“The great object is, that every man be armed. […] Every one who is able may have a gun.”– Patrick Henry, speech of June 14, 1788
(Detroit – USA) An attempted robbery in Detroit, Michigan last week ended without casualties when a security guard at a tax preparation business wielded superior firepower over his handgun toting opponents. At 2:30 in the afternoon a male and female assailant burst in with handguns, pointing them menacingly at several people in the house. After retreating into a back room, the security guard retrieved his AR-15 to confront the thieves. He received a non-lethal shot to the leg and the two robbers fled on foot unharmed after he returned fire in their direction.
The incident leads one to question about whether bans or restrictions on these types of weapons are a good idea for the safety of the American people.
Recent threats by Federal and State legislatures to restrict guns has caused a surge in sales of the type of weapon commonly used by citizens for sport, hunting and self defense. The AR15 used by the guard is not an assault rifle. Assault rifles are the type of weapons that offer selective fire options (automatic, semi-automatic, & burst fire) and are able to penetrate walls to reach an attacker. An assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon. Those weapons are already illegal. The burglary caught on video offers an excellent tactical example for why the semi-automatic AR-15 can be good for private self defense purposes and should not be restricted from ordinary citizens. Let’s break down the attack and consider why.
At the beginning of the video, the guard has retreated into a back room to retrieve his rifle. At this point the male attacker is approaching his position gun drawn while the female attacker fumbles with her piece at the entrance to the business. As the male spots the guard’s AR-15, he fires and retreats behind the wall to his right (to the left of the guard and out of his vision). The guard makes an educated guess as to the attackers whereabouts when he fires through the wall to his left, piercing through but not hitting anyone. The attacker realized he was outgunned by superior firepower and immediately began to flee. Clearly the fact that the defender was armed with a superior weapon was recognized by the robber. The fact that the guard could own and use the AR15 turned out to be an important factor in his survival. Restricting these types of semi-automatic weapons is clearly counterproductive.
But is there a necessity for the use of more advanced assault rifles that have burst fire or a fully automatic function? Should Americans be allowed to modify or upgrade their AR-15’s to assault rifles?
When facing multiple attackers, defenders are confronted with the “fog of war”. With limited time and knowledge of how many possible attackers there are, you must make split-second decisions about what is necessary to protect your life and the lives of your fellow citizens. Burst fire options are less accurate,but more decisive in stopping an assailant by correcting for an original inaccuracy on target or putting two or three rounds into an attacker to make sure the lights are out permanently. It also keeps recoil to a minimum and conserves ammunition.
But what about the fully automatic setting? Shouldn’t that most destructive of options be restricted?
The US military has a debate over the necessity of fully automatic fire settings on their rifles. In recent years, soldiers demanded the option because of the ability to get more fire downfield faster. It’s commonly understood that fully automatic fire settings are to be used for providing covering fire so that teammates can be protected while they move positions. Right now it appears that soldiers requests are being heeded. The one person in a squad who would be most unwilling to give up the option would be the point man. As any group of soldiers would tell you, when close encounters by multiple assailants occur, it can be necessary to switch to “rock & roll” mode and cover a room with fully automatic fire. A point guard is the one person going out ahead of everyone else into enemy territory and risking their life to advance the line. When facing multiple attackers in close quarters, a fully automatic rifle could make the difference between life and death.
In the video below, the security guard is faced with multiple attackers and although his AR-15 was not equipped with the select-fire option, he might be better served if it had been. The defender had no idea how many assailants could have been attacking him. Restricting his options could have meant a death sentence if another assailant pinned the guard down with fully automatic fire while the original burglars picked him off with their handguns. Citizens need the same options criminals have so that they can at least equalize the force that could be brought to bear on them. In this situation the guard was lucky to have an AR-15 that at least gave him a tactical advantage over the handguns. Next time he may not be so lucky.
Restricting citizens from owning or modifying rifles to their liking doesn’t control murderers, it simply controls the people being murdered. Luckily no one in this video was killed, but would-be thieves should be aware that if they bring violence to bear in society, it can be returned to them by countervailing or superior force. Allowing citizens to own and be educated in all of the means of personal defense is the best way to protect ourselves and our small businesses. Any citizen should enjoy the same means of self defense as an American serviceman or woman whether you’re on the front lines of Afghanistan or the front lines of Detroit.
Do you agree that AR-15 semi-automatic rifles are good for defense?
Do you believe that citizens should be allowed to own or modify them into more advanced fully-automatic assault rifles?