What The Heck IS An Assault Rifle, Anyway?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
a veteran. I'm also a southern male in my seventies. I was raised
traditionally, which is to say -- I was reared as a traditional southern
lad around -- and with -- guns.
I began shooting
at the age of six. I bought my first shotgun at the age of twelve.
(With my own money and my father's blessings. He wanted his 12-gauge
pump back!) It was a Winchester model 37, 12-gauge, full-choke, with a
30-inch barrel. Some swear to this day, that you could rest a dime on
the muzzle of that gun. It had such a kick, a recoil, that it was nearly
as dangerous for the shooter as the shootee! During hunting season I
had perpetual bruises on my right shoulder.
It was a single shot
weapon. But I learned the trick of holding extra shells at the ready,
stuffed between the fingers of my right hand, my trigger hand, and
became quite adept at rapid reloading using that technique. It is
amazing just how quickly a shooter can expend three 12-gauge shotgun
shells in a single shot weapon -- IF he masters that method. It is easy, simple, and fast.
And, yes, I am working up to something.
I am finally getting around to asking an important question: What the hell is an "assault weapon/rifle," anyway?
all the time I spent in the military, I NEVER heard a rifle referred to
as an "assault weapon." We had some "battle rifles," a few "combat
weapons," but so far as I know, we had no assault rifles. In fact, I
had never heard the term used until the leftist politicians began using
it, which sort of makes me think they invented it because it sounds
really bad -- mean -- you know?
I have asked a
number of my friends, familiar with guns as veterans and hunters, if
they knew what an assault weapon was/is? None of them did. In fact, one
friend said he had been embarrassed to admit that with his supposed
vast knowledge of hunting weaponry, he had no idea what an assault rifle
So, I have concluded the term "assault rifle/weapon" is just another term from the vast and numerous volumes of liberal Bovine Scatology phrases
used by the left to terrorize the weak-minded and undereducated
graduates of the US public education system -- which is darn near
everybody these days.
What to do? Well, I did what everybody with a computer does -- I "Googled" it.
Right at the top of the list was Wikipedia:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon.
weapon is a term which has been given many different meanings. One
definition is any firearm using an intermediate cartridge. (An
intermediate cartridge is a military assault rifle cartridge that is
less powerful than typical full power battle rifle cartridges such as
the 7.62x54mm Rimmed, UK .303 or US .30-06 Springfield, but still
significantly more powerful than pistol cartridges.) Others might use
the term to describe a semi-automatic gun that accepts detachable
magazines that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term is
used popularly to describe any of various automatic and semi-automatic
military firearms using an intermediate cartridge. In the United
States, there is a variety of statutory definitions of assault weapons
in local, state, and federal laws that define them by a set of
characteristics they possess, sometimes described as military-style
features useful in combat. Using lists of physical features or
specific firearms in defining assault weapons in the U.S. was first
codified by the language of the now-expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons
Ban. A common usage is a mistaken one, as a synonym for assault
rifle (a firearm with full-auto capability) , but unlike that term,
"assault weapon" has no consistent or specific definition and so is
subject to varying definitions for varying purposes, including
definitions that include common non-military-style firearms."
Ahem. I'm just SOOO proud to have cleared THAT up for you! (Yeah, my tongue is fastened securely in my cheek.)
Actually, I THINK, this definition has pretty much locked-in my original assessment of the term "assault rifle" -- that it
is a term meant to be applied in any way the leftists find useful to
them in condemning weapons owned and carried by citizens of the United
States -- regardless of the guarantee of the Second Amendment. Yes, I think my definition is more nearly correct.
my rapid firing of that single shot shotgun I mentioned above. Would
it not be classified as an assault weapon under one or more of the
definitions applied today? I expect so.
It's beyond ridiculous. It is asinine.
you even attempted to speak with a liberal about gun control in the
past few days. Being a retired "fearless reporter" I ventured to do
just that and found, not so amazingly, that the liberal was overcome
with emotion -- anger -- to be exact, and refused to
discuss anything other than total disarmament of the entire population
-- and cut the conversation off promptly at that point.
The thing that really set off the apoplectic reaction was my insistence that it was the "personal freedom" of all Americans I was defending in my demand that the Second Amendment be adhered to by the government.
the left does not believe in "personal freedom." They are
collectivists, statists, socialist, communists, Marxists, Leninists, and
progressives. And they are in control of America today.
Look. I take no joy in saying: "I told you so." But, hey! I did.
So. I'll make another prediction -- maybe two.
The left will get their gun control laws, regulations, whatever they
eventually call them, passed. And - two: As my friend, Texas Fred,
alluded to a few days ago, a huge black market in guns and ammo will
spring up, almost overnight, throughout America. Gun making will
become a cottage industry from sea to shining sea. Heck, I think I
still have my Great-Grand Daddy's bullet molds around somewhere!
(During the Second World War the French underground made cartridge
casings from lipstick tubes!) Believe me. Where there is a will -- there is always a way!
the British government of the 1700's could attest, passing a law to
control Americans was one thing. Forcing them to obey it was quite
something else. (See: Prohibition/Volstead Act)
My brand new Gadsden flag ("Don't
Tread on Me") will be run up my flag pole, a day or two after
Christmas, as a personal statement of my intent to defend the US
Constitution. If you are of like mind, may we suggest you might want to purchase yours ASAP, as I suspect we will be seeing a lot of that flag in the months ahead.
© J. D. Longstreet
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