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Letter: Why sell assault rifles?

I frequently shop at Walmart in Gilford. The store has been remodeled and offers many new products. Families, children, young people and older people like me visit the store.

Walmart is the biggest and wealthiest retail chain in the country. The stores carry guns, ammunition, fishing equipment, bikes and so forth. They also carry assault rifles – designed for warfare. An assault weapon is unique as its one feature makes it specifically designed for killing people (or troops in combat situations).

You don’t use an assault weapon for hunting deer, rabbits, birds or target practice: It is manufactured and sold as a weapon of war. It has no other use. Because it will fire an entire clip in three or four seconds, the shooter can kill several people in the blink of an eye.

In various mass killing across the country, we have seen too clearly the lethal ability of this gun in the hands of a deranged and mentally ill person. Walmart doesn’t need to carry this weapon. It shows me that retail profits can outweigh good judgment and sensitivity to the perceptions of the buying public.



Legacy Comments6

Only one purpose? This is a simplistic stance. Weapons (any) can be used to kill, yes (just like knife, cars, plane & hands) or as is most often the case, used to guard & protect. Please place a sign on your lawn indicating, "absolutely no weapons here!" My house will be safer.

Aside from the fact that firearms have mainly one purpose... which is agreed to, I am having an issue drawing any rational basis for this. according to the 1994 assault weapon ban... an assault weapon is as follows: "In general, assault weapons are semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use." without a specific model listed... there simply isn't enough information to form an opinion. I seriously doubt that the firearms sold at walmart are high-capacity weapons. I seriously doubt that they are configured for rapid fire (single trigger pull does not constitute rapid fire. Any firearm can be used in combat... but I highly doubt that anything found in walmart by way of weapons would be used by our military... except as a last resort. What is "this gun" the writer is complaining about?

Sir you are correct, an assault rifle is a weapon of war and could kill several persons in "the blink of an eye" which is why Walmart can't sell them. What they do sell is a semi-automatic rifle which is manufactured to look like the assault rifle you refer to. These rifles are used everyday to hunt deer and rabbits as well as used for target practice just like thousands of other semi automatic rifles. Some persons with disabilities can only use semi-automatic rifles. These are great for personal protection as well, as they are easy for anyone to become proficient with them, which means it is safer for persons to be using them. They are more likely to only shoot the bad guy and not a family member or neighbor.

Wow, I'm going to have to visit that store, all the other WALMART'S I shop at only have the Modern Sporting Rifles. These rifles are semiautomatic and can't even come close to firing that many bullets in 3-4 seconds! You seem to be confused about what you are describing, first you call them "assault rifles" which are highly regulated and not generally available to the general public, then you call them "assault weapons" which is really just a media term. In either case neither of these rifles use clips, they use magazines with a capacity from 10 to 30 bullets in each. Please research and give out accurate information.

"In the 32 years from 1980 - 2012, there have been some 513 people killed in 62 incidents of mass shootings under the Mother Jones definition (perpetrators generally included). This amounts to an average of 16 per year. Over the 12 years for which the CDC has available data, the average death rate due to lightning strikes has been 45 per year."

You're a little behind the times there Leon. Actually, gun manufacturers have been repurposing the AR platform as a hunting weapon. Many brands now market versions of the AR-style rifle specifically to hunters, chambering them in higher-power, big-game friendly calibers and putting hunting-style camo paint jobs on them. I know, because ads for them now take up considerable space in my monthly copy of Field and Stream and other hook and bullet publications I read. And some of my hunting buddies have gotten in on this new fad by resigning their trusty old bolt-action, pump and leverl action firearms to the gun safe in favor of these new designs. They're not for me, it's a matter of personal taste. Plus when I find something that works for me, I tend to stick with it. I just thought that you should be aware that those "assault rifles" you saw in Wal-Mart are most-likely exactly where they're meant to be, given the gun manufacturer's new agenda.

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