Days after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at an Orlando nightclub, the National Rifle Association released a video calling on Americans to buy more weapons, with a former Navy SEAL explaining why the AR-15 rifle gives Americans the best chance of survival.
Most media outlets (including Epoch Times) incorrectly reported that that AR-15—the most popular rifle in the United States—was the weapon used by Omar Mateen, the Orlando terrorist. He actually used a Sig Sauer MCX, which uses a similar design as the AR-15, officials later confirmed.
This week, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy carried out a 15-hour filibuster that pushed for restrictions on assault rifles—which impelled Republican leaders to allow votes on two proposed gun control bills. “15 hrs on the floor. 2 hrs of sleep. And I’m back on my (tired) feet, ready to keep pressing Congress to end its silence on gun violence,” Murphy tweeted, before adding: “I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks.”
But the NRA has pushed back.
“The only way for us to stay free was by having whatever guns the bad guys have,” former Navy SEAL Dom Raso says in the video. “This firearm gives average people the advantage they so desperately need and deserve to protect their life, liberty, and happiness.”
According to liberal nonprofit Media Matters of America,”Sig Sauer is a sponsor of NRA News program ‘Defending Our America.’ Numerous NRA corporate donors, including Sig Sauer, sell AR platform assault weapons.”
Raso argued that the AR-15 semi-automatic is the best home-defense weapon, as it is “easy to learn and easy to use; it’s accurate, it’s reliable.”
Raso also criticized President Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for their calls for an assault weapons ban after the attack.
On June 14, the White House press secretary said, “The President believes that we should reinstitute the assault weapons ban.” The semi-automatic assault weapons ban expired in 2004.
Meanwhile, Raso pointed out that law enforcement officers responded to the scene of the mass shooting with AR-15s. “Why would you want to ban the gun you pray for police to show up with?” Raso asked. He added that a ban on assault weapons would not have stopped the San Bernardino shooting or the Boston Marathon bombings. He added that the Paris terror attacks last year took place amid France’s strict gun laws.
Raso said Clinton’s calls to ban rifles like the AR-15 are hypocritical since her family relies on guards who use the very same weapons.
“I fought this enemy face-to-face for 12 years,” he said, speaking of his time in the Navy SEALs. “I know how they think, and I know the hatred that burns inside them.”
Family of AR-15 Designer Speaks Out
But the ex-SEAL has an unlikely opponent.
The family of the inventor of the AR-15, Eugene Stoner—who also designed the M-16—said he didn’t design it as a civilian weapon.
“Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,” the Stoner family told NBC News this week. “He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”
The family said that he made millions of dollars from the design, but it was all through military sales.
“After many conversations with him, we feel his intent was that he designed it as a military rifle,” his family said, adding that Stoner had been “focused on making the most efficient and superior rifle possible for the military.”
Dozens of similar weapons were manufactured after Stoner’s death in 1997, including the Sig Sauer MCX, whic was used in Orlando last weekend.
“What has happened, good or bad, since his patents have expired is a result of our free market system,” Stoner’s family added. “Currently, a more interesting question is ‘Who now is benefiting from the manufacturing and sales of AR-15s, and for what uses?'”