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Senior Contributor

Maybe one of you could tell me what an assault weapon is?

Is it a caliber, the number of rounds it holds, they type of sight, the material it is composed of or something else?

 

Why wouldn't a 12 gauge shotgun be an assault weapon?  Put in deer slugs and get a rifled barrel, get a magazine that holds a large number of shells and you have a very serious weapon.

 

Or why would a puny .223 made with plastic and aluminum be an assault weapon but a stainless steel and wood 30.06 auto loader not be?

 

So, what exactly is an assault weapon and why would you ban them, stats below and from FBI indicate you probably have a much better chance of getting hit by lightening or winning the lottery than getting attacked by somebody with an "assault rifle".

 

The following summary of police statistical surveys is excerpted from Kopel, David B, Rational Basis Analysis of "Assault Weapon" Prohibition. (Kopel's paper contains the citations for these surveys and lists a few more studies as well.)

  • California. In 1990, "assault weapons" comprised thirty-six of the 963 firearms involved in homicide or aggravated assault and analyzed by police crime laboratories, according to a report prepared by the California Department of Justice, and based on data from police firearms laboratories throughout the state. The report concluded that "assault weapons play a very small role in assault and homicide firearm cases." Of the 1,979 guns seized from California narcotics dealers in 1990, fifty-eight were "assault weapons."

     

  • Chicago. From 1985 through 1989, only one homicide was perpetrated with a military caliber rifle. Of the 17,144 guns seized by the Chicago police in 1989, 175 were "military style weapons."

     

  • Florida. Florida Department of Law Enforcement Uniform Crime Reports for 1989 indicate that rifles of all types accounted for 2.6% of the weapons used in Florida homicides. The Florida Assault Weapons Commission found that "assault weapons" were used in 17 of 7,500 gun crimes for the years 1986-1989.

     

  • Los Angeles. Of the more than 4,000 guns seized by police during one year, only about 3% were "assault weapons."

     

  • Maryland. In 1989-90, there was only one death involving a "semiautomatic assault rifle" in all twenty-four counties of the State of Maryland.

     

  • Massachusetts. Of 161 fatal shootings in Massachusetts in 1988, three involved "semiautomatic assault rifles." From 1985 to 1991, the guns were involved in 0.7% of all shootings.

     

  • Miami. The Miami police seized 18,702 firearms from January 1, 1989 to December 31, 1993. Of these, 3.13% were "assault weapons."

     

  • New Jersey. According to the Deputy Chief Joseph Constance of the Trenton New Jersey Police Department, in 1989, there was not a single murder involving any rifle, much less a "semiautomatic assault rifle," in the State of New Jersey. No person in New Jersey was killed with an "assault weapon" in 1988. Nevertheless, in 1990 the New Jersey legislature enacted an "assault weapon" ban that included low-power .22 rifles, and even BB guns. Based on the legislature's broad definition of "assault weapons," in 1991, such guns were used in five of 410 murders in New Jersey; in forty-seven of 22,728 armed robberies; and in twenty-three of 23,720 aggravated assaults committed in New Jersey.

     

  • New York City. Of 12,138 crime guns seized by New York City police in 1988, eighty were "assault-type" firearms.

     

  • New York State. Semiautomatic "assault rifles" were used in twenty of the 2,394 murders in New York State in 1992.

     

  • San Diego. Of the 3,000 firearms seized by the San Diego police in 1988-90, nine were "assault weapons" under the California definition.

     

  • San Francisco. Only 2.2% of the firearms confiscated in 1988 were military-style semiautomatics.

61 Replies
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Senior Contributor

Re: Maybe one of you could tell me what an assault weapon is?

There are no good answers here. If we look at the basic history of firearms, we see three types; hunting firearms, self-defense firearms and military firearms. Unfortunately, since the days our founding fathers wrote our rights, much has changed in "arms."

 

There is some agreement. Most agree that the average person does not need a machine gun (aka fully automatically firing firearm) and most agree that the society is better off without citizens possessing Howlitzer canons and similar arms such as grenade launchers, grenades, land mines and other arms generally used as militaristic weapons. I don't think this is the discussion, but it could be part of it for some people.

 

So where is the line? What is required or desired for us to protect ourselves from crime and hunt the game we wish to hunt within game laws?

 

This is no easy question. Where should the line between having an arsenal capable of destroying a local police force and meeting our constitutional rights be drawn? Should anything and everything be made available to anyone who has the money to buy it and have our "right to keep and bear arms infringed," or should there be some type of "well regulated militia?"

