Full Definition of assault (Websters Dictionary)


a : a violent physical or verbal attack

b : a military attack usually involving direct combat with enemy forces

c : a concerted effort (as to reach a goal or defeat an adversary)


a : a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact — compare battery 1b

b : rape 2
So What Is an ‘Assault Rifle’ Really? We Look at the Definitions and How the Term Is ‘Demonized’

Jan. 11, 2013 10:22am Liz Klima

“Make a promise to yourself that you will stop calling rifles ‘assault weapons.’”

That’s what Glenn Beck said on his morning radio show Thursday as he discussed AR-15s. But why? Is an AR-15 not an assault rifle? Does the “AR” in AR-15 not stand for “assault rifle”?

Gun Experts Decry Use of the Term Assault to Describe Civilian Firearms

A man with an AR-15, which is a semi-automatic rifle allowed for civilian ownership. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

It doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t mean “automatic rifle” either, as many might think. AR actually stands for ArmaLite rifle, which is the company that first developed it in the 1950s.

It seems that there is a lot of confusion as to the difference between military rifles and those designed for civilian ownership, especially because of the language often used to describe the latter. The most popular terms to describe the weapons at the center of the recent gun control debate are “military-style” and “assault.” These words have long been used to to describe civilian firearms like the AR-15, but some consider it an inappropriate association that is deliberately being made to “demonize” the guns.

As Beck radio producer Stu Burguiere put it on the show Thursday, “they are targeting these weapons because they think the public is confused enough that they can get away with it — and they are.”

With what seems to be little understanding or agreement on the definition of what constitutes an assault rifle and the difference between civilian and military arms, TheBlaze went searching.

Military vs. Civilian Rifles — What’s the Difference?

For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on AR-15s since it is what CBS calls “the most popular rifle in America” and one often designated an “assault” rifle. An AR-15 is the civilian equivalent to the military’s M-16. So what’s the difference?

Kelly Alwood, a firearms trainer and consultant, told TheBlaze the only difference is that one is fully automatic and the other is semi-automatic. It’s a small yet simultaneously big distinction. Firearms for use by the military are able to shoot continuously with one pull of the trigger, machine-gun style. Civilian firearms, on the other hand, only allow one shot per trigger pull.

Gun Experts Decry Use of the Term Assault to Describe Civilian Firearms

M-16, a military automatic rifle. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Chris Parrett, a firearms enthusiast, pointed out that modifying a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one is not only highly illegal with extreme penalties but also no easy feat.

What Constitutes an ‘Assault’ Rifle?

Merriam-Webster Dictonary defines “assault rifle” as “any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.” The keywords here are “designed for military use.”

If that definition doesn’t quite cut it for you, here’s how David Kopel (via the Washington Examiner) describes it in an article in the “Journal of Contemporary Law” based on a definition from the Department of Defense (emphasis added):

As the United States Defense Department’s Defense Intelligence Agency book Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide explains, “assault rifles” are “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges.”[21] In other words, assault rifles are battlefield rifles which can fire automatically.[22]

Weapons capable of fully automatic fire, including assault rifles, have been regulated heavily in the United States since the National Firearms Act of 1934.[23] Taking possession of such weapons requires paying a $200 federal transfer tax and submitting to an FBI background check, including ten-print fingerprints.[24]

Many civilians have purchased semiautomatic-only rifles that look like military assault rifles. These civilian rifles are, unlike actual assault rifles, incapable of automatic fire.

Based on these two definitions, since AR-15 is designed for civilian use, it therefore doesn’t fit with the definition of an “assault” weapon. This then begs the question why the association is being made in the first place.

“It was the Left who needed a term to call them,” Beck said on radio Thursday. “They are trying to make you think …’an AR-15, nobody needs that.’ An AR-15 is just a rifle, unless it has a fully automatic switch on it and then it becomes a machine gun — and you can’t buy that.”

That said, Hillary you are wrong. There is no such thing as going to the gun shop and buying an assault rifle. 

If you are not restricted from buying a gun and you pass the background check you are allowed to legally possess a weapon.

This entry was posted in Hillary Clinton, my thoughts, Orlando, Florida, Terrorist, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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