Every time a mass shooting occurs in the United States, the anti-gun crusaders come out in full force. This is especially true when military style rifles are used in that shooting. People use the term “assault rifle” without really knowing what they’re talking about.
I use the term “military style” loosely because the rifles that look like that were designed for civilians before they were designed for the military. Politicians can’t resist the urge to call a rifle an assault rifle because of how scary it looks to them.
Let me be clear: There’s no such thing as an assault rifle. Giving it that label would assume it’s used only as an offensive weapon. Let me quote from Wikipedia’s page on the AR-15:
As of 2012, there are an estimated 2.5-3.7 million rifles from the AR-15 family in civilian use in the United States. They are favored for target shooting, hunting, and personal protection, and have become the most popular rifle in America.
When politicians start talking about banning assault rifles, they’re usually talking about the AR-15 family of rifles (some are AR-15 clones with different names). The AR-15, as it comes from any factory, wouldn’t even qualify as a military grade rifle.
It’s definitely not an assault rifle. It can’t fire in burst or automatic mode. It’s simply a semiautomatic rifle, much like the rifles that don’t look anything like it.
The only reason the M16 rifle (in any variation) could be considered an assault rifle is because it’s designed as a weapon of war. I use the word “could” because it’s probably used for defense more often than offense. The military doesn’t call it an assault rifle. They simply call it a “rifle”.
When I joined the military in 1978, we were using the M16A1 rifle. Later, we switched to the M16A2 rifle. I don’t know what the Marine Corps is using today but I’m sure it’s one of the later M16 variations. That still doesn’t make it an assault rifle.
That should go without saying. Recent history has proven that politicians work in their own best interests, regardless of what their constituents want (or need). Be extremely wary of any politician who uses the term “assault rifle” as the first definition that comes out of his or her mouth.
If we suddenly have to face a foreign enemy on our soil (or even a zombie apocalypse), I want as many Americans as possible armed to the teeth.
Do you see where I’m going with all of this? The politicians like to manipulate the public mindset by referring to these rifles as assault rifles as often as they can. I sincerely believe they want the civilian population disarmed. If the civilian population is disarmed, the people won’t be able to defend themselves from their worst possible enemy: The government.
The political mentality concerning firearms scares me far more than any so called “assault rifle” ever could.