To the Editor:

Discussion about rifles should be based on the following truths.

They are used in target shooting, hunting and war. From rifles, we have the familiar saying, "lock, stock, and barrel." These essential components are made from many different materials and take many different forms but, their functions are the same. All rifles have locks or firing systems, stocks for holding pieces together and positioning them on one's shoulder and with respect to one's eyes, and barrels for guiding bullets no matter whether a piece has sporting and/or police and/or military applications.

Yes, usages overlap.

Many gun control advocates want to ban "assault rifles." This is a political term. Sometimes it is shortened to AR.

AR does not mean assault rifle or automatic rifle. It is short for ArmaLite, an early manufacturer of modern day military rifles. Anti-gun folks are quick to say that such rifles have no civilian application. Not so!

In semi-automatic — better called self-loading — form, they are used extensively for hunting and target shooting. Witness that one-fourth of rifles sold are of the AR type. And please appreciate that people anticipating military service deserve opportunity to practice with rifles similar to ones they will encounter in service.

Also appreciate that our most revered snipers used rifles long before their teens.

Ronald W. Stadt

Carbondale

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