NPR claimed Tuesday that an AR-15 rifle is capable of beheading people. We spoke to a few experts, who, to put it bluntly, said the claim is “bullshit.”
The outlet published a piece focusing on the Uvalde, Texas, coroner who discussed the horrors of identifying the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“The AR-15, which is the weapon used by the gunman at Robb Elementary, is designed to blow targets apart,” NPR wrote. “It’s a weapon built for war. And when fired into a human adult body, its bullets travel with such fierce velocity that they can decapitate a person, or leave a body looking ‘like a grenade went off in there,’ as Peter Rhee, a trauma surgeon at the University of Arizona, told Wired.”
The AR-15 is designed to blow targets apart. Its bullets travel with such velocity that they can decapitate an adult.
Unfortunately, this Uvalde coroner has now seen first-hand what the weapon can do to children.https://t.co/LjxAps68UP
— NPR (@NPR) June 1, 2022
The NPR piece cited a report from The Intercept, which said a survey found that “Viet Cong fighters hit with the weapon were frequently decapitated and dismembered, many looking as though they had ‘exploded.’ A field report documented how an AR-15 had blown up a man’s head and turned another’s torso into ‘one big hole.'”
“A machine designed for the mass killing and maiming of other people — a design that had nothing to do with hunting or sportsmanship — should not be on American streets,” The Intercept wrote. “At the minimum, no one in public life should be allowed to deny what it really does.”
Despite insistence from NPR that the AR-15 can decapitate people, we consulted people who have actually shot weapons of war.
Delta Force Operator Bob Keller told the Daily Caller that he has “never seen” someone decapitated by an AR-15 and that he “would say [the claim is] bullshit.”
Stephen Gutowski, founder of The Reload and firearms reporter told the Daily Caller that NPR’s claim “doesn’t sound realistic at all.”
American hero and Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden, Rob O’Neill, also said the claim is bogus. (RELATED: ‘You’ve Got To Give That Gun Up’: Whoopi Goldberg Says NRA Needs To Suck It Up, Calls For Ban On AR-15)
“Those dudes fought like motherf**kers.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 23, 2021
“100% inaccurate,” O’Neill said when asked for his thoughts on NPR’s assertion. “If you think about it logically, which a lot of politicians don’t, you can decapitate someone with anything. People get decapitated in car wrecks. As a former Navy SEAL who has shot people up close with something similar to an AR-15, you don’t blow their head off, it’s not how it works.”
“It’s a small caliber bullet with high velocity,” O’Neill said. “It doesn’t decapitate you. I shot Bin Laden three times in the head up close with the same caliber and it didn’t decapitate him.”
O’Neill added while an AR-15 absolutely can kill someone, “there is no way, no way” it can decapitate someone.
“Getting rid of the gun is not getting rid of the problem,” the former SEAL added, noting the AR-15 is “excellent” for home defense.