The AR15 rifle – and those of us who own them – are constantly being attacked by the Prohibitionists.  We are told that these semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war,” even though there is no nation on the face of the Earth which issues semi-auto ARs as primary infantry weapons. We are told that they are useful only for committing mass murder. I call BS on that, and so does Attorney Mark Smith, at his excellent blog The Four Boxes Diner. Please take the time to listen to his argument, here:

or watch video here.

If you have another thirteen minutes, here’s a discussion on justifying the AR15 with Ken Hackathorn and me from the Wilson Combat YouTube channel. It’s had a million views so far.

or watch video here.

Hopefully, each will give you “ammunition” with which to shoot down the specious arguments of the Prohibitionists.


  1. Leftist politicians and news readers always say that you don’t need an AR-15, don’t need an “assault weapon, or don’t need “high capacity” magazines. They will never say what you DO need. Are revolvers ok? What about pump shotguns (no more than 5 rounds)? Anybody that thinks prohibitionists will stop at some arbitrary point are fooling themselves. The end goal is the total disarmament and subjugation of the population. Worried about your guns? Worry more about the coming federal digital currency. Serfdom wasn’t any fun in 1400 & it ain’t gonna be fun now. They won’t stop until they are made to stop.

    • I honestly think gun laws are designed that way, to make the law-abiding into criminals.

      Back when Castro seized power in Cuba during his communist revolution, he made sure that all Cubans had housing, free healthcare, free education, and enough of a financial stipend to cover basic necessities. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough to pay for basic extras – a birthday cake, a fancy pair of shoes, a motorbike.

      So industrious Cubans started illegal businesses to augment their income. Some sold rice cookers illegally smuggled into the country. Some did auto repair work or sewing on the side. Some did carpentry.

      All of these businesses were prohibited, but the authorities turned a blind eye to the violations.

      Until Castro’s minions wanted something.

      They’d show up at a civilian’s door, and tell him or her that they suspected that their neighbor was spreading subversive political ideas. They demanded that the citizen spy on the neighbor, and report anything to the government.

      When the citizen demurred, the government would remind the citizen that they knew that he or she was engaging in an illegal business, and going against the communist state. They’d threaten them with expulsion from their government-owned house, firing from their government job, and possible arrest. Their kids would be thrown out of the government-run schools, and they would be outed to the neighbors as a subversive themselves.

      In most cases, the person would acquiesce.

      If the government makes pistol braces illegal, and possessors a felony, they know most people won’t turn them in, or register them. Those folks are now prohibited persons, and when the police run into them, and find the guns, they’ve lost all of their guns. One less person able to exercise their second amendment rights.

      • Christine,

        Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like the governments in yesterday’s Cuba, and today’s China, acte similarly. I am so thankful I live in the bubble known as the USA.

        If our government is trying to get cops to turn on patriots, the cops won’t do it, if the cops themselves are patriots. However, if the government can get cops who are obedient Communists to go after patriots, then we have a problem.

        Of course, The Founding Fathers foresaw this possibility, and made sure we were prepared for a situation like you described in Cuba.

  2. “We are told that they are useful only for committing mass murder.”

    Then we should forbid its use by Brandon’s Secret Service protection staff, as well as by sworn personnel of any federal agency — because no federal employee has a need to commit mass murder.

    • Timothy McVeigh didn’t use an AR-15. Neither did Andrew Kehoe in 1927. He was guilty of the worst school massacre in America. The Bath School Disaster resulted in 45 dead and 58 wounded. No AR-15s were used.

  3. Some points I regularly return to as a rebuttal to the argument, “Why do you need a gun?”, is this, It’s recognized in our Bill of Rights. Without the second amendment, how do we defend the rest? Also, the second amendment doesn’t give us the right to bear arms. It removes the authority of the government to restrict that right?

    • Who NEEDS a car? Horses worked fine for millenia. Who NEEDS a phone? We NEED air, water, food and shelter, like a wigwam, which Americans lived in for thousands of years.

    • > “Why do you need a gun?”

      Why do you need to vote? Why do you need protections against search and seizure? Why do you need freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Why are there all those things about warrants, juries, due process, double jeopardy, counsel, and punishments?

      Something to do with an ancient piece of paper the court system doesn’t seem to worry much about, these days.

