PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Letters

Assault weapons defined

By From page A5 | February 13, 2013

EDITOR:

On Dec. 28, 2012, Wendy Schultz (Opinion Page) wrote, “I am not a fan of guns and I do not believe there is any reason a civilian needs an automatic weapon.” Congress has outlawed automatic weapons, also called machine guns, for civilian use since 1934. Only the military and law enforcement are allowed to have them.

The weapons that you are referring to are called semi-automatic and are not a true “assault rifle.” This is California’s anti-gun definition. True assault rifles are capable of firing select fire or full auto, in a manner comparable to the U.S. Army M4A1 Carbine. Rifles for the civilian market are restricted to semi-automatic operation only, in which the trigger must be pulled to initiate each shot. The civilian rifles were never select fire or full auto (a category of firearms relegated to military use only in terms of its operation). The semi-automatic action of the so-called “assault rifle” is identical to the action of other countless and legal, self-loading handguns, rifle and shotguns.

So, Wendy, since full automatic rifles (machine guns) have already been banned what new law would you suggest we put on the books? Ban all semi-automatic weapons, both which look like military rifles but aren’t, and all legal civilian hunting rifles that have the same action?

I doubt weapons are the problem since all of the recent shooters have proven to be mentally unbalanced and had stolen the weapons they used. You have a right not to like guns, but please, don’t call semi-automatics a machine gun or an assault weapon. There is a difference.

HERM WILMOTH
Shingle Springs

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