Dear Editor: Answer to Joel McNally's question: "What's the difference between Tommy Guns and assault weapons?"

In case, somehow, in all of your research for this article this fact escaped you:

Semi-automatic = one trigger pull, one bullet. The shooter must pull the trigger for each and every firing of the weapon.

Automatic = one trigger pull, all the bullets. The shooter pulls the trigger and keeps it depressed: firing all, or as many bullets as they want.

A Tommy Gun, depending on specific variant, holds up to 100 rounds and can empty itself in 1.6 seconds (M1919 at 1,500 rpm) to 10 seconds (M1928 at 600 rpm).

The effective firing rate of a semi-automatic is somewhere in the realm of 15 rounds per minute for an amateur to 40 rounds per minute for someone very well-trained.

Even at the narrowest margin, surely you see the difference between 100 bullets in 10 seconds versus 40 in a minute?

That's your difference.

Oukachiru Higashikaze

Alameda County, California

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