  4. Excellent words, and timely. Yes history does record many situations where a people were disarmed and then overrun by government wishing to subjugate them. I sincerely believe this same MO is what now drives the push to ban these weapons. I think the total nw rests at ten states which have “banned” these rifles. That in the wake of Heller and Bruen, too. Wasting our tax and personal dollars by the truckload, whilst with the other hand “decarcerating” criminals, murderes free on bail, etc. (but they will still give the likes of you and I a speeding ticket if they catch us).

    I caught your mention of Jsh Sugarman in the same sentence as “honest”. I watched him lie in sworn testimony before a Washington State Senate committee debating the merits and possibility of banning the AR and similar pattern rifles. He is as much a snake as any of the others we all know too well. That time the push to ban them failed. Last week the governor signed exactly that ban and two more nasty bills. What a difference ten years makes. NOW we have to fight them. The court case seeking to chuck the ban was filed within miutes of that ink being put on the paper.

  5. Hello Mas,

    I spend 16-20 hours a day in this chair and on this PC posting historical facts about our Second Amendment protections. I’m sure you don’t have time to argue online with the trolls on these 2A story threads, and even if you did, you’ve likely concluded that your time is better spent elsewhere. And I for one wouldn’t disagree with that. It’s hard work trying to educate the masses when you’ve got so many anti-gun trolls, many of whom are UC federal agents looking to entice / entrap citizens into making a credible threat or an admission of illegal firearm possession / use / or intent. But be that as it may, I do spend a lot of time “debunking” the anti-gun trolls and trying to educate those in the public who may be uniformed (or misinformed by the left) as to what our 2A rights entail, and why they can not be taken away (legally) by government.

    I’ve been using your WC video with Ken Hackathorn quite a bit in that effor. Also, I’m using your “Critical MAS” Episode 16 – Home Defense with the AR-15 video.

    There is another excellent video that every American citizen, gun owner or not, should watch, and it is titled: “Why Everyone Needs an AR-15” on the T.REX ARMS channel (

    Mas, in reference to the left’s use of the term “weapons of war,” I use the Wikipedia link on the Winchester Model 1897, 12 / 16 gauge, 30″ bbl, pump-action shotgun, to remind / educate the public that it too it a “weapon of war.” Many wars in fact, and.. it’s still in use by our Armed Forces today. So in that vein, a 126 year-old pump-action shotgun meets Comrade biden and company’s definition of a “weapon of war that is designed to kill as many humans as quickly and efficiently as possible.” So no doubt, the gun-grabbing politicians will soon be coming after your great, great Grandpa’s Model 1897 AND… every other shotgun that is a reasonable facsimile thereof, right?

    Winchester Model 1897
    Type Shotgun
    Place of origin United States
    Service history In service 1897–present
    Used by
    United States Army
    United States Navy
    United States Marine Corps
    Philippine–American War
    Mexican–American Border War
    World War I
    Irish War of independence[1]
    World War II
    Korean War
    Vietnam War

    Mas, thanks for all you do to help train safe and responsible gun owners, and in helping us preserve our natural, Constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear the SAME arms as our government, who works for we the people.

    Allow me to leave you with a link to what I think it the very best short explanation of the history of our American right to keep and bear the same arms as our government, and a couple of historical quotes as well.

    “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.” — Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Delegate to Congress, 1788 – 1789.

    And from the article by Judge Napolitano (link above):

    “The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right of the right to keep and bear arms, is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protect the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.” – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

    God bless you Mas! Press on and stay the righteous course!

    Mike Perry

  6. My Second Amendment / 14th Amendment arguments:

    Let’s review class…

    The Second Amendment confers no rights whatsoever. But the anti-gun zealots don’t want you to know that.

    They want you to believe that it IS the Second Amendment that gives law-abiding Americans the right to keep and bear arms, and that the government can simply take that right away whenever they want. Well that of course, is BS.

    The Second Amendment does two things:

    ONE: It recognizes a series of historical events; i.e., that a “well-regulated” militia of the people, secured for themselves a free state, free of government tyranny, by defeating a “well-regulated” militia of the government, beginning April 19, 1775.

    That in order to have a free state and ensure the security of that free state, the people must always be similarly-armed as their government, and able to form into “well-regulated” militias to combat the well-regulated militias of the government, IF NEED BE, that might again one day be sent forth (just like the British Army in 1775) to attempt to confiscate the arms and military supplies of the people.

    TWO: It PROHIBITS the federal government from infringing in any way upon the right of the people to form into “well-regulated” militias to be used IF NEED BE, to defend themselves against the militias of a tyrannical government, by PROHIBITING the federal government from infringing in ANY way, on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.


