Opinion » Letters

Let’s define assault weapons


I’m on record for supporting the 1994 assault guns ban. I was prompted by my discovery that pro-gun leaders want to abolish regulations on all guns. Now I understand that failure to define an assault gun was why the ban expired. Earlier I’d advocated removing some guns from the ban, like our Garand rifle and 1911 Colt pistol. Lois Capps and Dianne Feinstein agreed, but no definition of an assault gun was forthcoming. So of course the ban expired. With that law undone, pro-gun leaders are free to turn attention to Class III guns.

Assault rifles are selective auto/semiauto machine carbines of intermediate power and range between pistols and long rifles. Guns firing long rifle and pistol rounds are not assault guns. Semiautomatic-only arms are not assault guns; a mistake both sides make, by the way. We mustn’t let pro-gun leaders characterize us as crazy people who want to ban all semiautomatic guns. Our lack of diligence and sophistication did us in.

Removing some guns from the 1994 ban would’ve helped. Assault guns are machine guns, which is fine to many pro-gun leaders. They “never met a gun they didn’t like.� We must be careful not to convey that we “hate all guns.� And we must act with moderation and common sense.

Steve T. Kobara

San Luis Obispo


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