Last Thursday I was glued to my TV for an hour while CNBC Prime showed “The Rise of the AR-15“. The only thing pulling my attention from this show, was the twitter feed discussion going on simultaneously. Even producer, Brian Sullivan made sure to be part of the conversation, which attracted all kinds. Right from the beginning, many tweeting gun-folks were on the defensive, claiming Sandy Hook didn’t involve an AR-15, and other details of the show were incorrect, but half way through the show, many were noting a very balanced vibe.
Not to be argumentative with anyone, but I first had to correct one or two of the tweets who still believed that at Sandy Hook, the AR-15 was found in the trunk of the car. Fortunately, these corrections were not met with any resistance (and now, hopefully, that misconception has been cleared up.) The show interviewed a victim of the Arura, CO shooting, who did not blame the AR-15 for that event. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t in the process of building her own, but she didn’t say they should be banned either. Later, a dentist from Florida was seen at the range with friends, other professionals, explaining that they are the face of the typical AR owner in America. According to the narrator, these men spend their recreational time, not on the golf range, but at the shooting range.
The depiction of an AR owner, then moved to the more extreme. A training program in Tennessee was shown, running drills and teaching all levels of shooters. The positives of this program, were quickly negated by the extreme speech spewed by the owner. Soon after the Connecticut tragedy, his angry YouTube video stated that if the government passed anymore firearms restrictive laws, “I’m gonna start shooting people.” The video got him so much attention that his firearms permit was temporarily revoked.
At this point I was upset by the consistent use of firearms extremists, by the media, to make the rest of us appear unhinged. I tweeted as much: “@ArmedCandy1: #riseofar15 why don’t they call me or any of my friends? We don’t talk like crazies!!!! I guess we don’t make for good TV but we #Protect2A” Just as I hit “Tweet”, a friend did appear on the screen! Julianna Crowder, co-founder of A Girl and A Gun, Women’s Shooting League, in Houston TX and her bright purple AR-15 began showing women, young and old, how to handle the light weight rifle. She spoke eloquently and affectively and, in my opinion, regained the respectable image of the American AR-15 owner.
The show wrapped up the hour with a young Second Amendment soldier who is using 3D printing technology to home brew AR-15 lower receivers and hoping to give the average American the option to print their own AR, in their garage. If this portion of the show was intended to scare gun-controllers, I bet it worked! The idea being described would allow anyone with an internet connection, to download the programming for the printer and (as long as they owned the expensive printing equipment) they could create a plastic lower receiver, without a government recorded serial number, and, with the rest of the parts readily available online, anonymously build their own AR-15. To me, this last perspective took us a huge step away from mild mannered gun owner, toward land of the cuckoos birds. Sure, printing a lower receiver sounds good for the Second Amendment, but, as I tweeted, “Plastic guns? I like my hands right where they are, Thank You!”