A former DC Metro Police officer-turned CNN analyst and “survivor” of the 2021 January 6 riot claims that the AR-15 doesn’t belong in the hands of the citizenry, and that “America’s Rifle” is too dangerous for the Average Joe.
Michael Fanone, an American law enforcement analyst and CNN on-air contributor who retired from 20 years of service after being injured on January 6, states that while he owns an AR-15, others should not be able to buy them.
“The AR-15 has the dubious distinction of being America’s most popular semi-automatic rifle. I’m more familiar with the gun than most people: I own one. And one thing I know for sure is that this weapon doesn’t belong in the hands of the average civilian” he wrote in an Op-Ed.
Fanone claimed that while he was “a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association” (which means little to many modern gun owners who consider the organization a money pit of controlled opposition), he doesn’t think civilians should own firearms that pose a threat to law enforcement or their protective equipment.
With a slew of article sources ranging from NPR to Michael Bloomberg’s “The Trace,” Fanone went on to erroneously claim -despite expert testimonials to the contrary- that the AR is unsuitable for home defense.
“I’ve sold guns at big box retailers and I’ve also sold firearms at a small retail gun store,” he wrote. “Some gun buyers have been misled into thinking that the AR-15 is somehow practical for self-defense. But frankly, it’s the last gun that I would recommend for that purpose.”
But perhaps the most scathing aspect of the Op-Ed to many readers was the insinuation that not only was the AR-15 -dubbed “America’s Rifle”- too complicated and dangerous to use without extensive training, as well as the claim that parity of force with government entities is unthinkable.
“I can’t overstate how dangerous it is to have semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 in the hands of civilians,” he wrote. “Our public officials have it within their power to help make it harder for people who shouldn’t have these weapons to get them.
A police officer should never have to worry about being outgunned by the bad guy they’re protecting the public against.”
Fanone also made a bizarre claim- one that was visibly false to anyone who watched footage from the Uvalde incident in Texas.
“I have no doubt that police in Uvalde wish they had had weapons as powerful as the one carried by the shooter who snuffed out the lives of the victims in that school,” he wrote. “But a far better outcome would have been if the shooter didn’t have an AR-15 in the first place.”
It should be noted that numerous law enforcement agencies present and filmed at the Uvalde incident were armed not only with AR-15s, but some that fall under the restrictions of the National Firearms Act. Similarly, the majority of law enforcement agencies in the United States either issue or allow the use of AR-15s as part of patrol equipment.
Still, that didn’t stop Fanone from claiming the contrary, let alone from dismissing those who own such rifles (which fall under “common use” SCOTUS interpretation in the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ) to deter government tyranny.
“Some members of the tinfoil hat brigade have come up with the reply, ‘We need these weapons because we want to be effective against the government if it becomes tyrannical. That’s part of our Second Amendment right,’ he wrote. “Personally, I think that’s ludicrous, but it has become an increasingly popular justification for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle.”
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