AR-15 designed for ‘maximum wound effect’

Letter to the Editor


There are those who argue, along with the National Rifle Association, that guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Guns, they say, are innocent contraptions that have no will of their own. But when it comes to assault rifles like the AR-15, we see a weapon with a will. A handgun may be deadly, but an AR-15 is something more.

It is, according to its designers, engineered for one purpose: to create “maximum wound effect” (Tim Dickson, Rolling Stone). It makes any shooter, forty-year-old or eighteenyear-old, skilled or unskilled, powerful. Suddenly, with this easy-to-use military rifle in your hands you become invincible, able to dominate and kill anyone or group that irks you, like students in a classroom, worshippers in a church, young and old at a concert. What I mean is, the AR-15 itself creates the opportunity and motivation for mass killers to act — Nikolas Cruz, 19, Parkland, Florida; Stephen Paddock, 64, Las Vegas; Omar Mateen, 29, Orlando; Adam Lanza, 20, Sandy Hook Elementary; Devin Kelley, 26, Sutherland, Texas; and on and on.

Without the AR-15, I doubt these massacres would have ever taken place, certainly not on such a scale. The assault rifle, the romance of it, helps inspire the mass killer. It is often pointed out that once automatic and semi-automatic weapons were banned in Australia, mass killings, which were not uncommon, stopped; there has not been one in 28 years. Having spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, I know what military weapons are capable of.

It only takes a moment of honest contemplation to realize that on behalf of our children, and everyone else, assault rifles must be banned.

Jerry Whitus

San Marcos

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666