    A well-regulated militia (of the people), being necessary to the security (securing of) a free state (free of gov’t tyranny), the right of the people to keep and bear arms (ALL arms, not ‘this arm, but not that arm’) SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

    My 14th Amendment argument:

    the 14th Amendment was written by the federal government to tell the states what THEY could NOT do to U.S. citizens.

    Section 1

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

    nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

    nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    This means that NO state can ‘enact or enforce’ ANY law that abriges the privileges and immunities (i.e., 2nd Amendment) of citizens of the United States.

    Therefore, every single state gun law ever written is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

  7. I am not a Constitutional expert but (my understanding) is that the SCOTUS has, over the years, offered three general criteria with respect to whether an arm is protected under the 2nd Amendment:

    1) The Arm has some legitimate use by U.S. Citizens. The main purpose is primarily for self-defense but could also include uses such as hunting, target/sport shooting, collecting, etc.

    2) The Arm is in common use by U.S. Citizens. In other words, it is popular and commonly available.

    3) The Arm could be utilized for National Defense by well-regulated Citizen militias.

    Interestingly, some of the court documents, filed in support of semi-auto and magazine bans, have attempted to attack at least the first two items above. They have attempted to modify #2, for example, and place the condition upon it that an arm must be in common use for self-defense only. They then argue that arms such as the AR-15 have no legitimate self-defense use and thus they are not protected. Yes, I have read where they have stretched to try to make that argument. In concert with this approach, they have also argued that semi-auto rifles, like the AR and AK, have no legitimate sporting use either. This would attack #1 as well.

    To an owner and user of such firearms, such arguments are ridiculous. Yet, many firearm-prohibitionists are serious when they make such claims. In their minds, the AR and AK platforms DO NOT have legitimate use. They don’t believe that they have utility for sport (despite the AR being an extremely popular platform for hunting and target shooting) and they believe that they are overkill (hence unnecessary) for legitimate self-defense.

    So, yes Virginia, the Prohibitionists truly believe the B.S. they spout about these weapons. To their minds, (in their Worldview) they are speaking TRUTH. Leftists tend to disconnect from the real world and live in a fantasy world. So, their TRUTH often varies from TRUTH based upon REALITY.

    Under a reality-based worldview, these semi-automatic arms and standard capacity magazines all, easily, meet the criteria listed above. They are commonly used, have a host of legitimate purposes, and would function effectively if pressed into service for militia use. So, any reality-based court would have no choice but to strike down any bans of these items. Unfortunately, not all of our judges live in reality. Some live in the Left-wing Fairy Land (no pun intended 🙂 )

    In fact, their is no rational basis for banning these arms. Semi-automatic arms have been on the American market for more than a century. Rifles, of all types, are only used in a tiny fraction of murders (about 3% according to the FBI). Therefore, from a crime-control perspective, nothing much is accomplished by these bans even if they could be enforced (which they can’t be any more than the old alcohol prohibition could be enforced).

    In the old days, the prohibitionists targeted handguns for their bans. Nowadays, they have switched and target (and demonize) so-called assault weapons instead. IMHO. they switched targets for two main reasons:

    1) AR’s, AK’s etc. can be demonized as “weapons of war”. The narrative that they are “unsuitable” for civilian ownership can be “sold” to a gullible public. Therefore, these types of bans are easy to “Market” to the public. The Prohibitionist complain about how these arms are marketed to the public. However, these marketing efforts pale in comparison to the marketing effort put forth to push firearms-prohibition onto the public. It would be interesting if someone could put a dollar value on the amount of free media that is given to firearms-prohibition and then compare it to the marketing that the firearms industry buys to market their wares. I would bet that the ratio of firearms-prohibition marketing dollars to firearm marketing dollars is at least 10,000 to 1 in favor of the prohibitionists.

    2) The totalitarians, of the Left, want to disarm the American Public. It makes sense to go after the most effective firearms in the hands of the citizens. The most effective ones would be these semi-automatic arms. Handguns are way down on the list. So, from a “Bang for the Buck” perspective, trying to ban semi-automatic arms (and their magazines) first makes good sense from the power-hungry totalitarian perspective.

    • Thank you, TN_MAN, for touching on the subversion of Heller.

      Heller said that arms “in common use for lawful purposes” are protected. But the new court filings by restrictive States claim that only arms “in common use for self-defense” are protected under Heller.

      Note the switch from “lawful purposes” to “self-defense”. They are attempting to eliminate all other lawful purposes for owning semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines.

