I try to stay away from talking a whole lot about politics, although, if I'm being honest, those are some of the best conversations.  However, as I mature, I've come to realize that I lack the power to change anyone's mind, so I mostly keep to myself about such topics.

Having said that, I'm following with interest what is happening with our nation's leaders and the debate on guns. One, because I absolutely believe that folks have the right to bear arms as stated in our Constitution, and two, because the media isn't always honest when it comes to the subject.

As we've discussed before, guns are big business here in Montana. We Montanas lead the nation when it comes to gun ownership, not to mention that the gun business is a part of the economy of our state, so when there is talk about "banning" certain guns, I'm guessing many Montanans, including myself, start to pay attention.

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According to an article from USA Today published two days ago, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to consider a bill that would "ban assault weapons."  Ok, so what does that mean? What do those folks (who by the way are constantly guarded by people with guns) consider an assault weapon?

handgun in tux pocket

Seriously, I hear a lot of talk about "assault weapons," but I never really see a definition of what they are.

Many in the media would tell you that the AR in AR-15 stands for assault rifle or automatic rifle, and that of course would be incorrect. The AR stands for ArmaLite which was the company that developed the gun back in the 1950s. Ok, so now that we've cleared that up, back to the question: what is an assault weapon?

According to the website Brady United:

"An “assault weapon” refers to a semi-automatic gun designed for military use and quick, efficient killing. Assault weapons are uniquely lethal because of their rapid rate of fire and high muzzle velocity — coupled with high-capacity magazines, which attach to an assault weapon to allow dozens of gunshots without needing to reload. A high-capacity magazine is typically defined as any magazine or drum that is capable of holding more than either 10 or 15 rounds of ammunition"

Well, isn't that interesting.

black pistol and cartridges on a black wooden table
Michal Oska

So, let's say that hypothetically, I have a pistol. Let's say my pistol is semi-automatic (meaning every time I pull the trigger, it fires a shot) and holds a clip of 10 rounds. According to this definition, that would be an assault weapon and would need to be banned according to many of our lawmakers. (Once again, the same group of people is guarded daily by folks that have weapons that they would like to take from you and me.)

If an "assault weapons" ban were to pass, it would certainly affect many businesses here in Montana and our neighboring states. Think about that for a minute.  It wouldn't just affect gun shops, but also the manufacturers of accessories, plus different retail stores that sell those accessories.

Do I think such a ban would pass?

I certainly hope not. Not because I'm a gun owner, but because I believe that people have the right to defend themselves from anyone that would cause them unjust harm. Oh, and once again, it is guaranteed in our Constitution.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

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