The Hammer Logo
A favorite argument of the anti-gun crowd is to say, “The Founding Fathers could have never envisioned (so-called) ‘assault rifles’ when they wrote the Second Amendment.” I beg to differ. First, I will always correct them, a rifle such as the AR-15 is NOT an “assault rifle." Then I will go on to educate them on the fallacy of their statement. Modern rifles like the AR-15 actually share a lot of similarities to muskets. Of course there are many differences in performance capabilities such as accuracy, effective range, rate of fire and so on, but when you break it down, they are also a lot alike.
First, what does any firearm do, whether it be a musket or an AR-15? They fire a small projectile at high velocities. Secondly, when firing a musket or a modern rifle they are shouldered and held in essentially the same manner. Lastly, modern rifles and muskets share several parts and features in common, the obvious ones that come to mind are: a butt stock, sights, a barrel, they are both capable of having a bayonet attached, a trigger and a hammer (or ‘cock’ as it was known on a flintlock musket).
After considering the similarities between muskets and modern rifles, the “hammer logo” was born. The goal was to incorporate old and new while capturing the essence of Modern Musket in one symbol. The design consists of a flintlock musket cock (hammer) on the left, and an AR-15 hammer on the right, both perform essentially the same function. When the trigger is pulled, on a musket the flint held by the cock strikes the frizzen igniting the powder in the pan, while the hammer of an AR-15 strikes the firing pin driving it into the primer of a cartridge. Both actions in both firearms results in the projectile traveling down the barrel, exiting the muzzle, hurling toward its intended target. The “hammer logo,” as with the original Modern Musket rifle logo, are designed to provoke thought, inspire conversation, and spread the message.
I think Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and the rest would marvel at the advancements in firearms technology over the past two Centuries. Yet at the same time they would also note the many similarities between the rifles of today and the muskets and muzzle loading rifles of their time. Now if Star Trek ray-gun technology was presently a reality, that would actually be something the Founders may not have envisioned in relation to firearms advancements. But if ray-guns were the norm, I think it’s safe to say they would want one, as would I. Their intent when they wrote and ratified the Second Amendment was for the People to have the ability to possess the most modern Arms of the day for the defense of their lives, loved ones, and liberty.
Ray-guns aside, let’s briefly look at the muzzle loading rifle. Barrel riffling (grooves on the inside of the barrel that create spin on the projectile stabilizing it as it leaves the muzzle) had already been invented in the late 18th Century. Rifling significantly increased accuracy, especially at distance compared to the smooth bore of a musket. This proved beneficial to American sharpshooters in the Revolutionary War. Aside from riffling in the barrel, the musket and muzzle loading rifle were essentially the same during that time period, however of the two, the musket was much more common. Rifling was indeed a significant advancement in firearm technology; a few decades later the percussion cap was invented, then the fully contained cartridge accompanied by the breach loader, then the repeating rifle, and so on. With continuing ingenuity and progression, today we have many modern rifles such as the AR-15. As stated earlier, modern rifles may have much greater performance capabilities, but they still have a lot in common with the muskets and muzzle loading rifles they evolved from.
OK, now let’s circle back to the original statement about the Founding Fathers. What they truly could not have envisioned is the Internet, let alone all our modern technological devices such as smart phones. In their day they wrote on parchment paper with feather quill pens, messages were carried by men on horseback, and if you wanted to voice your opinion, you stood on a soapbox in the town square. Today with email, Google, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and so on, the Founders would be absolutely blown away. Yet as it should, and I’m sure the Founding Fathers would agree, the First Amendment absolutely guarantees protection of these modern forms of media and communication. So along this same line of reasoning, the Second Amendment absolutely guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear modern Arms such as the AR-15. These rifles ARE our modern day muskets. It is imperative that we remember and also remind others, just because technology advances, our RIGHTS must remain the same.