Essay on The Dangers Posed by Public Use of Assault Weapons

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Assault weapon control is becoming an unavoidable topic in the United States. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation more than nine hundred people have died from mass shootings in the past seven years and an assault rifle was used in twelve of the forty-three mass shootings in the past four years. The U.S. Department of Defense has long defined assault rifles as fully automatic rifles used for military purposes. The National Firearm Act of 1934 prohibited fully automatic weapons in the United States. The 1994 Assault Weapon Ban prohibited semi and fully automatic weapons and any weapon with military style characteristics. California Senator, Dianne Feinstein, is leading the charge in the American government to pass a bill that…show more content…
While there are many assault rifles the highest manufactured and purchased in the U.S. is the AR-15. The AR-15 is a type of semi-automatic weapon that can hold up to 100 rounds and can shoot up to 50 rounds per minute. The U.S. is the highest manufacturer and consumer of these rifles, but similar types are made throughout the world. This weapon is said to be used for hunting coyote or other vermin. However, this weapon was used in the December 14, 2012 mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and in the July 20, 2012 Century movie theatre mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. These incidences compelled a need for a government response to better control these dangerous weapons. In a 2012 Washington post article by Brad Plumer he looks at what the 1994 law actually did, where it failed, and whether it could be reworked to reduce gun violence. He cited the complexity regarding the definition of an “Assault Weapon.” Since congress did not want to ban all semiautomatic weapons, and there lack of a clear technical definition made the ban more complex and easy to find loop holes. He also states that it was illegal to manufacture assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, there was an exemption to any weapon or magazine that was manufactured before the law was in effect. There was already more than 24 million large capacity magazines available before the ban was in effect so it was easy to obtain a weapon of this
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