A rifle designed for military use
After the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando on June 12, we saw a spike in lookups for the words casualty and terrorism. Lookups for assault rifle spiked once it was confirmed that the gun used was an AR-15.
An assault rifle is defined as "any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use." Its name comes from a literal translation of the German word Sturmgewehr in a process linguists refer to as a loan translation. The Sturmgewehr was the name of a German rifle used at the end of World War II. It combined the fully automatic firing capacity of a submachine gun with the long range of a rifle and became the model for the Russian AK-47 (the most widely used assault rifle in the world today) and the American AR-15, the civilian designation of the M-16. The usual distinction between civilian and military models is that the civilian models are semiautomatic and are not sold with fully automatic firing capacity.
The AR-15 was also the weapon used in the shootings in San Bernardino and Newtown.
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