How To Explain Assault Rifles To People Ignorant About Firearms

We all have those people in our lives that have absolutely ZERO understanding of firearms, how they function, and the differences between them. As a result, they of course label everything that is not a single shot bolt action assault rifles. These people are usually the ones screaming the loudest for gun bans because they don’t know that what is being fed to them in talking points in the media is patently false. If you know someone like this, share this article with them.

Use this to explain to those who do not understand firearms or what is meant when one states “automatic” firearm. This is truly the best explanation I have seen to date and is very helpful when educating people.

This was sent to us by Aaron Bailey.

AO Knife Photo

Assault Rifles and Cameras

If you’re not a “gun person,” the analogy I’ve found most useful is cameras.

For older cameras, you used to hit the button (*CLICK!*) which would take a picture. Then you had to do something – twist a wheel, crank a lever, etc – before you could take another picture. The gun version of that is called a “repeater”. It has a magazine that holds multiple rounds, but you have to manually cycle the action between shots. This includes bolt action rifles, pump shotguns, most revolvers, etc.

Most cameras today do everything once you hit the button. They take a picture, advance the film, and then you’re ready for another picture as fast as you can hit the button. (we’re sticking with film cameras for this analogy). This is a “semi-automatic.” I actually like the British term better – “self-loading.” When you fire, the gun uses the energy of that shot to eject the empty casing and “self-load” the next round so you’re ready to fire again as fast as you can pull the trigger. This includes pretty much every handgun other than a revolver, and most rifles (including AR15s and your grandpa’s Mini 14, M1A, or M1 Garand).

Finally, some cameras will let you use “burst mode” where you hold down the button and it takes pictures as fast as it can for as long as you hold down the button (or until it runs out of film). That’s an “automatic” weapon, or a “machine gun.” That’s what most people *think* AR15s are, what you see in the movies, what the military uses, and what costs $XX,000, takes months to years of background checks, etc, etc, etc. There are nearly no crimes committed with automatic weapons in the US.

 

The problem with banning Assault Rifles…

The problem is these three are the most substantive distinguishing categories between different types of firearms.

People wonder “why don’t we just ban semi-autos,” but you’re talking about the vast majority of firearms in the US. “Assault weapon” bans are essentially attempts to define away certain semi-auto rifles based on cosmetic features – it’d be like trying to ban “race cars,” by then realizing that race cars are pretty much just cars (you’re not going to ban “gasoline engines” or “diesel engines”), and therefore defining “race car” as “a car with a spoiler, a loud exhaust, sponsor decals, and/or a large number on the hood.”

Sure, that definition covers the race cars you’re trying to ban, but it’s a meaningless definition – NASCAR could easily take the decals and spoilers off and suddenly their cars aren’t “race cars” (“zomg THE NRA IS FINDING LOOPHOLES IN THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN!!!”), and your kid’s Scion TC is suddenly a “race car” because it has a spoiler on it.

Share this article with those people on your friends list who keep calling for Assault Rifles to be banned but have no idea what they actually are.

 

Know what we're sayin fam?

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3 thoughts on “How To Explain Assault Rifles To People Ignorant About Firearms”

  1. Avatar
    Lawrence Toppman

    A serious question, asked without prejudice by someone who has not owned a gun: The writer of this article (which was helpful) says, “This includes pretty much every handgun other than a revolver, and most rifles (including AR15s and your grandpa’s Mini 14, M1A, or M1 Garand).” Are those guns that would be used for hunting? Target practice? I had assumed single-shot weapons were used for those purposes, but maybe not. So I was wondering what you would use “semi-=automatic” guns for in ordinary life.

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    1. Avatar

      Semi-automatic guns are useful for all types of shooting activities. In hunting specifically, being able to fire a second shot quickly is crucial in instances where the first round doesn’t immediately kill the animal. The quicker you can fire off a second round the less the animal has to suffer. Or if you hunting something more dangerous like wild boar, the first shot in my experience doesn’t usually stop them dead. And boars will try to maul you instead of running away so again that second shot helps end the animals pain and helps keep the hunter safe.

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