Ban Assault Hammers !

I had a number of comments over the last several days, both on the blog and by email, concerning my Thought for the Day this past Wednesday.

When I was a kid living on a river in south Alabama, one of my favorite pastimes was to take a long stick and poke a water moccasin nest and watch them come boiling out at me.

So here goes.

First off, there is no such thing as an “Assault Weapon”.

I repeat, there is no such thing as an “Assault Weapon”.

It is a made up term, made up by politicians to try and ban a very popular type of weapon.

Below is a photo illustrating the difference between a legal and an “illegal” weapon under the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

Without reading the list below, other than the larger magazine, can you tell which is which?

Difference between Weapons

According to the 1994 Ban, an “Assault Weapon” is a ‘SEMI’-automatic firearm with the ability to accept a detachable magazine, and two or more of the following features:

1. a folding or telescoping stock

(Yep, this makes it much more dangerous)

2. a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon


3. a bayonet mount

(Seriously, is this really a problem? Bayonet deaths?)

4. a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor

(So having threads on the end of your barrel makes it a killing machine?)

5. a grenade launcher

(Darn. I was looking for a way to use up that case of grenades I have tucked away.)

So the above definition is what the politicians have decided constitutes an “Assault Weapon”.

Note the definition says it’s a SEMI-automatic weapon. This is not a machine gun, not a FULLY-automatic weapon.

Again, an “Assault Weapon” is not a fully-automatic ‘machine gun.

A semi-automatic, whether a piston or a rifle, means one pull of the trigger fires one round, just like a revolver.

A fully-automatic means one pull of the trigger keeps firing until the magazine is empty, or you release the trigger.

Since 1986 the only fully-automatic weapons allowed to be owned by civilians are those manufactured or imported before May 19, 1986, the enactment date of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.

Part of the confusion (some people say it’s deliberate) comes from the fact that there is a real definition for an “Assault Rifle”.

Here’s an online definition of an “Assault Rifle.

An assault rifle is a selective fire (selectable among either fully automatic, burst-capable, or, sometimes, semi-automatic modes of operation) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. It should be distinguished from the US legal term assault weapons.[1]

Note the last sentence. Also note that an assault rifle is capable of FULLY-automatic fire.

Here’s Jan at The Gun Store in Las Vegas firing a fully-automatic .45 cal. Thompson Submachine Gun, obviously pre-1986.

According to the ATF, since 1938 there have been TWO deaths in the U.S from legally-owned ‘machine guns’.

Jan And Her Thompson 2

Most hunting rifles sold in the U.S. are semi-automatics.

Most handguns sold in the U.S. are semi-automatics.

Although the term “semi-automatic handgun” is usually applied to pistols, I guess in reality a revolver is a “semi-auto” too, from the ‘one trigger pull for one round fired’ point of view. You just run out of rounds quicker.

Wrapping up, this picture, based on FBI crime stats.

AR-15 v Hammer

Just a note. The 323 murders listed are from ALL rifles, not just ‘scary-looking’ ones.

Finally, under the heading of “Why dig a shallow hole, when you can dig a really deep one”, tune in tomorrow for “Bullets and ‘High-Capacity’ Magazines.

(now ducking for cover!)

Just call me Bad Greg.


Thought for the Day:

"A heavily controlled citizenry, being necessary to the subservience of an ignoble serfdom, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be allowed."



13 Responses

  1. Hey Greg, its Diane, Jason’s mom, and I want to agree with you on most of these points. We are owners of 4 firearms, the latest being a little Mossberg 410 for the house as I would rather have the safety of using it to make sure I can hit a target instead of firing a clip of rounds inside my house trying to protect myself. Not meaning we are bad shots, but I just want wanted that peace of mind. My biggest hope is we will not need to use any of them ever, but of course with the way things are you never know. Danny loves his Judge and keeps it loaded with 410/45 in the same cylinder, sorta a get you one way or the other. I in turn love my little 38 revolver because I feel more comfortable with it. We bought a Glock semi for when we take our CHL and wanted the capability for the dual license. Its the people who kill, not the guns that kill. Been taught that all my life and I am a firm believer in that phrase. No matter what the Government thinks they can do to stop these senseless killings by banning the guns, there will always be a way for the determined killer to take action. No matter how awful the killings are, start listening to the killers profile and you get a better understanding of why. Banning guns, assault weapons or whatever will not stop the killers desire to follow through. We love your blogs. Keep them up, would not know what to do each morning if the RV Adventures was not in our inbox.

