What are "Assault Rifles"?

January 2012

We attended the public safety hearing in Natick last night and once again heard a state legislator, Rep. David Linsky misrepresenting what an "Assault Rifle" is.

This purposeful misrepresentation and fear mongering is the pinnacle of his push to ensure that firearms ownership in the state of Massachusetts is either banned or close to it.

The terms "Assault Rifle" and "Assault Weapon" are purposely misused as they are actually talking about a semi automatic rifle, no different mechanically, or more powerful than any other semi automatic rifle. They do not shoot thousands of rounds a minute, they shoot once every time the trigger is pulled, just like any other semi automatic rifle. As a matter of fact, the AR15 rifle uses ammunition that is far less powerful than many "not scary" semi automatic rifles.

Whenever you hear someone using the term "Assault" in regard to rifles or weapons, know that they are fear mongering.

As to the looks. We hear all about features; collapsing stocks, pistol grips, "clips" and bayonet lugs from those that want to ban them. These "features" are cosmetic.

Let me give you an analogy I like to use as an example of how those that oppose lawful firearms ownership like to vilify these rifles.

Imagine if we were to apply the same rhetoric to a Honda Accord. It would go like this: "Here we have the 4 door family sedan, it's a very safe, good car, no issues here. But this two door coupe with the fancy wheels, fender flares and fancy lights, that's a highway assault vehicle, very dangerous, should be banned, nobody needs one of those"

It's as simple as that. A pistol grip and a bayonet lug do not make a rifle any more dangerous or more powerful. As to the collapsible stock, it changes the length of the rifle approximately 2 inches, it does not make a significant difference to anything unless you are short, which makes the rifle much easier to shoot.

We also hear a lot about "weapon of choice" To note, there are approximately 100 million lawfully owned rifles in the United States, approximately 25% of which could be considered "Assault Rifles" depending on whose definition is used.

Of these 25 million approximately fifty percent are AR15 platform rifles, seventy plus percent of which have sold since the AWB expired in 2004. Despite this huge sales boom, violent crime including homicides committed with firearms of ALL TYPES has gone DOWN every year for 2 decades. Homicides committed with rifles make up approximately 1% of total homicides nation wide. Simply put a new "Assault Weapons" Ban is in actuality a semi automatic rifle ban, which is exactly what those that oppose our Second Amendment freedom want.

Let's use some logic now in regards to bans. Prohibition did not stop people from drinking; it only caused a criminal enterprise to grow. The "war on drugs", how's that working out? Are there any legislators who are going to tell us that it's a success and that heroin, meth and cocaine aren't readily available street drugs?

Bans do not work, criminals break laws, and they don't care how many are written.

The truth is, firearms are here to stay, our legislators can sell their utopian vision of the world but the fact is, a complete ban will only give criminals more power over the law abiding, and will not stop anyone who means to do harm.