 

There is no easy answer. There is no clear answer. Who could buy these arms if there were no limitations? Who has lots and lots of money and needs great firepower? Would that be a local farmer or a drug lord?

 

Food for thought.

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Maybe one of you could tell me what an assault weapon is?

My Funk and Wagnalls says that the legal definition of assault is "An unlawful attempt or offer to do bodily injury to another". I assume an assault weapon would be any item used to carry out said attempt.

 

If you want to promote the second Amendment, I suggest this page:

 

http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes/arms.html

 

I also recommend pages like this one:

 

http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/06/rule-one.html

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Senior Contributor

Re: Maybe one of you could tell me what an assault weapon is?

Using your definition ""An unlawful attempt or offer to do bodily injury to another". I assume an assault weapon would be any item used to carry out said attempt."  That could be a lot of items.  

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: Maybe one of you could tell me what an assault weapon is?

Not usre there is a real solid definition but when I think of an assault weapon, the image that comes to mind is the military or military style semiauto or fully auto rifle and would be more powerful that a .22 rimfire with more than 10 round capacity designed to be able to handle rough treatment and rough conditions and light weight.  That is my definition.  That is not the average hunting rifle or shotgun.

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Honored Advisor

Definition of assault weapon

Noun: a term made up out of thin air with the sole purpose of scaring the bejeebers out of decent people that ordinarily are not soft headed.  A Ruger mini-14 with a 20 round mag that can be used for coyote and turkey hunting or giving a half dozen cattle rustlers a dirt nap.  Would, believe it or not be called an "assault weapon" by gun grabing liberals...reeediculous!!!  The most effective and dangerous weapon in close quarters is a pump 12 ga loaded with 00 buck shot, each shell puts 9, .38 cal shots in a deadly pattern, also can be used for fall bird hunting with a lighter load.  I would much rather take my chances facing any "assault weapon" than such a weapon as the 12 ga 00 buck.  Liberals try to apease "Obama doesn`t want your guns!"  Ahh yes, but when you liberals are questioned the ugly truth comes out, "assault weapons" are the camel`s  nose in the tent. After the Fast and Furious fiaso, how can you libs show your mugs?  Have you no shame, dead people stacked up like cord wood after that Obama administration blunder. To do a little "fact check"  on your other thread, Knapper when you were so eloquently quoting a few words from the 2nd Ammendment, you left out these important words:  THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Definition of assault weapon

THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

Where does is say you have the right to use, said arms? That seems interesting to me.

Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Definition of assault weapon

GTO, when I saw your reply, I thought of a real life arguement that I had with a liberal on the 2nd Amendment.  He saw he was getting no where with me so in frustration he said "The right to bear arms just means that you are free to wear short sleeved shirts"   Smiley Very Happy

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

BA Needs to read closer...

Read again BA - "Should anything and everything be made available to anyone who has the money to buy it and have our 'right to keep and bear arms infringed,' or should there be some type of 'well regulated militia?'"

 

I was asking should our rights be infringed or should there be some regulation to the militia. I hardly see how I got it wrong. FYI, just because one puts a word in "quotes," does not necessarily mean one is quoting a source. Quotes can be used to add note to words. Had you asked me what the amendment says I could have "quoted" it precisely, but I assume people actually read what I write - I guess that makes me a fool sometimes.

 

Still, it is a valid question that you did not address. Should you and people in the worst neighborhoods of Chicago be allowed to bear land mines, Howlers or mortar launchers? If you say no, are your rights being infringed?

 

I agree with some of the things you said btw.

Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: BA Needs to read closer...

hey Knapper, in our Grandfather`s time you could go to a hardware store and buy sticks of dynamite, a 12 yr could save up trapping money and order a shiney .38 revoler from Monkey-Wards, before Al Capone machine guns were shall we say easier to own, my Dad brought his shotgun to school to go bird hunting on the trip home.  Now here we are in 2011, those days are gone.  The NRA says that I, should continue to posses a Mini-14 with a 30 rd clip and a .40 cal Glock with a 13rd clip I have never been in any trouble, my county Sheriff gave me a handgun buyer permit after a 3 day check....Why Knapper Why? do liberals want to mess with my world??? The NRA says nothing of rocket launchers, tanks and Howitzers, I just want to keep my God damned guns, okay?  Also who is this "Miltia"?  It is the same miltia that was demonized under the Clinton`s version of Fast and Furious (Waco, Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City)?  Under many definitions a Miltia is any able bodied male living in the US, which I believe should also include the Ladies.  If we get in a paintball war with China, I want Sarah Palin on my side Smiley Happy