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The framers of the Bill of Rights (nor the English Bill of Rights, from whence it came) did not imagine linotype, telephones, cinema, radio, TV, or the internet. Yet discourse using of all of these technologies is protected by the First Amendment. Pretending that, since semi-auto rifles and metallic cartridges didn't exist when the Bill of Rights was drafted, these tools of 'the right to bear arms' are not protected by the Second Amendment is laughable. And 'assault rifle' is a pop media term, for a semi-auto rifle with a pistol grip. With or without the plastic pistol grip (a purely cosmetic affectation), semi-auto, .223 rifles are in use by hundreds of thousands of hunters, ranchers, and farmers, in North America. The AR-15 platform is functionally equal to any other semi-auto rifle, and has about as much in common with 'military' rifles as an H3 Hummer does with an Army Humvee.
Bear in mind, as well, that the Obama Administration also has little use for the First Amendment. When the embassy in Benghazi was attacked, Obama and co. quickly blamed the events on the film Innocence of Muslims. With Dianne Feinstein running damage control for the administration, on the Benghazi incident, leveraging an 'assault rifle' ban as a distraction seems to be what is happening.
December 19, 2012 at 7:44 p.m.