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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The AR-15

     The Colt AR-15, often known as the assault rifle, has captured the imagination of gun enthusiasts who are drawn to its sleek form, portability and ease of use, as well as a mystique born of its connection to the M-16, its combat cousin from the Vietnam War.

     Part of the appeal of the firearm stems…from the ability to "accessorize it like a Barbie doll," given extras like interchangeable optics systems and gun barrels. Its military pedigree and appeal to hobbyists has helped spur sales of 5 million AR-15s in the last two decades, with most of these buys coming in just the past six years. According to industry figures, nearly one of five guns sold in the U. S. is now a semi-automatic AR-15-style rifle.

     Even with the renewed effort to ban them, AR-15-style rifles appear to have attained a level of cultural currency rivaling the six-shooter that "Won the West" and Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum.
     [In September 2019, Colt Firearms announced it had ceased producing the AR-15 rifle. By then, almost 10 million AR-15 rifles had been sold in the United States. Dozens of companies, however, still make the gun. In 2020, a judge in California overturned the state's ban on the AR-15 as a violation of the Second Amendment.]

Andrew Blankstein, "The Most Loved, and Hated, Gun in America," NBC News, December 13, 2013

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