The shooting at a mass school in Uvalde, Texas, late last month reignited debate over gun law reform. Many are calling for a renewed ban on assault rifles like the AR-15, which the Uvalde shooter is using to try to stem the carnage. The previous ban on such weapons expired in 2004.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.) presented a somewhat novel argument for keeping AR-15 on the market. He said people in his state used these guns, which he described as “sporting guns,” to shoot vermin like prairie dogs.
“And so I think there are legitimate reasons people want them,” he added, speaking to a CNN reporter.
Prairie dogs are small rodents, about a foot long and weighing between two and four pounds National Geographic.
An AR-15 is a high-powered rifle that fires bullets at such a high velocity that it creates a cavity with an exit wound that can be the size of a grapefruit.
While it is legal to hunt prairie dogs and some people eat them, many consider using an AR-15 to be overkill, literally.
However, the use of AR-15s to hunt vermin has been raised before, most famously online when a man argued and went viral for saying he needed one to kill “30-50 wild boar”.
“Sounds like the people of South Dakota, including John Thune, need some serious target practice.” tweeted one.
A lot of people just made fun of Thune.
“As everyone knows, the only way to kill a prairie dog is to turn it into a fine cologne,” @jaredlipof tweeted sarcastic.
“Thune said he used a baseball bat to kill flies.” added @mrbigg450.
Amid the mockery of Thune suggesting that AR-15s were simply sporting rifles for hunting rodents, some more serious commentators noted that many mass shooters have used the weapon to commit their crimes.
Examples include the recent Uvalde shooting (21 victims), the 2018 Parkland High School shooting (17 victims), the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting (58 victims), the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting (49 victims) and the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting (27 casualties).
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*Initial publication: June 7, 2022 at 2:03 pm CDT
Claire Goforth is a staff writer at the Daily Dot and covers all topics related to politics and technology with a focus on right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories.
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/john-thuen-hunt-prairie-dogs-ar-15/ Senator John Thune says people hunt prairie dogs with AR-15s