Answer to Ms. Sharon Lindsey: “Assault Weapon” is a term coined by a gun control advocate, Josh Sugarmann, who is the executive director and founder of the Violence Policy Center, to demonize semiautomatic rifles that have the appearance of military guns, hoping the public would confuse them with automatic rifles and call for banning them. His strategy has worked.
The so-called assault weapon is functionally the same as other semiautomatic rifles that look different, but have the same firepower. Why not ban them? They are just as deadly in the wrong hands. According to the FBI, in 2011 (the most recent data available), there were 8,583 homicides committed by firearms. Rifles of all types were used in just 323 homicides. Knives or other cutting instruments were used in 1694 homicides.
Why have an “assault weapon?” They are used for target shooting, home defense, hunting small game, and bought by collectors. 99.999 per cent are not misused.
Grant Montgomery, Belleville