Second Amendment amendment supporters have long complained that members of the mainstream media are embarrassingly ignorant when it comes to firearms.
An example of that phenomenon came this week when liberal television host Geraldo Rivera claimed that the letters “AR” in “AR-15” stands for “automatic rifle.”
Rivera says AR-15s “have no place in American society”
According to the Red State contributor Nick Arama, Rivera made the assertion on Tuesday during a broadcast of Fox News’ “The Five.”
Geraldo Rivera just said with a straight face on The Five that the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “Automatic Rifle.” pic.twitter.com/9HPkSlfdOT
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 17, 2023
Rivera at one point complained that AR-15 owners are engaged in “macho” attention seeking behavior by possessing the weapons.
When co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected that an AR-15 is simply “a rifle,” Rivera responded that “it’s not a rifle” before characterizing the firearm as a “machine gun.”
When Gutfeld asked what “AR” stands for, Rivera said it is short for “automatic rifle,” adding, “All I know is is AR-15s have no place in American society, other than sport clubs.”
Full autos are heavily regulated under federal law
In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) explains on its website that fully automatic weapons have been federally regulated since 1934, with their owners having to submit fingerprints, undergo a background check, and pay a $200 registration fee.
What’s more, the new manufacture of fully automatic firearms for sale to civilians was outlawed on May 19, 1986. As a result, currently produced AR-15 are semiautomatic, with the letters “AR” standing for ArmaLite, which is the company that originally marketed them.
Rivera’s words were met with derision online, including from one user who pointed out the inherent contradiction in what he had said.
So the gun people are in the replies telling you what AR actually stands for. But what’s even more impressive about Geraldo is he thinks that the AR-15 is not a rifle while thinking the AR stands for Automatic Rifle. This is a wonderful clip for that logic alone https://t.co/s3FL35Rh27
— Sean Fitzgerald (Actual Justice Warrior) (@IamSean90) January 18, 2023
Meanwhile, conservative writer John Miltimore pointed out how contrary to popular perception, AR-15 are rarely used in violent crime.
“With an average of 13,657 homicides per year during the 2007-2017 timeframe, about one-tenth of one percent of homicides were produced by mass shootings involving AR-15s.”https://t.co/w27TmWTs28
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) January 17, 2023
Indeed, FBI data shows that of the 13,927 homicides that were committed in 2019, only 364 involved a rifle of any kind. In contrast, 1,476 people were stabbed to death while another 600 were fatally beaten using hands and feet.