Ask the average person what an assault rifle is and you’ll get a lot of interesting answers. Is it a tactical weapon designed for military use? A hunting rifle with special attachments to make it more deadly? Does it have to be a specific caliber or made by a certain manufacturer to qualify? In all honesty, the actual definition of “assault rifle” doesn’t have anything to do with its intended use, caliber, bullet velocity, manufacture, or size…but has everything to do with fear and ignorance.
One of the manipulation tactics often employed by politicians to influence the masses is the control of language. Instead of “Anti-Privacy Act” you get “Patriot Act” because it sounds better…you’re patriotic, aren’t you? The same goes for “Affordable Healthcare Act” and “Terrorist.” The emotional connotation attached to the wording does more to sway public opinion than the actual meaning behind it. They’re banking on you NOT knowing the facts, so you’ll buy whatever they’re selling.
So what are politicians selling when they call a gun an “assault” rifle?
Don’t be sucked in by the misleading terminology and media banter. Get the facts! Part of our mission at Gadsden Guns is to educate the public on the reality of shooting sports and gun ownership, so we’re doing what we can to make it easy for you to find real, straightforward information – so that with your help, we can start encouraging Americans to see through the cheap manipulation by dishonest politicians. When you’re armed with the truth, the lies have no power.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (which expired in 2004) was achieved by bureaucrats that used fear against the American people. Another case of controlling the language to control the debate, the goal was to make guns seem scarier in order to get public support to restrict basic rights. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a tactic that works, and has been employed by every totalitarian regime as an effective way to gain power without resistance.) By calling some firearms “ASSAULT WEAPONS” it gave ignorant and complacent citizens the feeling that some guns were deadlier than others, that some guns especially were horrible killing machines. Which guns?
Semi-automatic rifles (with detachable magazines) that meet two or more of the following criteria:
-High capacity magazines
-Folding or telescoping stocks
-Forward or pistol grips
-Mounts for a bayonet
-Flash suppressors (NOT silencers, mind you) or simply a threaded barrel that could accommodate one
-A grenade launcher mount
And semi-automatic pistols (again, with magazines that eject) which meet two or more of the following criteria:
-Threaded barrels for any purpose
-An overall, unloaded weight of 50 ounces or greater
-The semi-automatic version of ANY handgun available in full-auto
And shotguns (not pump action) that have two out of three:
-Folding or telescoping stocks
In addition to that, some guns that didn’t meet the above criteria were specified by name to be “assault” weapons, most notably the Colt AR-15, which later led to the faulty assumption that AR in AR-15 stands for “assault rifle” when it actually stands for ArmaLite.
Wait, you’re telling me that a telescoping stock and a flash suppressor on my hunting rifle make it particularly suitable for assaulting someone? Let’s get real.
The Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, but the terminology stuck around. It’s also worth noting that many gun manufacturers and reliable sources insist that, in order for a gun to be considered an “assault weapon” for military use, it must have a selector switch so that the user can choose full-auto, semi-auto, or safe mode, and no other criteria matter. Of course, to the general public and politicians, that definition doesn’t suit – it can’t be used to engender fear and restrict people’s rights because fully-automatic weapons are already regulated by the NFA.
Here’s the deal with the above criteria, though: it’s bogus! None of those things have any bearing on how “deadly” a gun can be. High capacity magazines in a semi-automatic firearm? You can still only fire one bullet per trigger pull. Folding stocks? It has nothing to do with the function of the firing mechanism at all, and despite popular belief, doesn’t make it much easier to conceal. Forward grips LOOK scary, but they actually make the gun safer by improving the shooter’s control. Out of everything listed, more than HALF have nothing to do with the function of the firearm at all, and nearly half are actually safety features.
Oh, and a grenade launcher mount? Grenade launchers are legal, but regulated by the NFA…and it’s illegal for a citizen to own a grenade. Come on, a grenade launcher mount?
By the way, we can’t find a single instance of a grenade or grenade launcher being used in a crime in the US…but apparently it’s a problem in Great Britain, where all firearms are illegal. Isn’t that interesting?
Do you want to know what an assault rifle really is? Do you really want to hear the truth about assault weapons? Well, here it is…
They’re a myth.
There’s no real, solid definition of an assault weapon, but the lie has been sold so well to the American public that even experienced shooters have adopted the terminology. Look, guns are dangerous, just like cars, ladders, and public schools. And if there’s ever some political reason to restrict your freedom of movement, you had better believe that there’s going to be an “Aggressive Driver Prevention Act” that singles out red cars and makes SUVs illegal or some other junk like that.
If you’re like us and you stand against this (and all) kinds of discrimination, show your support with our new tee shirt design. It’s sure to raise a few eyebrows and prompt some questions, so take it as an opportunity to educate people on the truth about these so-called assault rifles. It’s people like you that stand against the gradual erosion of our basic rights.
And if you’re feeling so inclined, take a look at our selection of non-assault rifles here. Every time you purchase a new gun, an anti-gun politician loses.