I do not think that word means what you think it means.
With all the emotion involved with the recent shooting, I’m trying really hard to, in the words of Pat Peoples, be kind instead of right. On the other hands, in the words xkcd, SOMEONE IS BEING WRONG ON THE INTERNET! But, I just have to say that for those of you wanting to have a “gun control” argument, note one of two things.
1. If you actually want to make all guns illegal, just say so. Doesn’t help your argument to pretend otherwise.
2. If you actually want stricter control of guns, you need to know about the laws already on the books and about guns. A lot of people are using words like “assault” and semi-automatic. Assault is almost meaningless. And semi-automatic? Pretty much all guns–with the exception of muskets and certain shotguns–are semi-automatic these days. Semi-automatic simply means you don’t have to reload anything between shots (and, honestly, in some circles “automatic” is used in the same manner). Semi-automatic does not mean machine gun. Not even close.
People seem to be under the impression Lanza (and these other types of shooters) used a military-grade machine gun and sprayed the room indiscriminately. In a way, that’s easier to believe. But if the last reports are to be believed, Lanza used pistols as his primary weapon. Even if he fired the Bushmaster, it still requires a trigger pull for each shot. Which means–and this makes thinking about the shooting even worse–Lanza did not walk in and sweep a gun back and forth. He walked into a fairly secure school with legally purchased and registered guns, aimed them at children and fired. Over and over again.
Me? I find myself not interested in arguing about guns. My mind’s kind of full=up with the sort of person, the sort of brain capable of committing such an act.