What The Media Gets Wrong About Guns
Three main things, writes Matt Pressberg in Online Journalism Review:
1. Semi-automatic rifles are not battlefield weapons or machine guns.
2. Assault weapon bans target guns based on appearance, and not on any higher destructive potential or disproportionate influence on gun violence.
3. States with higher rates of gun ownership do tend to have higher rates of gun violence, but it's important not to confuse this correlation with causation.
Details at the link. For example, from #2, on assault weapons bans targeting guns based on appearance rather than on their destructive potential:
Because, as pointed out above, semi-automatic military-style rifles are functionally the same as semi-automatic hunting-style rifles, assault weapons legislation restricts guns based on their outfits and not on their outputs. To wit, the following language in the California Penal Code was part of its currently active Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989:(a)Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(1)A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A)A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B)A thumbhole stock.
(C)A folding or telescoping stock.
(D)A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E)A flash suppressor.
(F)A forward pistol grip.
The only one of these features that actually impacts the destructive capability of the weapon is the grenade launcher, but explosive grenades have been banned since the same law restricting machine guns went into effect almost 80 years ago. Everything else is essentially cosmetic.