Understanding Assault Weapons

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Editor:

I am amazed that the "anti-gun" people are totally bereft of logic and understanding about guns and absolutely refuse to listen to an explanation.

A full automatic firearm is a handgun, rifle or larger military arm, self operating and will continue to load and fire as long as the trigger is depressed and ammunition is in the magazine. These automatic firearms have been illegal since The National Firearms Act of 1934.

A semi-automatic firearm is self reloading, but requires a separate trigger pull for each loading and discharge cycle.

Eighty-five percent of firearms in the United States are in neither category and require a manual effort by the shooter to re-load before the firearm may be re-fired.

With the recent expiration of the ban, the media has been making a big deal about "assault weapons." In an effort to assuage the screams emanating from the far left, assault weapons were defined by the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 as a firearm having a detachable magazine and two or more of the following characteristics: (1) A folding or telescoping stock, (2) A pistol grip, (3) A bayonet mount, (4) A flash suppressor, or (5) A grenade launcher.

In the hands of a responsible shooter, the AK-47 presents no more danger or enhanced kill capability than did the M-1 carried by us infantry types of World War II or my bolt action hunting rifle. Assault is synonymous with attack, invasion and aggression. By this definition every weapon, be it handgun, rifle, blow gun, air rifle or slingshot made in the world is an assault weapon.

For more about this, visit http:// www.wallens.com/gun%20control.htm.

Incidentally, a study early this year by Professor Gary Mauser of Canada's Simon Fraser University compared gun ban efforts in Canada, Australia, England and the United States in terms of violent crime. (Visit http:// www.sfu.ca/~mauser). In England and Australia, with extreme gun ban laws, violent crimes doubled; in Canada, also with severe gun ban laws, the violent crime rate was static while in the United States, where 75 percent of the people live in states with right to carry laws, violent crime has decreased 25 percent. At the same time. in the United States, those few states, such as California and New York, with restrictive gun laws experienced a whopping 24 percent increase in violent crime.

John Wallen, Strawberry

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