I Bought A So-Called ‘Assault Rifle’ Using Facebook

We broke the rules, to show that the rules don’t work…

In January, Facebook banned the coordination of gun sales on its platform. But last Wednesday, I picked up an AR-15 variant — a gun similar to the ones used in the mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Aurora, and others — that I found, negotiated for, and agreed to purchase from a private seller entirely on Facebook.

Facebook instituted the policy banning private gun sales with little explanation, but it followed a series of mass murders that turned location names like Newtown, Aurora, and Charleston into shorthand for shooting sprees. San Bernardino joined the list in December 2015 when two ISIS supporters opened fire on a civic meeting there with AR-15 variants, killing 14 people. A month later, Facebook banned private sales of guns on its social network. At least in theory. I bought the AR-15 I found on Facebook just down the road from San Bernardino.

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