Identify which of these rifles is an assault weapon, according to anti-gunners:
Has to be the second one, right, because it has a pistol grip stock and a “banana clip?”
In fact, both pictures are of the very the same rifle, taken about 10 minutes apart. It’s a Ruger 10/22 Carbine that I bought about 10 years ago. For the second picture I added a Butler Creek folding stock that I got from Amazon (eligible for Amazon Prime, yay!), and a 25 round magazine in place of the 10 round mag the 10/22 normally comes with. It shoots the common-as-dirt .22 Long Rifle cartridge.
Ruger has been making the 10/22 since 1964. Over five million have been made since then, making it one of the most popular sporting rifles in history. It’s well suited to informal target shooting and small game hunting. The majority of them were sold to American shooters, and since they basically don’t wear out, the vast majority of those remain in circulation. (Or “on the streets,” if you are a gun banner.)
The bullets fired by the rifle as configured in the second picture are no more deadly than those in pic #1. The only functional differences between the rifle as shown in both pics is that with the folder it can be stored in a smaller space, and you can fire 2.5 times as many cartridges without reloading. Reloading takes only a couple of seconds even with the 10 round mags, so while gun banners like to make hay over “high capacity” magazines, against defenseless targets like schoolkids confined in a “gun free” zone, the difference is virtually nonexistent.
Likewise, millions of 25+ round magazines have been sold by Butler Creek, Eagle, MWG and other third party manufacturers since at least the 1980s. Ruger got on the 25 round mag bandwagon a few years ago, and that’s what is shown in pic #2.
The only tool I needed to change the sporting carbine in the first pic to the deadly assault rifle in the second picture was a screwdriver.
The point of this post is that “assault weapons” as defined by gun banners are not functionally different from “sporting” rifles as manufactured and sold in the millions for about a century. Artificial definitions of banned or permissible arms created by people with little to no firearms knowledge don’t make us safer. Tackling the root causes of crime, whether they be mental illness or outright evil is harder but is key in actually making us safer. So is allowing potential victims the right to fight back.