The AR-15 is being used as a scapegoat for gun violence, terrorism and radical Islam yet again. Several sources reported that Omar Mateen, the terrorist that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, used an AR-15 to gun down dozens of innocent civilians. Despite several sources “reporting” that Mateen used and AR-15 it has recently been revealed that there was no AR-15 present during the attack. This latest media flub can be added to a long list of false reports and misinformation spread about the controversial firearm in a thinly-veiled attack on the firearm and the Second Amendment.
A federal law enforcement official has revealed that Mateen was armed with a Sig Sauer MCX carbine and a Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol, not an AR-15. However, this didn’t stop the media from immediately labeling the weapon as an AR-15. NBC News reported “AR-15 Rifle Used in Orlando Massacre Has Bloody Pedigree”, Newsweek’s papers sported headlines claiming “Orlando Shooting Puts Spotlight on AR-15 Rifle”, while the Washington Post flooded America with headlines reading “The History of the AR-15, the Weapon That Had A Hand in the United States’ Worst Mass Shooting.”
The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in the U.S. because of it’s reliability, consumer friendly price and variety of customization options. It’s popularity has also led to it being blamed for a majority of mass shootings in the United States. The anti-gun left has set its sights on demonizing the AR-15 and refuses to acknowledge the real issues behind the weapon.
Not only was the AR-15 not involved in the attack but the weapon used had almost no similarities to the AR-15 aside from being a black long gun. Bearing Arm’s Bob Owens weighed in on the differences between an AR-15 and the Sig Sauer MCX carbine. He stated:
The rifle used by the Islamist terrorist in Orlando was instead a Sig Sauer MCX carbine, a modular, multi-caliber (able to swap to different calibers, including 5.56 NATO, 300 BLK, and 7.62×39) rifle system that sometimes utilizes STANAG magazines common to more than 60 different firearms, but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form.
It appears that the anti-AR-15 sentiment can be traced back to a statement made by Orlando Police Chief John Mina shortly after the attack. Mina erroneously described the MCX carbine as an “AR-15 style assault rifle.” Several news agencies immediatly ran headlines blaming the AR-15 as soon as Mina uttered the anti-gun buzzword “AR-15.” Some news outlets even went as far as dropping the word “style” from Mina’s description.