A Jan. 12 letter writer asked the definition of "assault rifle." I suspect, however, that he didn't intend an open debate but rather asked rhetorically, with a preconceived answer in mind.
I suspect so for two reasons. First, he wrote, "what is the liberal definition," thus prelabeling opposing views with a loaded word. Second, he said "enquiring minds want to know." That phrase is often a clue that a person neither wants to know nor is openly enquiring but rather has his mind made up. It has an in-your-face sort of ring.
Nevertheless, I shall offer my opinion as to the answers. I do not claim to know the liberal definition, if indeed such a thing exists. I only offer my own view.
Question 1: Would a semiauto M-14 or M-16 rifle be considered an assault rifle? Answer: Yes. They were made for military purposes - i.e., killing people - and issued to combat troops. Such weapons are easily distinguished from sport-hunting rifles.
Question 2: Would a 20-round or 30-round magazine be considered a high-capacity clip? Answer: Yes. The only reason for firing more than a couple of shots at a time is to kill people. The more shots you can fire in a short span, the more people you can kill. For hunting, you need to make your first shot count so you can eat the meat instead of splattering it all over the woods.