Need exists to clarify terms around assault weapons

Reader tries to explain differences between types of weapons

Re: True gun control should be simple (Our View, June 17)

“Assault weapon” is a misleading and inaccurate term that has been done to death by the anti-gun media. An assault rifle is a fully automatic selectable fire firearm (trigger pull lets out continuous fire), not semi-automatic (one shot for each trigger pull).

Assault weapons are already banned. Many hunting rifles are semi-automatic, most notably shotguns, used in duck hunting – by your definition they would be “assault weapons” as well.

By banning “assault weapons” (a phrase you use to describe something that cosmetically looks like a military rifle, but is nothing like its original counterpart), you would remove many hunting rifles used by people in rural areas to sustain themselves, provide for their family, protect livestock from predators, etc., not to mention killing a sport with a lot of heritage.

The whole point of the U.S. Second Amendment is to give power to the people in case a tyrannical government rises up, as it did with the British in colonial times. A black powder rifle was the standard firearm of the day. Everyone had them: government, military and civilians, so they were on a level playing field. Today, the U.S. military has actual “assault weapons” and civilians are constantly having their right of having equal arms infringed on. Technology changes, but the principles do not. Then again, the projectiles used in guns from the 1700’s were much larger and more devastating than the tiny bullets used in an AR-15.

As for “simple gun control,” the weapons used are irrelevant. Evil people do evil deeds, they will find a way. You could ban all firearms and it wouldn’t make any difference because criminals do not follow laws. They acquire illegal black market firearms and carry out atrocities with them.

Laws of any kind are not followed by them and don’t lessen the problem of gun violence. All it does is harrass law-abiding, good people like myself from enjoying their hobby.

Mental health issues, extremism and intolerance are the true enemies of mankind. We need to turn all of our efforts towards fighting them and not each other on the pointless topic of gun control.

David Grant


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