Gun control advocates frequently raise the specter of “assault weapons” in discussions about Second Amendment rights. However, what many Americans may not realize is that “assault weapon” is not a legitimate term but a deliberate misnomer crafted to advance the cause of gun control.
Origins of the Term: The term “assault weapon” was borrowed from the military’s “assault rifle” to intentionally mislead the public. The military term refers to fully automatic firearms, while gun control advocates use it broadly to mischaracterize semi-automatic firearms owned by law-abiding citizens.
Historical Manipulation: In 1984, gun control advocates first introduced the term in an advertisement. The plan was clear – deliberately confuse the public to garner support for restrictive gun laws. This strategy culminated in the 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban, which expired in 2004 without demonstrating any significant impact on reducing crimes involving firearms.
Definition Challenges: Gun control advocates struggle to agree on a clear definition of “assault weapon.” Even political figures like David Chipman, nominated to run the ATF, stumble when asked to define the term. This lack of consensus extends to various firearms, including rifles and handguns, as advocates attempt to classify any firearm under their agenda.
Ineffectiveness of Bans: Historical evidence demonstrates that “assault weapons” bans do not effectively reduce crime. Multiple studies, including a congressionally-mandated analysis, found no substantial impact on violent crime during the 1994-2004 federal ban. Recent research in 2018 also revealed no evidence that such bans affect mass shootings.
Commonsense Perspectives: Despite the rhetoric, rifles, including semi-automatic ones, contribute minimally to violent crime. Semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s serve essential roles in home defense and marksmanship competitions. The ownership of approximately 11 million AR-15s by law-abiding citizens has not led to an increase in violent crime.
Moving Forward: Gun control advocates continue to perpetuate the narrative of the dangerous “assault weapon,” with President Biden pledging to reinstate a federal ban. To counter misinformation and protect Second Amendment rights:
- Educate Yourself: Research firearms independently and form your own opinions.
- Get Active: Engage with local leaders, contribute to organizations like NRA-ILA, and join the NRA to support the fight for gun rights.
Conclusion: The term “assault weapon” remains a deliberately misleading tool in the arsenal of gun control advocates. As responsible citizens, it is crucial to separate fact from fiction, question inconsistent definitions, and stand against efforts that threaten our Second Amendment rights.