms. There are two reasons:

    1 - to educate the non-AR-owning public that such ownership is very very normal and that this aspect of TV and movies is false (they don't get that message today); and

    2 - to make it very clear that firearms "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes" (DC v. HELLER, 554 U. S. ____, 2008, Page 53) clearly and obviously includes these weapons.

    The Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) said (though it is not part of their holding) that the only precedent they had to work with was the Miller case, which was about a short-barreled shotgun. In Heller, SCOTUS held that "Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns," referring to Miller. Ironically, short-barreled shotguns were not commonly held because they were already illegal. We can't let that happen again with our favorite weapons!

    If and when an "assault weapons ban" gets to SCOTUS (there are such bans in NJ, CA, and elsewhere, though no longer in Federal law), it would help enormously if the word is not only out, but that it is common knowledge that ARs and similar rifles are "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes." This has got to be part of our case to the Court. In an ideal world, SCOTUS would take "judicial notice" of the fact.

  2. I thought about having Anvil Arms laser engrave the IDF logo onto an AR receiver:


  3. The IDF logo (original) is engraved on my Mauser bolt action in 7.62 NATO. I rarely shoot it. (I prefer modern military calibers - I don't hunt, and see all weapons as either target or self defense related. I would not be interested, for example, in a Mauser 98 in 8mm Mauser or an Enfield in .303 British - my Enfields are all Ishapores in 7.62 NATO.)

    One of these days, I'll get a Galil. Very expensive, but maybe some day. I forgot that dream for a while but I was at my gunsmith yesterday to pick up a Mini-14 I had shortened and threaded for a flash suppressor. He had two brand new (made in US) milled Galil 7.62 receivers on his bench for builds he was doing. Got me to thinking . . .