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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Gun policy, fiscal bluff, and other Congressional follies (197 comments)

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  •  semiautomatic weapons as I understand it are (7+ / 0-)

    self loaders that fire a bullet one at a time until the magazine runs out. That's what's up for discussion.

    Automatic weapons (like the 30's tommy gun) are already regulated.

    Kestral can correct me.

    Mark Sumner wrote a great primer.

    The difference between a fully automatic weapon and one that's semi-automatic is simple: A fully automatic weapon begins firing when the trigger is pulled and keeps firing until you let off the trigger (or run out of bullets), a semi-automatic weapon fires once for each pull of the trigger.

    How quickly you can fire a semi-automatic weapon depends partly on the design of the gun, partly on the speed of your reactions. Most of the time, the answer is Very Damn Fast. As in multiple shots in a second. That's unlikely in a real-world situation, but with a semi-automatic the next shot is there when you're ready. How fast you can move your finger is generally the biggest limiting factor.

    Fully automatic weapons (which most people tend to think of as "machine guns", though the Army reserves that term for larger weapons) are not legal for private citizens in most cases. You may see fully automatic weapons available to test at a gun range, or in use at special events. But you will rarely see one at all. None of the mass shootings in the United States within recent decades has involved a fully automatic weapon. They are regulated, and that regulation appears to be working.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:27:59 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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