The Northwestern Chronicle has a new blog dedicated to guns and ammo called Down Range.

In one of their first posts, writer Max Baird says if you want to buy a gun, you should take a serious look at the AR-15.

So You’re Looking at an AR-15…

With all of this talk about gun control coming from Washington and the mainstream media, some must be confused about what the terms that are being thrown around actually mean. Barrel shrouds; bayonet lugs; telescoping stocks; the dreaded and controversial term “assault weapon.” But perhaps the biggest question that gets tossed at gun owners by the media and the gun control crowd is “Why does anyone need an AR-15?”

Let’s say you’re somebody who doesn’t have much in the way of shooting experience. You want to buy a gun, but you’re not quite sure what you want to do with it. You’re not sure if you want to hunt or target shoot, get into competition shooting or just want it around the house in case somebody breaks in. What could you possibly buy that could do all of these things? You could buy a handgun, but you can’t practically hunt with most handguns. You could buy a shotgun, but shells are expensive. You could get a bolt action rifle, but they’re clumsy if you have a break in, and competition shooting with them boils down to punching holes in paper from really far away.

So what could possibly fit the bill for all of these activities and not break the bank? The answer: the 9-pound amalgam of plastic and steel that is the AR-15. But what makes it different? The AR-15 and its clones are among the most popular rifles in America, numbering over 4 million.