- The truth is that, according to the FBI, rifles like the AR-15 kill far fewer times than hands and feet, and fewer times than knives.
Last year, Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men with criminal records who he testified attacked him during the Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots. Two of them died after being shot by Rittenhouse. Another lost most of his upper right arm after he pointed his pistol at Rittenhouse, who says he then shot the assailant in self-defense.
All three would still be alive or uninjured today had they not attacked Rittenhouse.
The USA TODAY Editorial Board says people like Rittenhouse should not possess an AR-15-style rifle for protection, even though they are some of the most commonly owned sporting rifles in the country.
The prosecutor asked Rittenhouse why he didn’t carry a handgun instead. He correctly answered that a young man his age is prohibited by law from carrying a handgun. But carrying a rifle was legal for him.
The Editorial Board wants people to think that AR-15s are somehow super deadly. But many hunting rifles fire bullets (such as .30-06 or .308) that are far larger in diameter and far more lethal than the .223 round fired by the AR-15.
The truth is that, according to the FBI, rifles like the AR-15 kill far fewer times than hands and feet, and fewer times than knives.
Kyle Rittenhouse shot three men with criminal records who he says attacked him during the Kenosha, Wisconsin, riots.
Having said that, they do make excellent self-defense weapons, something that FBI research has also demonstrated. A sporting rifle such as the AR-15 is exactly the type of firearm one would want when facing mob violence:
- Korean store owners used so-called “scary assault weapons” to protect their lives and their stores during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
- Citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, used AR-15s to protect stores during the riots of 2014.
We’ve also seen cases where individual homeowners have used these firearms to protect themselves against multiple attackers:
- A Houston man used his AK-47 to fire several rounds while fighting off five home invaders.
- A Florida man used his AR-15 to fire 30 rounds while fighting off seven intruders.
The simple fact is that if deadly force is justified for self-defense, the type of weapon used is irrelevant.