They chose to compare those two firearms because of their current popularity.
I disagree. They chose to compare them with the goal of misleading people about the AR-15.
For people who know little of ballistics the effect of the 5.56 does make it "unusually" dangerous.
That is incorrect. It is just an ordinary rifle.
And, in a practical sense, the small lightweight gun fitted with a recoil-reducing stock and an extended magazine is more dangerous than a classic hunting rifle with more power because of the ease which the AR-15 can be stowed, carried, and deployed.
Classic hunting rifles can be stowed, carried, and deployed easily too.
I agree that larger magazines make a weapon more dangerous, but that is the case with any gun and is not unique to the AR-15.
But more people are killed with handguns.
Most departments follow that practice. State troopers as well.
Michigan state troopers have H&K MP5 submachineguns in their cars (real full auto too, not semi-auto-only).
I don't approve (not that they care what I think).
I know it is probably the most easily controlled full-auto ever made (that isn't fixed to a tripod anyway), but full auto just seems to me to be an opportunity to miss the bad guys and hit bystanders.
That is an acceptable risk in war with soldiers on a battlefield. But I think policing should require the utmost care to avoid accidentally shooting bystanders.
Part of the rationale for this is that criminals are using more powerful weapons. What was that famous shootout in California where the two criminals completely outgunned the police department?
North Hollywood bank robbery.
That was one of the catalysts for rearming municipal police departments.
True. But the the police had shotguns before that.
A blast of #1 buckshot is a different type of wound from a high velocity rifle bullet, but it actually destroys a similar amount of flesh.