What disqualified a weapon (when the short-lived assault weapons ban was in effect) was looking like a military weapon. The offensive features included plastic stocks, extended ammunition clips, collapsible butt-stocks, and other decorative devices that made them look like, but not operate as, a fully functional assault rifle. (my emphases)
My thanks to John Goodman for explaining this. Gun manufacturers like to sell guns just like Dodge likes to sell pickup trucks. They find that the more “masculine” they make them look, the more people buy them. That’s why the term “Dodge Ram” with a husky voice-over on their TV ads is so deliberate. They’re selling the dream, not the reality.
And so is the media. If enough people can be deceived into thinking that anyone can go into a store and buy a fully automatic, 600-rounds-per-minute true military assault rifle without raising an eyebrow, then that becomes “their” reality. And the demand for further restrictions is the natural, if misguided and misinformed, result.
To make it even clearer, Goodman quotes Steve Chapman:
Assault [rifles] are functionally indistinguishable from ordinary semiautomatic hunting rifles. They don’t fire more rapidly, they don’t deliver more lethal rounds, and they don’t spray bullets. They only look like military arms.
The misleading is deliberate in my opinion. The media wants us to think machine guns can be bought down at the local hardware store without difficulty. But that not only isn’t true, it hasn’t been true in this country for 80 years.
But some 250,000 machine guns are owned by Americans: those who have gone to the trouble, and the expense, of obtaining a special government permit. Question: how many of those machine guns have actually been involved in a crime over the past 80 years? NONE! Not one! But to hear the media tell it…well, you get the idea.
There’s more to this excellent article. I hope you read it. This will confirm that the MSM is not on our side.