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Jacob Sullum: 'Assault Weapons' Explained

Scary Name Distorts Gun Control Debate

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The term "assault weapons" was coined by gun control advocate and California Assemblyman Art Agnos in 1985, advocating for a ban of the firearms he said were made only "to shoot people" and should be regulated as machine guns. Reason's Jacob Sullum began covering the issue when he started at the publication, and frankly thought it would be resolved by now. The same allegations are made and disproved over and over again. He takes a deep dive into the history of the scary name for an arbitrary group of firearms that distort the gun control debate. It's not about public safety. It's about advancing the prohibition of all firearms. Jacob says activists have deliberately used the public's confusion about fully-auto versus semi-auto firearms to further their cause. Originally aired on Cam & Co 05/29/18.