  2. Very good explanation Greg!

  3. Greg .. Please run for President

  4. Good answer to the definition, Greg. However, the issue of guns getting into the hands of people who don’t need them is the central issue — in my opinion. I don’t think the following people knew the correct description of an assault weapon. They just wanted to buy the type that could kill a lot of people quickly. They are: Adam Lanza, Newton, MA; James Holmes, Aurora, CO and Jared Loughner, Tuscon, AZ. Those three killed scores and wounded more. I guess the “price of freedom” really is high. Is it worth it?????

  5. George, ban every kind of gun you want and it won’t make a bit of difference, because we have millions of guns in America already that are not going away. It would be logistically and tactically impossible to remove them. And you can pass any law you want that says I cannot legally buy a gun, but if I’m dead set on doing somebody harm I will get my hands on one. Those are the facts, my friend. We can’t control drugs, we can’t control illegal aliens, and we can’t keep guns out of the hands of nut cases. Sad but true. All we can do is take guns away from honest citizens. We need to treat the problem, not the tool. We need to keep violent people locked up and execute those who are given the death sentence. We need to treat the mentally ill, and if they cannot or will not accept treatment, we need to keep them out of society. That, and only that, will solve the problem. In 2011 nearly 10,000 Americans were killed by drunk drivers, but we have laws everywhere prohibiting driving while drunk. It doesn’t stop them. So should we ban cars and booze?

  6. Thanks, Diane.

    Good to hear from you.


  7. Thanks, Janna

  8. Jim,

    Thanks, but I’ve been told I don’t suffer fools gladly, and there are entirely too many in D.C.

  9. George,

    So what are you asking for here?

    A complete ban of guns?

    A complete ban of semi-automatic weapons?


    In 2007 at Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 17 with only two handguns, one of them a .22 caliber.

    And where does it stop?

    In England, after they pretty much banned all guns, knife killings skyrocketed. So there are now calls to ban knives.

    Chefs would have to be licensed and registered to have a knife longer than 6 inches.

    It is already against the law there to have a pocket knife or anything sharp, longer than 3 inches. Plumbers and electricians have been arrested for having a standard 6″ screwdriver in their tool box.

    Google Mass Knife Killings in China, which also has strict gun control.

    According to the FBI stats for 2009,

    348 were killed with rifles (Assault Weapons) 1825 were killed with knives 801 were killed with hands and feet 611 were killed with clubs and hammers

    Since more than twice as many people were beaten to death than killed by rifles, what do you ban next?

    10 times more people die drown every year than are killed with “Assault Weapons”, or rifles of any type. So ban swimming?

    Where does it stop?

  10. I couldn’t say it any better.

  11. Ever look at the statistics on how many die at the hands of drunk drivers in this nation?? YEP….LOTS more…but if there is a movement afoot to do away with cars and of course since alcohol is the culprit behind the bad driving, you would have to dispense with that too…how come, with such overriding numbers that is not being given much if any attention?? We live in a nation gone absolutely bonkers, by and large!! At least among those who are in charge…and how are they so much better than the rest of us anyway?? They have armed guards for themselves…what about us??

  12. Greg ,

    Thank you and your readers for the common sense and logical thinking about firearms , crime , and even DUI !

    But , none of us are running for public office to keep from working for a living . We choose not to grandstand the 24 hour news cycle , but instead seek out the peace and tranquility of family and friends .

    Be Safe !

  13. Exactly, Elizabeth.

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