With all the nut cases that have been making headlines, there has been a lot of screaming about gun control and how to take things like this out of the hands of law abiding citizens.
Without going into details about the gray areas of differentiating automatic, semi-automatic, machine gun, submachine gun and intermediates that actually ARE "assault weapons" and "assault rifles", I want to get to the basic problem.
So, I took a look at the things that have so many in a tizzy and am trying to figure out why there is such an irrational outlook on something, simply based upon the cosmetic appearances of the ubiquitous Ruger model 10/22 rifle.
This is probably the most popular starter rifle in the country for kids learning the responsibilities of gun ownership. It is a .22 caliber and uses the highly popular (and cheap) .22LR rounds. It is great for target practice, plinking and pest control as well as some small game hunting where a higher powered rifle would turn the game into an inside-out pelt.
It's not just for kids. Adults like this little rifle for a lot of reasons. It's an inexpensive rifle to begin with. It is very accurate and has a reasonably long range, making it a very good practice rifle and target shooter. it can be upgraded and outfitted into a very wide range of configurations from stocks, scopes and many other modifications. But none of these modifications alter the actual functionality of the rifle. Some make it easier to aim accurately, some are for stability and then some to make it fit the operator more comfortably. Some are little safety upgrades and ergonomic alterations.
But... Add a pistol grip, it becomes an "assault weapon".
In the top and bottom shots, is the same (or very similar) stock upgrade. The top view also has a magazine attached. OK, so it looks cool. That's really all there is! Looks!
My personal favorite is also a .22 pistol. It's a basic Browning Buck Mark "Camper" model and the only real difference between the two is the barrel length and the lack of a shoulder stock. I can get longer barrels and even a kit to add a stock to the basic frame, plus all sorts of other goodies that only change the outward appearance and maybe enhance the human interface.
Browning also makes a longer rifle version.
OK, a rifle with a pistol grip. Where is the difference here? There is even a "tactical" version that looks just as cool as the Ruger modifications. This one is NOT considered an "assault weapon" and it leads me to the question: Do the people making policy really know what they are doing? Obviously, the answer to that question is a resounding NO.
Policy is made by catering to a vocal minority, who scream about things they really do not understand. Lawmakers are just as ignorant but because they are in a position of power, they take their own personal opinions, largely based on bad information, and make them the law.
The Ruger 10/22 and the Browning Buck Mark are semi-automatic .22 caliber firearms. No difference! The only real functional difference is where the magazine is located. The Ruger uses a magazine in front of the trigger area, while the Browning has it in the grip.