This is the question CNN’s Piers Morgan keeps asking over and over again but no one gives him a satisfactory answer.
The reason for this is the question requires two distinct answers because it’s really two questions in one.
There is the “need” a person has to possess such a weapon; the desire to own one that is.
And there is the question of whether an automatic weapon is “needed” to defend oneself.
Let’s consider question number one. Why does a person need an AR15 anyway?
Aside from hunters, the military, law enforcement, collectors, people who just love to pull triggers, tear up targets and feel the kick of a boom, Second Amendment patriots that believe it is their duty and right as Americans to be armed and of course criminals, for most others who buy or have guns, fear is the motivating factor — the fear of someone out there, especially a bad guy, having a bigger gun than you.
Seeing gun killings on TV or in movies, whether in the news or just entertainment, those that consider the possibility of such profound acts of violence happening to them in real life feel less threatened having weapons of equal or superior firepower to what they see is out there.
Whether the need is based on reality is not at issue. What matters is they believe in their hearts an AR15 will make them safer and therefore they need it.
There are numerous types of survival-based scenarios flaming the need for superior firepower.
Some believe a cataclysm, like a collapse of the Internet due to an anonymous cyber attack would create total chaos that would turn ordinary, law-abiding people into criminals.
People caught off guard with no stocked provisions will form mobs and ransack homes. Lawlessness will rule. An AR15 is a better defense against a mob than a handgun.
There’s the fear an X Scale solar flare will erupt when the giant-sun spot lines itself up with the earth sometime this year that will knock out everything that is moved by electricity, plunging the planet into a darkness that may take decades to end.
Then there are those that believe China will invade us to collect the money we owe them if we default and still others believe a criminal element has taken over the governments of the world, including our own, and are planning to completely subjugate the human species once and for all by disarming them and ruling with an iron fist.
So these are a few real or imaginary reasons people feel they “need” to have an AR15 rifle.
Let’s consider the second question. Why does a person need an AR15 anyway? Or, does a person need more than a handgun to protect themselves and family.
The number of assailants, the amount and type of arms they carry, the amount of bullets in the clips, the skill of the shooters, the cleanliness of the weapon, who-has-the-drop-on who, how near one is to their weapon, whether the weapons are loaded, marksmanship and ability to stay cool and aim properly under stress all come into play in answering that question.
In the realm of physics, considering all of the aforementioned factors, it boils down to a matter of how many bullets one has at their disposal and how fast they can fire them in fire-fight.
Let’s proceed with some visualization to better understand the dynamics of the answer
Imagine we live in a perfect gun-controlled world.
The government has gotten so efficient every single semi-automatic weapon has been taken away. Not even the criminals on the streets have them anymore.
Three bad guys decide to rob a house in a nice middle-class neighborhood where unbeknownst to them the owner happens to have a hand gun with a standard seven-round magazine, as limited by law.
Each of the bad guys has a gun. Same clip capacity and fully loaded. They break in, only to come face to face with the man shakily aiming his gun at them.
They weigh the odds and whip out their own guns.
One of the thieves pulls the trigger missing the man. The man fires off a couple of shots, hitting one thief and grazing another.
A wild fire fight ensues. The thieves discharge 20 rounds and the homeowner fires five more. The smoke clears
The homeowner, who is wounded, is crawling towards the kitchen where he keeps his extra clips hidden. Seeing the man’s gun is empty, with one last round in his own gun, the leader of the thieves calmly walks over to him.
He grabs the homeowner by the shoulder and flips him on his back
“I got one bullet left in this puppy,” he sneers, “and I saved it for you.”
He pulls the trigger and takes the man out with one last bang.
Upstairs, they hear the crying of the man’s wife and daughter. They hesitate, consider their options but luckily for the dead man’s family, they grab their wounded accomplice and run out before the police arrive.
Now, let’s assume the man protecting his home just happened to have a fully-loaded AK47 handy that the government missed in their sweeps.
Let’s replay the scene.
The bad guys scope the house and break in. They come face-to-face with the homeowner who happens to be hefting the fearsome, battle-hardened semi-automatic, casually pointing it at their mid-sections.
The thieves gawk at AK47 with the big fat banana clip. They know they are outgunned.
They smile sheepishly. They slowly put their hands up and walk backwards out of the house figuring the homeowner won’t fire unless totally necessary to avoid hassles with the cops.
They split, never to come back. In such a scenario, clearly, having a semi-automatic rifle is better than not having one.
So there it is.
People “need” to possess AR15’s for various personal reasons and desires, based on facts or fiction. AR15’s are “needed” to repel attacks by armed-multiple assailants.