Fair question. Assault weapons are politically demonized because they look menacing. In reality, they are no more or less dangerous than any other semi-automatic weapon. According to Diane Feinstein, who authored the original assault weapons ban, there have been 385 murders since 2004 involving an assault weapon. That's slightly more than 48 people per year since the weapon's ban expired. FBI statistics indicate there were 8583 gun homocides in 2011 alone. Assuming 50 of those 8583 gun homocides were the result of assault weapons, they would be responsible for 0.6% of the total homocides. On the other hand, 6,220 gun homocides were committed with a handgun, and represent more than 72% of all gun homocides. Handguns are clearly a much greater issue. So why is congress spending tons of our tax dollars villifying "assault weapons" when we (and they - congress that is) already know taking them off the streets completely will have no appreciable affect on reducing gun related homocides?<br />
The answer is simple...they look scary.
I wouldn't doubt it.