The AR As A “Sporting Rifle,” The Marketing Says Bullshit

4 min readJun 8, 2022

In the wake of a series of school shooting involving assault rifle style weapons, to include the horrific massacre of school children in Uvalde Texas, suggestions have been advance (yet again) to ban such weapons. The common question presented is, who needs such military grade weapons? The argument is that self defense does not require such weapons or their high capacity magazines.

In answer the gun cult attempts to portray AR-15 style weapons as “sporting rifles” used for hunting.

“They are a sporting rifle. And it’s something that a lot of people for purposes of going out target shooting — in my state they use them to shoot prairie dogs and, you know, other types of varmints.” — Senator John Thune, (R-SD)

“If you talk to the people that own it, killing feral pigs in the, whatever, the middle of Louisiana. They’ll wonder: ‘Why would you take it away from me?’” — Senator Bill Cassidy, (R-LA)

Such comments leads to an obvious question. Are such weapons marketed as sports hunting weapons? Do manufacturers of such guns present them with such sexy nicknames as “Prairie Dog Destroyer” or “Feral Pig Punisher”?

It takes but minimal research to see that the marketing for such weapons emphasizes not their ability to kill rodents, and other animal pests, but rather people. They often do so in openly militaristic terms emphasizing battle, war and revolution or just flat out suggesting that their purpose is for you to resist a government that you have decided has gone too far. I have compiled some basic examples.

Imprinted on the side of the rifle is a Bible verse clearly emphasizing its value in war and battle. Anyone think that’s talking about prairie dogs and feral pigs?

This man apparently has decided that hunting two pound rodents requires a helmet, body armor and full military gear, all in addition to the semi-automatic rifle with large capacity magazine.

Ah yes, those prairie dogs are a threat to your freedom and independence. Of course no one thinks that, really, but many do believe they need to be prepared to kill other Americans because their side loses an election or something.

Well, at least this one suggests using it on a rifle range, and “during patrol.” Patrolling for what pray tell? Something that once again requires a helmet and other battle gear.

“Bravery on Duty” against prairie dogs? Surely the skull & crossed rifles (in place of crossed bones) conveys an image of dead rodents everywhere.

If prairie dogs are controlling your destiny, take it back with the A-TACS. I mean a phonetic “attacks” is the name of the thing.

For hunting those urban prairie dogs. When you can’t keep the racist dog whistles out of your advertising.

I could go on, for a really long time actually, with this sort of thing. But I think you get the idea. These weapons aren’t marketed for any other “sport” than shooting other people.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80