Skip to comments.What's an Assault Weapon?
Posted on 01/30/2013 12:12:47 PM PST by Kaslin
Last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced a new, supposedly improved version of the federal "assault weapon" ban that expired in 2004. But like that earlier law, which the California Democrat also sponsored, Feinstein's bill prohibits the manufacture and sale of guns based on characteristics that have little or nothing to do with the danger they pose.
Although arbitrary distinctions are a defining characteristic of "assault weapon" bans, recent polls indicate that most Americans support them. New survey data suggest one possible explanation: Most Americans don't know what "assault weapons" are.
Feinstein's bill would ban "157 dangerous military-style assault weapons" by name, along with other guns that meet certain criteria. A rifle is considered an "assault weapon," for example, if it has a detachable magazine and one or more of these "military characteristics": a pistol grip or forward grip, a grenade launcher or rocket launcher, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel, or a folding, telescoping or detachable stock.
The New York Times reported that Feinstein's bill would "ban certain characteristics of guns that make them more lethal." But how exactly do these features -- a threaded barrel, say, or a grenade or rocket launcher without grenades or rockets (both of which are banned for civilian use) -- make a gun "more lethal"? The distinguishing characteristics of "assault weapons" are mainly cosmetic and have little or no functional significance in the context of mass shootings or ordinary gun crimes.
CNN made an even bigger mistake, claiming the bill is aimed at "rifles capable of firing multiple rounds automatically." In reality, the bill has nothing to do with machine guns such as those used by the military, which fire continuously (or "automatically") when you pull the trigger and are already tightly restricted by federal law; it deals only with semiautomatics, which fire once per trigger pull.
Perhaps we should not be too hard on CNN, since President Obama, who supports a new ban on "assault weapons," also seems to think they are machine guns, referring to them as "AK-47s" and "automatic weapons." Contrary to the impression left by such descriptions, "assault weapons" are not distinguished by their rate of fire, the number of rounds they hold or the caliber of their ammunition.
A Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey conducted this month suggests such misconceptions are common. After asking the 1,000 respondents if they thought people should be "prohibited from owning assault weapons," the survey (which is sponsored by my employer, the Reason Foundation) asked half of the sample to "describe an assault weapon." The answers are illuminating.
About two-thirds of the respondents described "assault weapons" as guns that fire rapidly, guns that can fire a large number of rounds without reloading, guns with a lot of "power" or guns used by the military. More than a quarter described them as "machine guns," "automatics," or the equivalent (e.g., "multiple rounds with just one pull of the trigger").
Overall support for banning "assault weapons" was only 44 percent -- considerably lower than the 60 percent or so in recent Gallup and ABC News polls. But there was majority support -- 53 percent and 59 percent, respectively -- among people whose descriptions of "assault weapons" emphasized rate of fire (including those who mistakenly described them as machine guns) or ammunition capacity.
One respondent said an "assault weapon" is a "weapon that is similar to the one that caused the tragedy in Newtown," referring to last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That horrifying event, of course, was the pretext for Feinstein's bill, although the Bushmaster rifle Adam Lanza used to murder 20 children and six adults was not covered by the old federal "assault weapon" ban or by a similar law in Connecticut.
Feinstein has addressed that omission by adding Lanza's rifle to her list of prohibited weapons, which may seem emotionally satisfying. But since would-be mass murderers have plenty of equally effective alternatives, it is logically equivalent to banning the car Lanza drove to the school.
same thing as a defense weapon
If someone wangs a person across the face with a metal bat. That’s an Assault Weapon.
Don’t know if anyone can define an “assault weapon,” but we can most certainly give a good example (if not definition) of an “*sshat weapon” - and the example is Diane Feinestein...bimbo first class and genuine dorkess.
A rock? Kids have been suspended from school for throwing snowballs - assault snow??
What is an assault weapon?
It’s the weapon that I’m holding in my hands when you try to take it away from me.
Here's the racist version for assaulting terrorists.
“Assault weapon” is a wholly manufactured legal term, designed to promulgate negative stereotypes about guns, that was bastardized from the german term for “assault rifle” reserved for a variety of battle rifle with fully selective fire. It’s also something that makes Diane Feinstein have to change her undershorts.
Cyber semi-automatic weapon:
Cyber assault weapon:
With a screwdriver in one minute, you can transform a soft and cuddly Ruger 10/22 into a fearful-looking black rifle, simply by changing out the stock.
People are so easily led.
I know for a fact that most leftist gun control weenies think that “semi-automatic” means what we would call “select fire”.
I keep one in my car - it’s not useful for hunting or self-defense. I only use it to shoot other people - it’s a paint ball gun.
To most people, “What Is An Assault Weapon” is about as clear as (including most of those calling themselves such) as.....”What Is A Consevrvative”.....
It’s a weapon that looks mean. And so, it has to have a name that is scary.
There. How’s that for an accurate description? Now, let’s base all policy on that succinct and accurate description.
Oh, mean looking handguns should be next ... and we should probably include mean looking knives. We, as a nation, should be against mean-looking things ... and we should give them appropriately scary names.
If you believe her interview with fatass Candy Crowley on CNN, the ‘tragic’ events that she witnessed in 1978’s San Francisco supervisors offices immediately after Dan White killed GAY Harvey Milk were done with a frigging Assault Weapon... No mention that actually, these murderes (White and anotheer) were accomplished using a 6-shot revolver.
Feinstein is an opportunistic bitch. That’s all. Wouldn’t surprise me if she has one of each weapon type she wants to ban either in her home or on her bodyguards’ persons....
I like that coarse salt......buy it all the time.
Same caliber, one is much more accurate...
An “assault weapon” is any weapon that would be handy to have around to fend off an assault.
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