What's the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a machine gun?

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Author's Note: What's the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a machine gun?

"Leave the gun, take the cannoli," mob strong man Peter Clemenza tells an associate after shooting a traitorous ex-employee in "The Godfather." When it comes to Americans' health and safety, however, it's debatable whether firearms or pastries are doing the most damage. Gorging ourselves at the buffet of excess, our guts are swelling, arteries are clogging and muscles are atrophying, one jelly donut at a time. Meanwhile, the costs associated with obesity-related heart disease, diabetes and cancer continue to balloon. The American Public Health Association projects that "left unchecked, obesity will add nearly $344 billion to the nation's annual health care costs by 2018 and account for more than 21 percent of health care spending." Smart, reasonable gun control is an admirable cause. So is carb control.

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