This question comes up every time there's a tragedy like the one that happened today at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. The shooter in this most recent of attacks used an AR15. The AR in this case stands for ArmaLite, the name of the company that makes the weapon. Gun rights advocates insists it is not an assault rifle. To be an actual assault rifle it has to be used on full automatic which it is not. Full auto weapons are indeed illegal. Therefore that is not the issue. Gun control advocates say BULL. So it's not used on full auto. For pete's sake look at it. Compare it to the military M14. There's practically no distinction. Furthermore if the AR15 is not an assault rifle, then it must be a hunting rifle but any hunter will tell you they would never use one on any kind of game. It's purpose is to hurt or kill people whether or not it is automatic or semiautomatic.
So the issue is hotly debated. One thing I know. When these types of weapons were banned under the Brady Bill, there were few if any mass shootings. When a republican congress voted down the Brady Bill thus allowing the sale of AR15 type weapons, mass shootings increased dramatically.
What are your thoughts on this?