1. “Assault weapons” have several characteristics: the two main ones are low power & selective fire. Functionally, these interact. Selective fire means either semi- or full-automatic fire are options. Low power so the arm is controllable in full-auto mode.

2. Accurate, full-auto firing is a non-sequitur. Single shots are for specific targets; full-auto is in fact an area weapon. And becoming effective with full-auto is: (a) very expensive in ammunition consumed and barrels ‘shot out,’ (b) it’s by physics, inaccurate – which is why we call it ‘spray and pray,’ (c) and of little avail for the casual or sport shooter … because of a & b.

3. Given any level of proficiency, a manually operated rifle (e.g., a bolt gun) and a semi-auto have about the same capability for aimed fire. Want a demo? Here are links to some Norwegian competitions. The first link is just to a bolt gun shooter (using the 1890’s vintage Krag-Jorgenson action). The second & third are not only a face-to-face competitions between bolt guns and semi-autos, but the bolt guns win! #3 also features lady shooters! They are deadly accurate!! Watch Jenny Stene and her bolt gun. (Note: she pulls the trigger with her ring finger.)

(at 5:25 is a Krag shooter)
(at 7:40 is a semi-auto competing against bolt guns; note the bolt guns shoot faster, Miss Stene wins the round AND beats the gas gun.)

4. I won’t belabor the point … beyond this: I was a competitive highpower rifle shooter for 10 years. I used an M14. (It was the “assault weapon” predecessor of the M16. It wasn’t practical for full-auto because it fired the .308/7.62 cartridge … too powerful for controlled full-auto fire.) I often shot against bolt guns. With a skilled shooter, the bolt guns won because they (a) fired just as fast, and (b) were more accurate.

5. The gross ignorance of the media and their hyperbole of presentation AND the general ignorance of the man-on-the-street and consequent vulnerability to the media distortions are what has propelled the AR-15 to such depths of public disdain. Indomitable ignorance is far more dangerous than ARs!