The AR-15 is the civilian equivalent of the M-16 battle rifle, but is similar only cosmetically and in the 5.56mm/.223 cartridge it fires. The distinction of a true assault weapon is the ability to be switched from semi-auto (one shot per trigger pull- which is the only capability of the AR-15), to burst-fire (2-4 rounds per trigger pull) and full-auto (continual fire until the trigger is released or ammo is expended). It seems the controversy is high capacity magazines (they are not called clips unless the bullets are actually attached to a metal clip, which loads into the top of a weapon. A magazine loads from the bottom and the bullets are in a spring-loaded box- just to make the distinction) and the 5.56/.223 cartridge. The AR-15 cannot fire in any mode other than semi-auto, unless you happen to be a machinist who knows how to alter it, in which case the weapon is illegal for civilian possession. It is another rifle, similar to the M-16 only in cosmetics, that uses the high velocity .223/5.56 round, a cartridge commonly used by hunters of small game. For Piers to spend five minutes badgering the guests on whether they think people should be able to have a tank was ridiculous. A tank is NOT considered a firearm by most standards, but even if it were, an M1A1 Abrams tank will run you about $4.35 million dollars and they don't exactly stock them at any gun shop or sporting goods store I have ever been to. Maybe because at 60-70 tons and 1.5 mpg they're not exactly practical for either home defense or commuting. So why spend five minutes asking the same idiotic question? I think if you buy a tank, someone in the government will definitely know about it sooner or later, so I guess it's okay with them. not as if you can hide it from your neighbors under a tarp in your garage or in the back yard. Under true definition, the AR-15 is not an assault rifle, it is a semi-auto rifle which fires the .223/5.56 round, like many other rifles do. To answer Piers question about why it was included in the AW ban of '94, is because our law makers rarely spend any time researching subjects themselves (i.e. calling magazines "clips") and also include provisions such as you cannot have a rocket launcher mounted on a rifle. There is a reason you never see a person standing behind someone when they are firing an RPG or SMAW (illegal in all states, anyway). At least you won't ever see a person standing behind someone firing one, who is still alive afterward. Known as back-blast, it's a phenomenon you don't want to have happen next to your face. At least lawmakers should know enough about the things they legislate, to not include the ludicrous and the impractical. That's a self-correcting problem in the spirit of Darwinism, isn't it? Any idiot who puts a rocket launcher on the barrel of his rifle will only ever fire it once. Go ahead and restrict magazine capacity to 10 and require "bullet buttons", as California already does. Background checks are totally reasonable. You don't need a 100 round drum magazine in my opinion- but a mentally ill person could also kill and maim the same number of innocents in a crowded space in an equal amount of time with a pair of sharpened $15 machetes he can buy at Walmart. As a gun owner, I thought most of what was put forward other than banning the AR-15, was reasonable and something does need to be done about violence. But if they want people to register weapons on a yearly basis, they need to account for the money, and it needs to go towards upgrading security at all schools. My suggestion is that schools should be on lock down when children are present. All interior and exterior doors should be electronic badged/PIN code access only. A person should not be able to enter any exterior door without a badge and PIN, and once inside should not be able to pass any interior or individual classroom doors without the same. Cameras, alarms and glass-break detectors on all windows. Yearly license fees will generate substantial revenue which can fund the retrofit and installation of these measures. Also, at least two armed undercover security or police officers, highly trained for active shooter/hostage environs, with access to AR-15 or M-16, shotgun, flash bangs, tear gas, etc. in a hidden, secure location so the kids never know it's there, but which security can access. After school is in session, any visitors have to pass thru a security checkpoint and be escorted to their destination. I know this sucks and it sounds like prison, but it's the reality of the world we now live in. It shouldn't be easier to get into a school full of kids with a weapon than it is to enter a courthouse or airport checkpoint with one. We just need to be logical and not emotional as we move forward. It's hard not to be emotional when you see the faces of the lost and the grieving, but legislating guns will not solve the mental health issues, it's good to see some movement in that direction with the proposed legislation, most of it is common sense stuff, but guns are not the issue- sick people with guns is. Take away those guns from the mentally unstable and criminal- the few who try to buy guns legitimately that is, they will still find other ways to hurt people if that is what they choose to do. Much of this is probably what Piers' guest would have said, had he shut his flappy lips for more than a breath and let her say it, instead of interrupting to ask if she wanted a tank. Guess if I was a flappy-lipped, entertainment show host, a $4.35 million tank might be a financial possibility. And no, Piers, I don't want one, but thanks for the offer. Ignorant twit.
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