Just what is an assault weapon?
President Obama is moving to curtail the sale and use of firearms like those used in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
But that may not be possible, because such a potentially-deadly firearm is not that easy to identify.
PRESIDENT "Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons...and a ten round limit for magazines....applause."
The description of an Assault weapon conjures-up images of Rambo and other action heros mowing down the bad guys. There are many weapons that could fit that general description of an assault weapon......including an ordinary looking hunting rifle.
Even the AK-47 for sale here is not a fully-automatic weapon. Some guns just look meaner than others.
WILLIAM EDMOND, CHATTANOOGA "The determination of assault weapons is what's wrong with this country...they are calling everything assault..anything over single-action is called an assault weapon."
CHRISTOPHER BREWER, SHOOTER'S DEPOT "The way a gun looks doesn't affect the performance of the gun."
To be sure, the rifles used in some of the deadliest shootings were capable of filling the air with bullets.
But they were not illegal under current laws.
There are strong laws against owning fully-automatic weapons.
Congress may get bogged down with these physical descriptions of high-performance weapons.
Sometimes..its hard to tell by looking.
CHRISTOPHER BREWER "Its a 30 carbine from 1943..and this is a 22 long-rifle..the difference?..this one fires a big, big bullet that can kill a person...this fires a little bullet." "They look the same from 5 feet away."
The president's proposals would ask congress to make those distinctions without hindering hunters and sportsmen...but also giving some support and consolation to Americans who feel threatened by just the appearance of high powered rifles.