An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon. It’s Time To Put This Argument To Sleep.

dallas            In the aftermath of the terrible events in Dallas, the argument has once again erupted over the definition of an ‘assault rifle,’ because the early but unconfirmed reports identified the shooter’s gun as an AR, but some unofficial statements referred to the rifle as an SKS.  Now in fact both guns were originally designed for military use, but the SKS, generally speaking, has a fairly modest ammunition capacity, whereas the AR generally comes with hi-cap mags.  But once President Obama said the magic words yesterday about how the shooter used a gun that was “not intended for city streets,” then Gun-nut Nation went into an immediate rant about how the gun used in Dallas was nothing other than a semi-automatic, top-loading rifle which is just like any other modern, sporting gun.

Since I can’t play golf on a rainy, Saturday afternoon, and in the interests of helping my GVP friends to understand the ins and outs of the assault rifle debate, here is a picture of a standard, assault rifle which can be found and purchased in just about every location that sells guns.  It can also be acquired in most states via a private transaction, and can also carried openly in places like Texas and a few other dumb states.

AR2

This gun, plus or minus a few other attachments, is what is generally considered to be an ‘assault rifle’ or an ‘assault weapon,’ for the simple reason that when the Feds declared a ten-year ban on such guns back in 1994, a gun fell into the prohibited category if it had a detachable magazine and two of five of the other design features numbered #1, #5, #7 or #8.  If it didn’t have at least two of those design features it could still be manufactured and sold, as long as the detachable magazine only contained a maximum of 10 rounds. The magazine limitation applied to magazines that were used in handguns as well.

When the ban on assault weapons expired in 2005, Gun-nut Nation struck back with a vengeance, not only greasing its Congressional friends to vote against an extension of the ban, but also starting up a loud campaign to rid the American lexicon, particularly the shooting lexicon, of using the word ‘assault’ at all.  And this campaign took the form of declaring that, by definition, ‘assault’ weapons had nothing to do with civilian, sporting guns because the former were automatic weapons that were prohibited from civilian use.  Additionally, any semi-automatic rifle (one trigger pull – one round fires) was a ‘sporting’ gun because, because, duh, Gun-nut Nation declared it to be a sporting gun.  Period. End of debate.

Know this: The campaign to promote ownership of AR rifles by rebranding them as ‘modern sporting’ anything is totally and completely full of crap.  Because it doesn’t really matter whether my friend Dianne Feinstein gets it right or wrong when she refers to ‘automatic guns.’  It doesn’t matter whether AR rifles ‘only’ figure in 1% of all the shooting deaths each year that involve the use of guns. It doesn’t even matter whether the Dallas shooter used an AR or an SKS.  The real issue, the only issue in the argument about assault weapons is how we understand the word ‘assault.’

Because guns like the AR or the SKS, even if they can only fire in semi-automatic mode, weren’t designed to go after Bambi in the woods or knock Big Bird out of a tree.  They were designed to do one thing and one thing only, and that was to kill human beings, and to kill as many humans as many times as the trigger of those guns can be pulled.  So why should we allow Gun-nut Nation to set the terms of the debate for determining the lethality of this gun or that?  Remember, they believe that it’s the people who are lethal, not the guns.  Tell that one to the families of the dead cops in Dallas whose dear ones were killed with a legally-purchased gun.

 

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12 thoughts on “An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon. It’s Time To Put This Argument To Sleep.

  1. The AR’s can also be modified with a recoiling stock that makes it easy to rapidly fire by keeping the trigger finger still and the recoil of the gun fires off multiple rounds as much as an automatic M-16. It will only be a matter of time before a domestic terrorist uses one of these with some high mag cartridges and breaks the record for number of kills set in Orlando. They could even do the Rambo trick of taping together high mag cartridges to make a reload even faster. How can this be legal?

  2. The SKS has none of the features of an “Assault Weapon” listed above, except that some do have attached folding bayonets. They are California legal, were not banned durring the 90’s, and would likely not be banned now.
    The Ruger Mini 14, has none of the features listed, and it fires the same round, at the same rate, and has magazines in the same capacity, as the AR15. It too is CA legal, and not affected by the current or last ban. The Mini is a carbine version of the M14, developed from the M1 Garand, an evil weapon of War designed to kill as many human beings as you can pull the trigger.

    but hey at least it’s not Black.

  3. An assault rifle has select fire, both automatic and semi auto. Therefore semi auto AR 15’s aren’t assault weapon. If it doesn’t matter that only 1% of shootings involve AR 15’s then why don’t you let this non issue go and focus on real problems?

    Besides, if he didn’t use the gun he would’ve used a bomb. It’s the people who commit murder, guns aren’t capable of pulling their own triggers. We don’t blame cars that are designed to go fast for killing people, we blame the driver.

  4. What if I was hunting wild boars? Do you want the animal to suffer because the bolt action rifle did not take down the animal on the first shot?

  5. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    mikethegunguy writes: “Know this: The campaign to promote ownership of AR rifles by rebranding them as ‘modern sporting’ anything is totally and completely full of crap. Because it doesn’t really matter whether my friend Dianne Feinstein gets it right or wrong when she refers to ‘automatic guns.’ It doesn’t matter whether AR rifles ‘only’ figure in 1% of all the shooting deaths each year that involve the use of guns. It doesn’t even matter whether the Dallas shooter used an AR or an SKS. The real issue, the only issue in the argument about assault weapons is how we understand the word ‘assault.’

    Because guns like the AR or the SKS, even if they can only fire in semi-automatic mode, weren’t designed to go after Bambi in the woods or knock Big Bird out of a tree. They were designed to do one thing and one thing only, and that was to kill human beings, and to kill as many humans as many times as the trigger of those guns can be pulled. So why should we allow Gun-nut Nation to set the terms of the debate for determining the lethality of this gun or that? Remember, they believe that it’s the people who are lethal, not the guns. Tell that one to the families of the dead cops in Dallas whose dear ones were killed with a legally-purchased gun.” – https://mikethegunguy.com/2016/07/09/an-assault-weapon-is-an-assault-weapon-is-an-assault-weapon-its-time-to-put-this-argument-to-sleep/

  6. Pingback: An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon Is An Assault Weapon. It’s Time To Put This Argument To Sleep. | Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning"

  7. It’s cute how you villainize the SKS here while talking about why the mini-14 is great on your “My Guns” page. You know, the same Mini-14 that is to the AR what the SKS is to the AK?

    Bit of a hypocrite, aren’t you?

    FYI, the ARs you are decrying are still used magnitudes more often for taking game than shooting people (in civilian hands, at least) very year in the US, and used for putting holes in paper magnitudes more often than that.

    Of course, I’d expect just this type of opinion from the sort of person that has “thegunguy” in their domain and conflates assault weapons and assault rifles.

  8. Fortunately, according to crime stats, assault-style rifles are used in few crimes where their enhanced firepower and combat features are brought to deadly effect. (Of course, high profile mass shootings are the rare exception.)
    And given the political realities regarding the gun issue, it’s probably best to explore measures that don’t smack of a potential ban on such a popular class of firearm.
    If we could plug the big holes in our national gun laws and ramp up prosecuting violent offenders we could save way more lives than any measures aimed directly at assault-style rifles.

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