There still seems to be confusion over the differences between all of the different types of modern rifles that are used by both the military and by civilians. I’m hoping to straighten that out some and educate those who are still confused.
- Lesson One
Pictured here are two rifles. One is used by livestock owners to control varmint populations on their property and one is a lethal semi automatic rifle. See if you can tell which one is which.
Got it figured out? The answer is “Yes.”
They are both Ruger Mini-14 .223 caliber rifles. Both are semi-automatic rifles. The only difference between these two rifles is cosmetic. One has a collapsible stock allowing for an adjustable Length of Pull, a Pistol grip for comfort, and a removable magazine. Both are used by ranch owners and farmers to help keep the feral hog population low in Texas.
Conclusion: Banning “assault weapons” is meaningless as it only bans cosmetic features and does not affect the action of the user of the weapon.
- Lesson Two
Pictured here are two rifles. One was used in an actual military assault, and one was only used for hunting. See if you can tell which one is which.
Got it figured out? The first one is an M-1 Garand that was used in the assault on Normandy during World War II. The second one is a Howa Axiom hunting/target rifle. The first one is semi-automatic. The second one is a bolt action rifle. (Incidentally, this is also my hunting rifle.) The first rifle has more right to be called an “assault rifle” than the second one, as it was actually used in a military assault.
Conclusion: Banning “assault weapon characteristics” is meaningless as it only bans cosmetic features and does not affect the action of the user of the weapon.
- Lesson Three
Pictured here are two rifles. One is a United States Military issue rifle that is not available to the general public, and one is a civilian firearm that currently is available for legal purchase by anyone who meets the legal requirements for owning a firearm. See if you can tell which one is which.
Need help? Okay. One is capable of firing multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled and one can only fire one round each time the trigger is pulled.
More help? Sure. One fires the 5.56 mm x 45 NATO round, and one fires the .223 Remington caliber round. (They are not interchangeable.)
Still not sure? It is nothing to be ashamed of if you don’t know. (I even had a difficult time keeping track of which one was which.) The first one is an M4A1 rifle. It is capable of firing multiple shots with each trigger pull. Typically it is a three round burst, although in some instances it is what is considered full automatic and as long as the trigger is held down it will continue to fire until there are no more rounds in the magazine. Civilians are not allowed to own this rifle. The second one is an AR-15 rifle. It is not capable of firing multiple rounds with a single trigger pull. It cannot be converted to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull as the trigger mechanism between these two rifles is completely different. Although the AR-15 very closely resembles the M4A1, they are not the same rifle.
Conclusion: Banning “fully automatic assault weapons” is meaningless as it has already been done by the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.
- Lesson Four
Pictured here are two rifles. Both of them .22 caliber. Both of them are semi automatic. One holds ten rounds of ammunition. One holds seventeen rounds of ammunition. See if you can tell which one is which.
Got it figured out? The first one is a Marlin Model 60 that has a seventeen round tubular magazine. The second one is a Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 that has a ten round magazine. So although the second rifle might look more intimidating, the first one actually holds more ammunition and is therefore a more “dangerous” rifle.
Conclusion: limiting magazine capacity is meaningless as it is easily negated.
So you can see, what a rifle looks like has nothing to do with it’s actual function, or how lethal it is when used against a live target. Instead of banning a weapon, or an aspect of a weapon because it looks scary, why don’t we focus on the individuals who commit violent acts using any means. Let’s focus on the deed of the criminals, not the “breed” of the weapons they use. Banning “assault weapons” is merely a measure that is meant to appear that the politicians are doing “something.” Unfortunately the politicians are ignoring what the actual problem is. Banning a certain type of weapon will not remove it from the hands of criminals. Imposing limits on certain aspects of a weapon does not preclude the use of them by criminals. The only individuals who will follow these new rules, limits, and impositions are law abiding citizens. Criminals, by definition, do not care what the law states. Instead of disarming and limiting the ability of the law abiding citizen, we should allow the citizen to impose upon the criminals if the need arises. The first weapon you should arm yourself with, is knowledge.
Of all of the rifles pictured, only two are actual weapons that have ever been used by the military, and one of those was during World War II.
Only one rifle shown is capable of full automatic fire.
One rifle is a bolt action.
All other rifles are semi automatic.
I also attempted to keep the calibers of each rifle in each comparison as similar as possible.