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This appeared in the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette. I'm sure the libs went ballistic, but there is no comments section.

https://www.thegazette.com/sta...the-ar-15-next-door/

Opinion: The AR-15 next door

I am your neighbor and I own an AR-15

David Chung
Jun. 25, 2023 5:00 am

I don't want to alarm you, but I want you to know that I am your neighbor and I own an AR-15. Of course, I probably don't actually live next door to you, but the chances are good that at least one of your neighbors, up the block or across the street or maybe the one who shares your back fence owns an AR-15.

Most experts estimate there are over 24 million privately owned AR-15s in the United States, indicating that roughly one in every twenty households possesses an AR-15. When excluding states with stricter gun laws, such as California, New York, and Illinois, where owning an AR-15 is more challenging, states with less restrictive gun legislation, such as Iowa, are likely to have a higher concentration of these firearms.

As your neighbor, I would like to challenge some stereotypes about AR-15 owners in particular and gun owners in general.

First, I am not a white supremacist! I do not have a swastika armband in my closet. I am not a KKK member. I have been to Charlottesville, Virginia but I was just passing through. I did not attend the Unite the Right Rally and I do not own a tiki torch. In fact, I am not even white!

Second, I am not 'tacticool'! You know what I am talking about, guys (it's mostly guys) who never served in the military but dress up as if they were Navy SEALs. They have long beards and tattoos. They wear their ball caps backward with dark wraparound sunglasses and their T-shirts either have a subdued American flag or some patriotic, militaristic slogan. They want to be both 'tactical' and 'cool'! I don't even wear T-shirts and my sunglasses are gold mirrored Oakleys because I am a bicyclist.

Third, I am not a red neck or a good ol' boy! I don't have a confederate flag bumper sticker on my pickup truck, I don't even have a pickup truck. I don't own a single piece of camouflage clothing and I don't own a dawg.

Finally, I am not a computer gamer who lives in his parents' basement. I am not trying to replicate the weapons my character uses in Call of Duty. The last computer game I played regularly was Doom in the 1990s.

So, who am I? I am a pretty ordinary guy, the kind of guy who lives next door. My wife and I just celebrated our 40th anniversary. We have eight adult children (OK, maybe that part is not ordinary) and were Jefferson High School show choir parents for 21 consecutive years! I was born in Iowa and graduated from UNI. For the last 33 years, I have worked as a computer programmer or software engineer.

I did not grow up around guns. I had toy guns as a kid, but I don't recall even owning a BB gun. Even though I had never owned a gun, I have always been a big proponent of the Second Amendment. When states (like California) and municipalities (like Deerfield, Illinois) started limiting gun magazine capacity or banning certain types of guns altogether, I decided it was time to make my support for the Second Amendment beyond theory. I became a gun owner, sort of!

I say sort of because I only bought part of a gun. I went to a gun store, completed a federal background check and bought some 30-round (normal capacity) magazines and an AR-15 stripped lower. A stripped lower is a solid piece of aluminum used in the construction of an AR-15. To turn a stripped lower into a functioning rifle, you must attach a barrel, add sights, fit a buttstock and grip, insert a trigger and install several internal parts. The lower is the part of the AR-15 that contains the serial number and therefore requires a federal background check.

In the eyes of the government, I was a gun owner, but I didn't really own a gun. A couple of years ago, I decided it was time to build my AR-15. I ordered the necessary parts, and a friend helped me assemble my rifle.

So why did I choose an AR-15? At first it was a form of protest against proposed (and actual) bans. I was not even a fan of AR-15s, I always thought that my first rifle would be a variant of the M1 like Springfield Armory's M1A SOCOM. As an AR-15 'sort of' owner I started researching the AR-15.

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the United States and there are several reasons. One reason is that the AR-15 is the semi-automatic version of the M16. The M16 was adopted as the standard rifle by the U.S. military in 1967. So, for anyone who served in the last 50 years, the AR-15 is familiar and works much the same way as the rifles they used on duty.

