I am one of those probably-not-as-rare-as-I-think individuals that is both a gun enthusiast and a gun control advocate. I spent 30 years in uniform, and trained with a variety of high-powered weaponry from .22 to 105mm. Most of that weaponry should never be in civilian hands. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary to concede that shooting large projectiles downrange, and at volume, is a helluva lotta fun. This conflict between my Id and my Super-ego is constant.
So, I spent a good deal of the morning reading about a variety of "PDWs" (Personal Defense Weapons) and "SBRs" (Short Barreled Rifles). I was both enthused, and depressed. The unceasing and ubiquitous ingenuity and disingenuity of the firearms industry was on full display. To skirt the rational requirements of the National Firearms Act (NFA)*, the guns-and-ammo industry has come up with a plethora of weapons that meet the technical, if not the spirit, of various limitations of the law. In order to obscure these acts of legerdemain, the industry has created a thicket of jargon, but the real-world implications make rational regulatory efforts nigh-on impossible, which was brought home in my morning reading. For example, what is this?:
If you guessed a "submachine gun", you would be both right and wrong. "Technically" - that is, as it is marketed, it is a pistol. While it is sold to law enforcement and military as a submachine gun, the semi-automatic version is sold in the civilian market as a "home defense weapon", and a pistol, whereas this:
is marketed as a "Short Barreled Rifle" or carbine. You can see the obvious differences, of course...
The upper image is the Sig Sauer "MPX" and the latter is the Sig Sauer "MCX". SIG Sauer MPX and MCX
- NRA. They are, as you can imagine, virtually identical with the exception of caliber of ammunition. One is a 9mm and the other a .300 caliber. Now, whatever you do, don't confuse the "pistol stablizing brace" with a "collapsible buttstock".
Still wanna ban "assault rifles"? (I do, BTW, but... whoo boy.)
* Which firearms are regulated under the NFA?
(1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
(2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
(3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
(4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
(5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);
(6) a machinegun;
(7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and
(8) a destructive device.
[26 U.S.C. 5845; 27 CFR 479.11]