Here's a promising sign from new indy Maine Senator Angus King; he's got some gun savvy that doesn't quite buy into the push from gun control mavens-
“The assault weapon ban is a tough one because it’s hard to define what an assault weapon is,” King said on CBS’s “CBS This Morning.” “And if we’re just defining it by what it looks like, that doesn’t do much for me. I’m much more interested in the functionality and whether that’s really a different weapon than my buddies’ semi-automatic hunting rifles.”
Semi-auto is one trigger pull, one shot. Fully automatic is one pull, multiple shots, machine-gun style. Fully automatic guns are generally illegal, while semi-automatics are legal.
Defining an "assault weapon" is essentially stuff that makes it look nasty rather than having it be significantly more lethal. For instance, Lady Gaga's assault-style double-barreled slingshot looks more menacing that Madonna late 20th century DBS's.
When we had the first round of assault weapons bans in the mid-90s, the working definition seemed to be something DiFi didn't like. During that era, I recall the bounty-hunter show Renegade, with a beefcakey Lorenzo Lamas shirtless with an assault rifle with bandolier clip in the opening credits; my stock snark at the time is "Senator Feinstein is not going to be happy."
She's still not happy. However, the difference between what is and isn't in that semi-auto but nasty-looking catagory and the stuff just outside of a ban is rather sketchy. Maine has its share of hunters, especially when you get outside of the southern areas of the state that have become exurbs of Boston, so King knows his base. King's left-leaning on balance, but there are a lot of blue-collar liberals who like to hunt, and might see their Bambi-blaster be on the wrong side of Gabby's grabby hands.