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"AR-15 Stands For" refers to a snowclone parodying pro-gun advocates following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting who corrected those that believed the "AR" in AR 15 stands for "Assault Rifle" when in fact it stands for "ArmaLite rifle." In parodies, people claim various absurd things "AR" could stand for.
Discussions about banning the AR-15 grew prevalent after its use in several mass shootings, leading to a misconception that "AR" stood for "assault rifle." Pro-gun advocates on Twitter corrected the misnomer by stating it stands for "Armalite," the company that manufactured the gun. The increased discussion of the weapon after the February 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting, in which the killer used an AR-15, saw further misnaming of the weapon, and in turn, increased corrections from pro-gun advocates. Many of these advocates made the point that people who don't know the correct name of the gun should not be attempting to regulate it (example shown below, left). This type of argument led CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to opine that gun control advocates cared more about correctly identifying the weapon than the ease with which it can be purchased (shown below, right)
As these types of tweets became more prevalent, parody versions started to emerge. A popular parody tweeted by @BuckyIsotope suggested that AR stood for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who "invented the gun in 1937." The tweet gained over 990 retweets and 5,000 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @maltyhops tweeted a sarcastic reassurance that "AR" stands for "assault rifle," gaining over 160 retweets and 500 likes (shown below, right).
The jokes saw renewed prevalence after Tomi Lahren repeated the pro-gun advocate talking point on February 28th, 2018 (shown below, left). This prompted a surge in parodies the following day. For example, a joke by Rob Delaney gained over 340 retweets and 2,700 likes in less than an hour (shown below, right).
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