The NRA wants you to believe that a Bushmaster is not an assault rifle because a). It only shoots a .223 caliber bullet, and b). You have to pull the trigger each time to fire.
First of all, the Bushmaster is an AR-15. The M16 (officially Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16) is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for semi-automatic, three-round burst and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The .223 Remington is a cartridge with almost the same external dimensions as the 5.56×45mm NATO military cartridge. The name is commonly pronounced either two-two-three or two-twenty-three. It is loaded with a 0.224-inch (5.7 mm) diameter jacketed bullet, with weights ranging from 40 to 90 grains (2.6 to 5.8 g), though the most common loading by far is 55 grains (3.6 g). When loaded with a bullet that expands, tumbles, or fragments in tissue, this cartridge is capable of delivering devastating terminal performance.
The M-16 rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military’s standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. Since the Vietnam War, the M16 rifle family has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces. The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16-style weapons since the design’s inception has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. In 2010, the M16 began to be phased out in the U.S. Army and is being replaced by the M4 carbine, which is itself a shortened derivative of the M16A2.
So we need to keep in mind that for all intents and purposes, the Bushmaster, or AR-15, sold by the millions by Walmart, and the number one selling civilian rifle in the world, is an M-16, the most used military weapon in the world for the last 40 years. The difference is that the AR-15 has been modified so that it does not operate in semi-automatic or automatic mode. Nevertheless, with a clip of 60, for example, it takes less than one minute to fire 60 shots. And these are shots that are accurate over long distances, and when hit in the head, the bullet, rather than passing through the brain and exiting, will rattle around inside the skull, turning the brain to mush.
So when you assured by LaPierre and the NRA and your rifle toting friends that the friendly sounding Bushmaster is nothing like an assault rifle, they are in fact lying or they have been misinformed. The number one used rifle in war and peace in the world today is the AR-15/M-16, and it is the same rifle that has been used repeatedly to perform mass murders in this country.
Gun control may not solve all our problems. But making it next to impossible to get your hands on weapons of mass destruction, making it a crime to lose control of your weapon, and taxing the hell out of purchasing and possessing one is just pure common sense!
I should add here – there are those, of course, who will immediately say, “I have a right…blablabla…!!!” All I can say to that is that those of you who insist that you have a right are starting to really irritate the rest of us, because we have a right to live, to liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have run out of patience with those who insist that their right to play with weapons of mass destruction outweighs our children’s right to live, to grow up, and fulfill the promise of their young lives. We have a right not to wake up in the morning and hear that another school full of children, of teachers, another theater full of people just living their lives, etc., have sacrificed their lives for your right not to control the weapons you do have, to keep them locked up in a safe place, or to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. You expect society to forebear with these minor “inconveniences” and to come up with ways to protect ourselves from you irresponsibility. Any human being with an ounce of decency would be horrified that your right to a hobby has cost others their lives!