The AR-15 is flexible, AR-15 owners like to talk about the 'AR platform'. The standard AR-15 is chambered in .223/5.56mm. Many Iowans build AR platform rifles for the .350 Legend or .450 Bushmaster cartridges to use for deer hunting. Other states allow hunting with AR platform rifles chambered for more powerful cartridges, like the .308.

It is easy to build a purpose-driven AR platform rifle. There are many different calibers available for deer hunting, coyote hunting, long distance target shooting and self-defense. There are several popular forms of shooting competition that use AR platform rifles. The AR platform can even be used to build pistols!

In my case, I liked the fact that I could build an AR-15 instead of buying it off the shelf. I am definitely not a gunsmith, but building it helped me to better understand how the rifle works. I got to choose the features that I wanted, and I know I that I can make changes or upgrade my AR-15 myself.

I enjoy spending time at the shooting range with my AR-15. But, as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker in Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility." As a responsible AR-15 owner, I keep my rifle locked up in a safe. We have had a recent wave of car break-ins in my neighborhood, and I may install a doorbell camera. But, if I see someone breaking into my car, I am not going to grab my rifle and try to stop them, I am going to call 911. I am not going to shoot someone for making a wrong turn into my driveway or letting their basketball roll into my yard. I am not Kyle Rittenhouse, I will do everything I can to avoid a putting myself in a situation where I might be forced to use my AR-15 to shoot someone. But, if you break into my house in the middle of the night …

I am your neighbor and I own an AR-15.


David Chung is a Gazette editorial fellow. David.Chung@thegazette.com
 
Posts: 15922 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice.


Tony
 
Posts: 320 | Registered: December 18, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Striker in waiting
Picture of BurtonRW
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Very well written.

-Rob




I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

A=A
 
Posts: 16277 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Love it.
 
Posts: 1010 | Registered: July 14, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Honky Lips
Picture of FenderBender
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I'm about 90% sure I'm the least armed person on our street.

I find that highly comforting.
 
Posts: 8152 | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
drop and give me
20 pushups
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Well said and written.... It irks me when people like to say that the AR-15 is a weapon of war...Well there are more rifles out there that are just as much if not more so a weapon of war.... And when people believe that the AR stands for automatic rile have now idea that it actually means "Armalite" for the original designers of said rifle...I personally do not own a AR-15 at the present time but if presented with a AR platform that melted my butter then things might change....... drill sgt.
 
Posts: 2037 | Location: denham springs , la | Registered: October 19, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of RR
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quote:
Originally posted by FenderBender:
I'm about 90% sure I'm the least armed person on our street.

I find that highly comforting.


Being a member of the finest firearms forum and you believe you’re the least armed person in the neighborhood? I’m hearing you live in a nice area! Any room for one more?
 
Posts: 451 | Location: Upstate NY | Registered: October 09, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of iron chef
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quote:
Originally posted by drill sgt:
I personally do not own a AR-15 at the present time but if presented with a AR platform that melted my butter then things might change.

Do yourself a favor. Get yourself an AR stripped lower or two. It's a buyer's market right now, so you can get stripped lowers for as little as $30. If ARs get highly-regulated, taxed, &/or de facto banned (e.g., as we've seen w/ full auto, suppressors, SBRs, and now braces), the serialized lower is the only part that can tracked as a firearm.
 
Posts: 3193 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No More
Mr. Nice Guy
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I happen to own a few real weapons of war. Not my AR, but bolt action WWII rifles and a pos Russian revolver. My real weapons of war are the types of guns the gun-grabbers say are ok.

The gun haters and -phobics have no idea what they're talking about.
 
Posts: 9494 | Location: On the mountain off the grid | Registered: February 25, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by iron chef:

Do yourself a favor. Get yourself an AR stripped lower or two. It's a buyer's market right now, so you can get stripped lowers for as little as $30. ...


$30 at PSA:

https://palmettostatearmory.co...lower-safe-fire.html

Others can describe the quality; I am not an AR expert.
 
Posts: 15922 | Location: Eastern Iowa | Registered: May 21, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
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My personal opinion- leftist politicians (as well as leftists in general, along with a large number of left leaning folks poisoned by leftist ideals) hate gun owners because we represent not only what they oppose, but because we refuse to comply with what they’ve decided is best for everyone.

