Nobody actually gives a shit that it was specifically an AR. The access that people have to these types of firearms (AR or AK or M1 carbine etc etc etc) needs to be REDUCED. Period. Just make it harder for people to get them, not impossible. Baby steps man. But at least steps not wlking backwards.
Also, hard to drive a car around in a school, movie theater, or other confined space that gather lots of people. The number of incidents of the weaponization of motor vehicles for attacking groups of people for some reason is much much lower than firearms.
Humans have been killing humans for all of humanity. Statistically per capita those numbers have been dropping dramatically since the dawn of time too. Cave man scraps, tribal warfare, expansion and defeat of so many empires, mass genocide, warfare since the inception of the firearm, mechanized warfare, World Wars, more genocide, all through that time the numbers killed have been reducing when factoring population growth.
Lets keep that trend up and take what measures we can to reduce gun violence.
I agree with you that its a tool. The bad people will always find a tool. The difference is that you make it more difficult to get their hands on a air powered nail gun so that they only have a old-fashioned hammer to pound nails in the coffins. Means less coffins will get made.
You are missing the point. The point is very simple. Doesn't matter if it's an AR, a pistol, or an M1 carbine. If it meets any of the criteria (and regardless of barrel length an AR would meet the criteria) its classified as restricted and the rules are there to keep the numbers lower and the backround checks are more rigorous for those with a "restricted firearm" license. These firearms can't be transported except to and from a designated range and requires a Authorization to Transport from local authorities. These are measures used to keep the firearms out of the hands of irresponsible users, including those with criminal intent. The harder it is to get, the less incidents there will be. The dedicated and passionate folks that jump through the necessary hoops can still enjoy their pastime of choice. Where is the downfall? Lift your writing hand for paper work or lower a casket into the ground. Which is easier?
You are correct in that the real problem is the people not the gun. But the other problem is that the guns are too easily obtained and the rules surrounding their handling and ownership is far too lax. Therefore the laws need to change and that means filtering people and making the firearm more difficult to obtain for everyone, not just the crazies or those with a history. Make more hoops for the dedicated and responsible to jump through in order to be able to own and use such a firearm. This won't eliminate all the bad people that can get them but it would drastically reduce them.
Who cares if people label it as an assault rifle or assault weapon. Bottom line is that it is a short barrelled firearm with hi-rate semi automatic fire and high capacity magazine. It is a firearm adapted from one designed for shooting and killing people. It is a great firearm for target shooting and very enjoyable to shoot. It doens't need to be banned to reduce it's use for tragic events like it has become known for. Something drastically needs to change though.
In Canada any semi-automatic center fire rifle or shotgun with a barrel shorter than 470mm (18.5") or overall length shorter than 670mm (26.4") (in a mode capable of firing, ie: folded/tele stock) is restricted. Restricted firearms (pistols included) require registration, special licensing, and special transportation and usage rules. This means they can still be owned, used, and enjoyed by avid sport shooters. These regulations effectively reduce their availability and laxity around their handling. The owners name is also attached to the individual firearm thereby applying criminal responsibility if it falls into the wrong hands.
These laws still allows the sporting use of restricted firearms but it is illegal to have magazines with a capacity of more than 5 cartridges. Doesn't mean they aren't around but it definitely means there are a LOT less of them. Same goes for the firearms, only the truly dedicated responsible (theoretically) owners will go through the trouble of owning them. Yes there will always be illegally owned ones especially in the US, if they miraculously do get restricted there are so many out there and so many fanatical owners that it will take many decades for them to become legitimized or reduced but it has to start somewhere.