      Do you have an antique M1 Garand or Marlin .22 hanging as a display piece over your mantle? That’s a lawful purpose.

      Do you use an AR-15 to hunt feral hogs on your personal property? That’s a lawful purpose (and one that, hilariously, drives the enviro-weenies insane; they hate ALL hunting, but feral hogs are extremely destructive to native ecosystems, so which side do they support?).

      Do you keep a bolt-action or lever-action rifle for hunting other game, or a shotgun for hunting birds? That’s a lawful purpose.

      Do you keep an AR-15 in case of domestic government tyranny? That’s a lawful purpose.

      Do you keep any firearm for home defense? That’s a lawful purpose.

      Do you carry any firearm around with you for personal defense outside of the home? That’s also a lawful purpose.

      And of all those perfectly legitimate lawful purposes for firearms, States’ court filings claim that only that last one — self-defense — is protected, and since it’s rare to fire more than 2-3 rounds in self-defense, so-called “large-capacity magazines” are NOT protected.

      I feel like more gun rights activists need to be made aware of this tactic by gun regulators before we get some very bad legal precedents. The intentional subversion needs to be called out in court by the pro-rights side wherever it pops up, both to show how the anti-rights side argues in bad faith, and to get it on the record for future appeals.

  8. If the AR-15 pattern rifle is truly a “weapon of war” “assault rifle” whose sole purpose is to “kill lots of people quickly” and thus has ” no place on our streets”…..

    …why is it standard issue in nearly every police vehicle and called a “patrol rifle” ?

    • It’s only an “assault weapon” when it’s carried by non-government employees. Only if the owner has been sprinkled with magic pixie dust of government office does it become a “patrol rifle”.

      I maintain that We the People have the right to the very same weapons used to protect our banks, military installations, and politicians, all the way up to the President himself. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me and mine. Conversely, if it’s “too dangerous” or “too deadly” for me and mine, it’s obviously “too dangerous” or “too deadly” for him.

      • Note that for a good chunk of American history, the citizenry has been better-armed than the military. Revolving and autoloading pistols, and bolt action and autoloading rifles were in production and easily found on the market years before they were adopted as military weapons.

        And in particular, the dreaded Evil Black Rifle, the AR-15, was available on the civilian market before it was a military weapon. Nobody was much interested in an over-priced rifle in a variant of a caliber intended for varmint shooters, so they didn’t sell many, but anyone could buy one, even by mail order.

  9. “The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army,  must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
    Tench Coxe

  10. I wish Mr. Smith would slow his speech down.

    The patrol rifle has largely replaced the shotgun in LEA service for numerous reasons. Without going into those, if it’s the preferred tool for their use, it stands to reason it would be a good tool for the private citizen. I spent longer than I want to recall using and teaching the platform and agree with the change, except in certain very limited circumstances.

    So far as the “militia” is concerned, we have Miller vs the US, 307 US 175 (1939):
    “The militia is comprised of all males physically capable of acting the the common defense….that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear being arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time,”

    This was after the formation of the National Guard, so any argument that the NG is “the militia doesn’t fly. There are several prior cases where SCOTUS made it clear that the 2nd Amendment simply recognizes historically established rights.

  11. Something that could help AR-15 owners keep such weapons in any given moment is to be able to lawfully shoot thieving gun grabbers with maximum possible accuracy. I am a believer in using the 1907-type military sling as a stabilizer for enhancing accuracy. This sling is particularly convenient to use with .223 and 5.56 ammo because of the relatively comfortable felt recoil from these cartridges. A fair number of videos are available on how to assemble the 1907 sling. The assembly methods tend to vary! Whatever method you follow, the final assembly product should finish with both frogs pointing up and inward, with the keepers coming down from above over the frogs. Just common sense, please.

    • While I have used the old military sling on some of my bolt-action rifles, I don’t use it on AR platform rifles.

      Instead, I have (recently) been using the Magpul RLS sling for them. See this link:

      The Rifleman Loop Sling (RLS) is sort of a simplified military sling. It tends to be lighter than a traditional leather loop sling. However, it can still be looped and tightened over your upper arm so as to “lock up” as with the military sling.

      With its lighter weight and modern materials, I feel it is a better option than a traditional leather sling for the AR platform. It just looks more natural on the modern AR platform and works just about as well for shooting. It is still a two-point rifleman’s sling, however, and not some gimmicky, tactical single-point sling.

      Anyway, just my 2 cents. 🙂

Comments are closed.