Left leaning average Joes believe the propaganda that guns commit crimes. Leftist leaders, however, recognize the actual danger- a heavily armed society is vastly less controllable than one that has been disarmed. The left harps on and on about “weapons of war” despite statistics from the GOVERNMENT that show that military style weapons almost never are used in any kind of criminal activity. Along with AR platforms, there are a LOT of evil black guns in civilian hands. Far more than the “experts” think. That is what the leftist traitors embedded in our government fear. The ability to not only defend ourselves, but do so in frightening numbers. It would take something extraordinary to make a significant portion of gun owners load up magazines and make some serious changes; our armed society is currently the red line that keeps a significant event from coming to pass.




“Remember to get vaccinated or a vaccinated person might get sick from a virus they got vaccinated against because you’re not vaccinated.” - author unknown
 
Posts: 15653 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
high tides
Picture of old rugged cross
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I got part way through it. Got stale and stupid fast. Sorry, thought it was dumb.

There are a lot of libs that own.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 19263 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get Off My Lawn
Picture of oddball
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quote:

Third, I am not a red neck or a good ol' boy! I don't have a confederate flag bumper sticker on my pickup truck, I don't even have a pickup truck. I don't own a single piece of camouflage clothing and I don't own a dawg.


For someone who is trying dispel negative stereotypes of AR15 owners, he seems to have some stereotypes ringing in his own head.



"I’m not going to read Time Magazine, I’m not going to read Newsweek, I’m not going to read any of these magazines; I mean, because they have too much to lose by printing the truth"- Bob Dylan, 1965
 
Posts: 16750 | Location: Texas | Registered: May 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Orive 8
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quote:
Originally posted by drill sgt:
I personally do not own an AR-15 at the present time


Same for me, I have used an M16/AR15 during my time in the Army and Law Enforcement. But I don't own one, in addition to the military and L.E. training with them, I also took a 5-day Tactical Rifle Class with HK Tng Intl back in the 90s, did the Clint Smith Urban Rifle 3-day course, and Massad Ayoob's 2-day Emergency Rifle class. So, I do know my way around them, but I have never really liked them - just not my cup of tea.

Every now and then I go out with a buddy and shoot one of their ARs a bit, but I really have no want for one.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.
 
Posts: 1899 | Location: Collier Twp, PA | Registered: June 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of iron chef
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quote:
Originally posted by oddball:
quote:

Third, I am not a red neck or a good ol' boy! I don't have a confederate flag bumper sticker on my pickup truck, I don't even have a pickup truck. I don't own a single piece of camouflage clothing and I don't own a dawg.


For someone who is trying dispel negative stereotypes of AR15 owners, he seems to have some stereotypes ringing in his own head.

Roll Eyes Seems you missed the entire point of his editorial, especially the part where he wrote, "I would like to challenge some stereotypes about AR-15 owners in particular and gun owners in general."

Let's put it this way. Do you think the negative stereotypes he listed are commonly held & perpetuated by anti-gun people or not?
 
Posts: 3193 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
high tides
Picture of old rugged cross
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by iron chef:
quote:
Originally posted by oddball:
quote:

Third, I am not a red neck or a good ol' boy! I don't have a confederate flag bumper sticker on my pickup truck, I don't even have a pickup truck. I don't own a single piece of camouflage clothing and I don't own a dawg.


For someone who is trying dispel negative stereotypes of AR15 owners, he seems to have some stereotypes ringing in his own head.

Roll Eyes Seems you missed the entire point of his editorial, especially the part where he wrote, "I would like to challenge some stereotypes about AR-15 owners in particular and gun owners in general."

Let's put it this way. Do you think the negative stereotypes he listed are commonly held & perpetuated by anti-gun people or not?



Odd ball was right on. The guy went on and on about non-sense until I gave up and called it dumb meanderings. And that was being nice.



"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 19263 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
Originally posted by gearhounds:

Left leaning average Joes believe the propaganda that guns commit crimes.


Another thing is that I think there are a lot of them who think that all people who have guns want to hurt people. Frown
They ultimately want to eliminate all guns, everywhere forever. Roll Eyes
 
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