Assault rifles fire bullets with greater velocity and energy, leading to more serious wounds. Activists argue assault rifles have no recreational purpose.
These high-velocity bullets can damage flesh inches away from their path, either because they fragment or because they cause something called cavitation. When you trail your fingers through water, the water ripples and curls. When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissues ripples as well—but much more violently. The bullet from an AR-15 might miss the femoral artery in the leg, but cavitation may burst the artery anyway, causing death by blood loss. A swath of stretched and torn tissue around the wound may die. That’s why, says Rhee, a handgun wound might require only one surgery but an AR-15 bullet wound might require three to ten.
Handguns kill plenty of people too, of course, and they’re responsible for the vast majority of America’s gun deaths. But a single bullet from a handgun is not likely to be as deadly as one from an AR-15.
Assault rifle owners say the guns are actually useful tools despite being misrepresented as only a weapon of war. The gun is actually highly customizable and is the standard for a quality gun. Since it's the standard, it is the go-to gun for many people—including terrorists and criminals. It is not especially bad or especially good, it's simply a gun.
This is all part of the reason why I, a civilian, own a military-grade combat weapon. I don't want to shoot and miss; I don't want the gun to jam because it's dirty or cold; and when I'm hunting game I don't want to hit my target and then have it run off into the woods and die lost and wounded because I didn't "bring enough gun." Like my grandpa with his "military-grade" lever action rifle, I want a modern firearm that's popular (which means parts and training are cheaply and widely available), ergonomic, rugged, accurate, and reliably effective, so that none of the aforementioned bad things happen to me when I'm shooting.
The bottom line is that alongside hand grenades, plastic explosives, rocket launchers, and tanks, high powered assault rifles should not be available to the American public.They are weapons of war. They cause mass destruction. This is not an abstract theory, but a deadly American reality — and a predictable one at that.We have no idea where the next mass shooting will take place, and whose lives will be violently snatched from us next, but this much is clear, it won't be long from now.
Are you ready for a mind-blowing statistic? In 2014, you were six times more likely to be murdered with a knife than you were with a rifle. Knives were the weapon of choice in 1,567 murders in 2014, according to the FBI. It gets crazier. You were also nearly three times more likely to be killed by someone’s fists or feet than you were to be murdered with a rifle. In 2014, 660 people were murdered with what the FBI calls “personal weapons”–hands, fists, feet–compared to 248 with rifles.