In the wake of the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting, CNBC delved into the confusion surrounding the term “assault weapon” — a term devised by anti-gun advocates in the 1980s that is essentially based on “military style” cosmetic features that have no bearing on how the firearm actually operates, and “assault rifle,” which has long been understood to refer to actual military firearms that are capable of “selective fire.”
The liberal conflation in two similar sounding but wildly different terms was just given a rather big boost by the folks at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, who updated their definition of “assault rifle” last week in a manner that would appear to support the liberal anti-gun argument.
From Conservative Tribune:
The new entry for “assault rifle” reads: “Any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also: a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire.”
The first portion of that definition is accurate, in that it notes an “assault rifle” features the capability of switching between semi-automatic and fully automatic fire.
The second portion of that definition, not so much.
To highlight the difference in the new definition versus the old, The Federalist dug up a cached version of the prior definition from June 2016, which simply read, “any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.”
Though unknowledgeable and ignorant anti-gunners and their allies in the liberal media will often proclaim AR-15s and their like to be “weapons of war” that are good only for military use, those rifles actually aren’t designed for military use at all and only cosmetically resemble military weapons without sharing the same select-fire capability.
Furthermore, no decent military in the world would send their troops into battle equipped with a semi-auto-only rifle that is incapable of automatic fire (like the AR-15), a factual distinction which should render most of the anti-AR-15 “weapon of war for military use” argument moot, but which is readily ignored by the anti-gun acolytes in the media.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, AR-15s and similar semi-automatic-only rifles are better termed “modern sporting rifles” in that they are keeping with the long tradition of civilian firearms designed for hunting and sport shooting being modeled after military firearms.