The Corner

Culture

Re: ‘Sporting’ Rifles

In response to Bad News For Dean

David, not to launch one of those endless Charlie-Kevin gun conversations, but one thing that has especially bugged me about Walmart’s decision to stop selling “modern sporting rifles” in favor of focusing on “hunting” rifles is that the AR-15 is an enormously popular hunting rifle that is becoming more popular all the time, especially among hunters such as myself who spend much of their time hunting coyotes and other predators or wild hogs. Using AR-style rifles for hog hunting is so popular that Remington has developed a purpose-specific round bearing the wonderful name “Hog Hammer.” Hog hunting and, to a lesser extent, coyote hunting, is one of those happy confluences of private interest and public purpose: Wild pig populations are out of control and do more than a billion dollars worth of damage to property every year, and many jurisdictions encourage hunters to put down as many hogs as they can shoot in a day. I’m more of a traditionalist, myself, but if your goal is population reduction, then allowing shooters to use what is, after all, the most popular rifle design in the United States to go after generally unprotected species is the obvious thing to do. 

Even Mother Jones has got the memo on that. Walmart, not so much.

I suppose it’s worth reiterating for the millionth time that the most dangerous rifles sold in any gun store aren’t the scary-looking black ones but precisely the traditional hunting rifles in which the dishonest gun-grabbers say they have no interest. If you are worried about, say, rounds that will defeat the body armor worn by police, but say you have no interest in rifles designed to take down Kodiak bears or Idaho moose, you’re either ignorant or dishonest, or both. 

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