Matthew Lang at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, says the danger arises when the rifle falls into the hands of those who are neither hunters nor military snipers. “If it starts to find its way to individuals that plan to use it for other purposes, there will be a lot of time and money spent figuring out how to secure any public area if the number of possible snipers has significantly increased.”
A big change in the lethality of military technology brought about by the widespread adoption of gun powder powered weapons where guns, cannons and bombs etc, replaced spears, arrows, swords, rocks etc allowed the slaughter that began with Napoleon’s adoption of the concept of “total war”. When an entire societies industrial production is rallied to produce new newer technology lethal weapons and then the human resources of the society are lined up to use those weapons slaughter ensues. This facts and trends are famous in military history.
So, the British Long Bow made Armored Night obsolete. But the skills and experience to be a long bowmen were extensive and their intrinsic firepower, limited.
Gunpowder powered guns replaced the long bowmen and almost anyone could fire them. But early technology made them inaccurate so to have any effect soldiers had to line up in numbers in order to have any effect.
Then came riffling and machine guns and until new tactics evolved these lines of soldiers were mowed down in droves.
One of the big advantages the highly trained US Military had over foes in Iraq and Afghanistan was there marksmanship (non-sniper and sniper) while their foes mostly only used , “spray and pray” tactics.
Now with this, any average moron can be a sniper. And $22k is only the price before mass production and technological development reduce this. As this technology spreads military tactics as well as civilian regulations will have to adapt.