Assaulting Weapons

Why semi-automatic rifles are not assault rifles. About 11 minutes.

Some shooting involved.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 12.04.08 at 04:59 PM


My husband and I almost always laugh at news reporters when they talk about guns -- they're all assault rifles. Except the one especially stupid reporter that used the term "assault pistol" one day. My husband was laughing so hard, I got worried he'd choke.

Donna B.   ·  December 5, 2008 1:06 AM


The Officer does a good job ofn the technology aspect of the problem, but he doesn't address the semantic aspect of the issue.

The "assault" in "assault weapon" refers to an infantry assault, which is an attack on a defended or fortified military position. The automatic firing capability provides suppressive firepower to allow the soldiers to advance by pinning down their opposition. Having each infantryman armed with an assault weapon was a major additional capability compared to the previously common semi-automatic individual infantry weapon.

The semantic trickery results from the more common use of the word "assault" which is a descriptor for the criminal act of threatening another individual. This subliminal understanding, in my opinion, adds an additional quantum of malice to the weapons and the issue. Regrettably, it is rarely addressed.

Thus, when the "banners" and the media insist on calling semi-automatic rifles "assault weapons", whether through ignorance or intant, they gain from not only the deceptive technology confusion, but also the criminal/legal undercurrent.

In following on to the "Donna B" comment above, my favorite the how the media doesn't understand the difference between machine guns and assault weapons (sub-machine guns.)

11B40   ·  December 5, 2008 6:58 PM

11B40, you see a similar effect regarding the term "sniper." Any rifle capable of precision long range fire, or just one with a scope and bipod, is a "sniper rifle."

Again, the confusion arises by conflating a military scout sniper and his role with some clown climbing a clock tower, or even the two idiotic goons in DC who "sniped" from a mind boggling range of about fifty yards.

Regardless, the banners have already tipped their hand by agitating for controls on "sniper" rifles.

Steve Skubinna   ·  December 6, 2008 9:51 PM

That's a good point, 11B40. The term is much clearer in the original German. There'd be no confusion if the real thing were consistently referred to as a Sturmgewehr.

I regularly suggest the same approach to those who feel the nation needs a strong Leader.

comatus   ·  December 7, 2008 8:57 PM

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