Washington Post Senior Editor Mistakenly Tweets AR-15 “Invented for Nazis”

On Thursday Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher tweeted that the AR-15 rifle was “invented for Nazi infantrymen.” Alarmingly, his post about this gun’s origins, demonstrates how confused he is on the subject. 

The AR-15 was not even on a design table until the mid-1950s, a full ten years after the war with Japan and the Nazis had fallen to the U.S. and her allies. Actually, AR-15s did not see production until Armalite produced the Armalite Rifle, hence the abbreviation “AR.” Some people mistakenly think AR means assault rifle, which simply is not so. Stated plainly, the AR in AR-15 does not stand for “assault rifle”  but for Armalite Rifle.

A full auto version precursor of this rifle was the M-16, that was sent to Vietnam for U.S. troops to use. It was manufactured by Colt, after the Armalite Rifle was sold to them. Firing one bullet per trigger pull, the semiautomatic version of the rifle, retained the AR-15 description and continues to do so to today. It has again made it into the news because the AR-15 was supposedly the recent Texas school shooter’s weapon of choice.

It would appear that Fishers claim may have been tied to a Washington Post article, on February 15, 2018, expressing that-

“The AR-15…is a descendant of the machine guns Nazi infantrymen used against Soviet forces in World War II.”

Washington Post, February 2018

Fisher may be thinking more about the Sturmgewehr 44 (STG 44) rather than the AR-15. The STG 44 was designed in 1938, almost 20 years before the AR-15, and was used by Nazis from 1943 till the end of World War II. One gun is not the same as the other. Additionally, the Nazi infantry was no longer around when the AR-15 was designed. While it is interesting to learn of the rifles’ history – no real emphasis can be placed on this gun. 

The emphasis needs to be directed at the person with mental health issues that was behind the trigger. Like America already knows, the AR-15 didn’t kill anyone, the young man who wielded it did. Until America begins to deal with the underlying socio-economic / mental health problems shootings of these kind will continue to go on.  

More gun laws will not stop anyone who really wants to purchase a rifle. It is best put this way-

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” 

Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle

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