Setting facts on AR-15

This is in response to James A. Lytle’s “AR-15 meant for military.”

First, I thank him for his service to our great country.

But if we are going to talk about AR-15s , let’s talk facts and not media hype.

The AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite Rifle because they were the company to invent the weapon. It was designed by Eugene Stoner, Robert Fremont, and L. James Sullivan of the Fairchild Armalite Company.

The military adopted the AR-15 design from Colt (Armalite sold the rights to Colt in 1959); the Military gave it the name M16. It was a select-fire rifle, which means you can select it from automatic fire to semi-automatic fire.

For those who don’t know automatic fire means as long as you hold the trigger it will keep firing. Semi-automatic fire means you must let go of the trigger and pull it again for it to fire another bullet. In 1963, Colt started selling the semi version to civilians.

The M16 fires a 5.56x45mm not .223, and, yes, there is a difference. Both rounds do, however, fire a .22 caliber projectile. Today the AR-15 can be fitted to fire .17HMR (.17 cal) up to the .50 Beowulf (.50 cal)

The Department of Defense defines an “assault rifle” as a “weapon capable of automatic fire and is used by the military.”

So the AR-15 is not an assault rifle because it is not capable of automatic fire. For the record, automatic weapons have been banned by the federal government since 1934 unless you have a federal license.

Have you noticed that all the shootings at schools and theaters took place in gun free zones? Why is that?

I do not like Bill O’Reilly or Fox News. However, I do like the truth.

David Garman, Altoona

(The writer is a veteran, having served in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001-08.)