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Columns

January 15, 2013

Know the facts about guns

Let’s get right to the meat of the matter. What are “assault weapons?” They are semi-automatic rifles, meaning one round is fired per trigger pull, and they use a detachable magazine. Usually, an “assault rifle” features a black synthetic stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount and a flash suppressor. Among the most popular are the ARs. Again, they are semi-automatic only, and should not be confused with the fully automatic military version.

While these weapons may look menacing, they are not. Most ARs are chambered in 5.56 NATO (223 Remington), which is used in the hunting world as a varmint round, and is considered by most to be inadequate for deer-sized game. The most popular load is a 55 grain .22-caliber bullet.

ARs are less deadly than most common hunting rifles, which use much larger and heavier bullets. They are not high-powered weaponry like a 30-06 or 300 Win Mag. Interestingly, “assault rifle” is a moniker bestowed upon these guns by the media, but they are simply semi-automatic rifles, no more dangerous or deadly than their walnut stocked, deeply blued brethren.

You will never see this reported by the mainstream media, but according to the FBI in 2011, there were 12,644 total murders in the United States. Of the 12,644 murders, only 323 were by rifle. That’s right, just 323 people were murdered by a rifle in 2011, and they were not all “assault rifles.” The FBI doesn’t keep statistics on which types of rifles were used, but I’m sure lever action, bolt action, and 22 rimfire rifles accounted for many of them.

Therefore, how many people were actually murdered by a so-called “assault rifles?” Apparently, the answer is very few. Hence, if you really want to do something about violence and murder and if you really care about our children, your time and efforts can be better spent.

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