The AR-15 is shockingly popular among America’s gun aficionados, so much so that it’s known as “America’s gun.” But if you believe his family members, the creator of the gun used in so many of our high-profile mass shootings never intended the gun to fall into civilian hands.
Though AR-15 designer Eugene Stoner has long since passed away, his surviving children and grandchildren believed he intended the weapon to be used only by members of the military.
“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 said in an interview with NBC News. “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 added that even though Stoner was an avid sportsman and target shooter, he never used the AR-15 for sport. He also didn’t keep one for personal defense, which is not surprising since that particular standard surrounding gun ownership is only a few years old. In fact, the family says he never owned an AR-15.
“After many conversations with him, we feel his intent was that he designed it as a military rifle,” they said, adding that Stoner wanted to make “the most efficient and superior rifle possible for the military.”
What the creator intended rarely matters in cases like this. Hell, the man who made GIFs is on record as saying it’s pronounced “JIF” and families have been torn apart over the right to sound silly. And that’s just moving pictures on the internet.