I write in response to the letter, "Why do civilians need any military weapons?" (March 17).
I currently use rifles and shotguns for hunting that are functionally identical to a "semi-automatic" AK-47, although cosmetically, they are quite different.
These types of firearms have been available for purchase since the middle of the 20th century. Although many types of rifles and shotgun actions are available (lever, pump, slide, break, bolt) and all have their advocates, due to my stature, the type of hunting I do and for the locations I go, I prefer "semi-automatic" (auto-loading is the correct term) firearms. These may provide me with a quick follow-up shot without taking my eyes off the gun sight and intended game animal or birds.
All hunters I know place a high value on taking game with the first shot and diligently practice to achieve this. In reality, this may not always occur due to interfering foliage, varying geography and atmospheric conditions. Repeated shots may also be of absolute necessity when hunting very large or belligerent game such as bear or feral hog.
I am aware that others use auto-loading rifles and shotguns for sporting purposes (agility and accuracy) not related to hunting.