Parkland, Florida, massacre survivor and anti-National Rifle Association activist David Hogg made a bizarre claim about the AR-15 class of guns, and the reaction online was swift and brutal.
'You’re not defending yourself...'
The vocal gun control activist was responding to a video from the congressional hearings for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court when he made the odd statement.
"The effective range of an AR-15 is 1,600 feet for comparison your typical handgun is 75 feet if you’re shooting somebody from 1,600 feet away you’re not defending yourself...," he tweeted, "... you’re hunting."
"Make the 2004 Massachusetts assault weapons ban federal law," he added.
Hogg was responding to a video of an exchange between California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Kavanaugh.
"How do you reconcile what you've just said with the hundreds of school shootings using assault weapons that have taken place in recent history?" Feinstein asked. "How do you reconcile that?"
"Senator, of course the violence in schools is something we all detest and want to do something about and there's a lots of efforts, I know underway to make schools safer," Kavanaugh responded. "I know at my girl's school they do a lot of things different than what they did just a few years ago, in terms of trying to harden the school and make it safer for everyone."
'I’m happy he saved my life.'
But even as some objected to the partial answer from Kavanaugh in the edited video, many more objected to Hogg's odd claim that AR-15 guns cannot be used for self-defense.
"People most certainly do use the AR-15 to defend themselves and others," responded Stephen Gutowksi of the Free Beacon, and provided examples.
One was from Oswego, near Chicago, where a man stopped a knife attack by threatening the attacker with his AR-15.
“He was a half a breath away from getting his head blown off and he knew that," Dave Thomas said. "That's why he put the knife down."
In another story, two students in New York City frightened away armed intruders with their own AR-15. “I’m happy he saved my life. I was very thankful he had his (gun),” said one of his gun-owning roommate.
In another incident, an armed burglar was shot and killed by the resident of an apartment with an AR-15.
“You have a man who defended himself inside his home, as the law would generally permit, and exercised extreme restraint by firing only one shot in shooting someone who was unlawfully in his home,” said a local district attorney.
Gutowksi also posted a a gun owner's story about self-defense with an AR-15 from YouTube:
Amy Swearer, a legal policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, similarly shot down Hogg's argument.
"First things first, hunting is a lawful activity," she tweeted. "And if the Second Amendment protection is dependent upon range and stopping power (it isn't), then almost every single hunting rifle must be similarly banned - even bolt actions - for being more accurate and more powerful."
(1) First things first, hunting is a lawful activity. And if the Second Amendment protection is dependent upon range and stopping power (it isn't), then almost every single hunting rifle must be similarly banned - even bolt actions - for being more accurate and more powerful.
— Amy Swearer (@AmySwearer) September 5, 2018
"Handguns are more difficult for smaller, less experienced shooters to use effectively past about 6 or 7 yards, and also have significantly less stopping power," she added. "Why would I want to be closer to a threat with a less effective means of eliminating that threat?"
Hogg did not address any of the arguments from gun rights defenders against his claim.