The Dangers Posed By Public Use Of Assault Weapons

2607 words - 11 pages

Assault weapon control is becoming an unavoidable topic in the United States. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation more than nine hundred people have died from mass shootings in the past seven years and an assault rifle was used in twelve of the forty-three mass shootings in the past four years. The U.S. Department of Defense has long defined assault rifles as fully automatic rifles used for military purposes. The National Firearm Act of 1934 prohibited fully automatic weapons in the United States. The 1994 Assault Weapon Ban prohibited semi and fully automatic weapons and any weapon with military style characteristics. California Senator, Dianne Feinstein, is leading the charge in the American government to pass a bill that will limit the capacity of ammunition in a magazine and ban assault weapons that are too dangerous for public use. It is time for the American government to act swiftly and acknowledge the dangers assault rifles pose.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an assault rifle as any various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use. A n assault weapon might have characteristics like a pistol grip, a silencer, a bayonet mount, a grenade launcher or a flash suppressor. The Violence Policy Center, a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., provided a study that listed the top ten points about what assault weapons are and why they are so deadly. This document stated, “Semiautomatic assault rifles (like AK-47 and AR-15 Assault rifles) are civilian versions of military assault rifles and there are virtually no significant differences between the two.” Machine guns or military style assault rifles are fully automatic, which means as long as you hold the trigger down it will fire until the magazine is empty. Civilian assault weapons are semiautomatic rifles, not machine guns, which means the trigger must be pulled for each shot fired. Even though the machine gun has a higher firing rate, the semiautomatic weapon would have the same amount of killing power and experts argue that it is more lethal because of its accuracy. While there are many assault rifles the highest manufactured and purchased in the U.S. is the AR-15. The AR-15 is a type of semi-automatic weapon that can hold up to 100 rounds and can shoot up to 50 rounds per minute. The U.S. is the highest manufacturer and consumer of these rifles, but similar types are made throughout the world. This weapon is said to be used for hunting coyote or other vermin. However, this weapon was used in the December 14, 2012 mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and in the July 20, 2012 Century movie theatre mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. These incidences compelled a need for a government response to better control these dangerous weapons.
In a 2012 Washington post article by Brad Plumer he looks at what the 1994 law actually did, where it failed, and whether it could be reworked to...

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