10 Hallmarks of Assault Weapons — and What They Do

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Gun Purchases for Self-Defense Skyrocket

Gun Purchases for Self-Defense Skyrocket

Despite more than 100,000 deaths and injuries to firearm violence in the U.S. each year, gun sales are still on the rise. HowStuffWorks examines why.

Author's Note: 10 Hallmarks of Assault Weapons – and What They Do

When you read blow-by-blow summaries of the shootings at schools -- Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School -- it's easy to feel outrage and horror. But when writing this article, I also tried to think of people in my family who own guns -- my brother-in-law, who uses his handguns for target shooting and in competitions, and my nephew, an avid hunter who feeds his family with game he hunts legally. They are both responsible adults and responsible gun owners. It's this tension that makes gun control such a thorny issue.

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