by JOHN CASHON
We have heard a lot lately about the gun control versus gun rights debates, and also about a well regulated militia versus arming the citizenry. Some gun control advocates have argued that tanks, artillery and nuclear weapons are not being debated as arms, but this has not been very effective with changing the minds of the staunch Second Amendment supporters concerning semi-automatic firearms, or as some have called it, the assault weapon.
But what about the machine gun? We have all seen the movies and documentaries about how the Tommy Gun was used during the prohibition days of Al Capone and the Untouchables, but we do not hear an uproar today to own fully automatic firearms as well. Why is this and was there an outcry when they were banned? Were there protests against the government for trying to take away everyone’s guns at that time as we have seen today?
It would seem that the machine gun or fully automatic firearm is just one step above semi-automatic firearms in their capability, so if their was not a major outcry with the banning of fully automatic firearms, one could easily be confused with the outrage shown by the gun rights advocates and their thinking the government is coming to take ‘all’ of their guns, even though only semi-automatic weapons are being discussed.
To add to the confusion, the term ‘Assault Weapon’ has been a cause of many disagreements between the two opposing groups. Unfortunately, the definition for an assault weapon changes depending on which group is defining it.
There are many Second Amendment gun rights advocates that believe the term should be used only to arms that are capable of full automatic fire, such as those used by the military and law enforcement. The terms ‘tactical rifle’ and ‘modern sporting rifle’ are preferred when describing semi-automatic civilian firearms.
Gun control advocates believe semi-automatic firearms, like the civilian AR-15, should also be designated as assault weapons that could be used on the battlefield, because of their ability to rapidly kill as many enemy soldiers as possible. Also, they believe this includes semi-automatic rifles that have detachable magazines and military features including pistol grips, flash suppressors and collapsible or folding stocks. [MORE]
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