For many Americans who’ve chosen to exercise their Second Amendment rights, the arbitrary use of the term “assault rifle” is grating, unnecessary, and a little bit hyperbolic. The weapons often described by liberals as assault rifles are pistol-caliber semi-automatic long guns that just happen to carry a military aesthetic. In fact, most hunting rifles fire more potent rounds at a similar pace.
But this is a way for the left to vilify these weapons, hoping to use the frightening imagery and vocabulary to win the culture war surrounding the right to bear arms.
This week, after a 72 year old Asian man shot and killed several people at a Lunar New Year celebration in California, local authorities are taking an inexcusable linguistic lurch and suggesting that an “assault pistol” was used.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna gave a press conference Sunday in which he announced the Lunar New Year celebration shooting suspect had allegedly used a “semiautomatic assault pistol” to shoot and kill ten people Saturday night.
AFP indicated Luna pointed out the attacker did not use an “assault rifle.” Rather, Luna said the suspect used “a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol … that had an extended large-capacity magazine attached to it.”
The suggestion was rather confusing to some.
CBS security and law enforcement analyst James A. Gagliano tweeted:
Sheriff Luna did not explain what, precisely, a “semiautomatic assault pistol” is, but the BBC reported that Luna thought it might not be legal in California.
Gun rights activists have spent a great deal of time and effort attempting to explain that the use of “assault” descriptor is a disingenuous bit of liberal optics, but to no avail.