Is there any way to fight against the spread of the term "assault weapon"?


Golden Hound
January 19, 2013, 06:53 PM
The use of the term "assault weapon" seems to have multiplied by orders of magnitude in the past month. It seems like the media has taken this term and run with it like never before, possibly even more than they did when the first AWB was passed and when it expired. This fictitious term, created entirely by the antis and the media, seems to have now gained mainstream acceptance even though all it really means is "guns that look scary".

In the past, I used to try to correct people whenever they used the term. But then I feel like it was rarely used except in the context of the ban. Now it is being used constantly and everywhere.

Is it even worth it for us to try to clarify this term in public debates and discussions, or is it a losing battle?

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January 19, 2013, 07:23 PM
If we can't even educate our own people on the difference between a magazine [goes in an AK, AR, etc. and a clip [goes in an SKS, Mauser pistol, etc.] then no, I doubt it.

Romeo 33 Delta
January 19, 2013, 07:28 PM
Take a page out of the Left's own handbook ... just keep repeating what one is and what one is not. Do it over and over and over and over and over ... until you're sick of repeating it ... then do it until everyone's sick of it ... then do it some more.

January 19, 2013, 07:55 PM
Take a page out of the Left's own handbook ...

Bravo! Every firearm I own is a "home defense gun."

January 19, 2013, 08:00 PM
Hey, it could be worse. At least they're not calling them "mass killing psycho rifles" yet.:scrutiny:

Texan Scott
January 19, 2013, 08:02 PM
Is there any way to fight against the spread of the term "assault weapon"?

Yup.... OWN ONE. When enough of us do, it won't be such an issue anymore.

January 19, 2013, 08:05 PM
I usually ask them what an assault weapon is. Nobody has ever been able to give me a proper definition. Since I retired I don't get as many opportunities to educate the public and it was impossible for them to dismiss me as just another gun nut when I was wearing my police uniform. No anti-gunnner I ever confronted has ever been able to give a correct answer to any gun control question!

January 19, 2013, 08:07 PM
Every time I hear someone say that, I ask them to define it. Different answers every time, even from the same people. Just keep asking for the definition and they'll stop.

January 19, 2013, 08:12 PM
An "assault weapon" is capable of fully automatic fire. these have always [well, since 1934 anyway] been tightly controlled and highly regulated, and are generally not seen in civilian hands. What the media is actually talking about are ''SCARY guns''.

January 19, 2013, 08:28 PM
My recent conversation with a rabid anti;
I told him AW were registered in 1934 and banned in 1986. What are you moving onto now? Cosmetic features again? How many people are killed by bayonets and barrel shrouds? Also why the hype about AP ammo that was banned years ago and have never been used to commit murders except on TV dramas?
Then told him that the largest mass school shooting was virginia tech, were he used 10 round pistols, but the largest mass school killing used a homemade bomb (1935?), not a gun.
How many guns were used on 9/11 to kill 3000 Americans? Did you ban box cutters?

Do you care more about CT shooting because it was an AR15 or because they were suburban white kids?
How about the 500 inner city youths killed in chicago last year? Mostly black, poor and urban, so you don't care? Mexico has a total ban on peasants with guns, yet they find 50 bodies a day in most medium sized cities. Don't care about mexican peasants either huh?

Why do people who get caught with illegal guns get probation instead of jail in the same cities with high murder rates? Chicago, philly, detroit, DC all give probation for repeat offenders caught commiting gun crimes. Even those on probation for gun crimes, get probation for repeat offenses. Then you're surprised they have high murder rates?

I haven't heard you complain about those issues. But I guess AR15's scare you, and your arguments are based on emotion, not facts.
In the end it won't matter because your arguments are emotional and the fact is the government simply does not have authority to ban arms, which are protected by the 2nd Amendment. You will, and should, fail to ban the AR15. Get over it.

No comeback.

January 19, 2013, 08:40 PM
An "assault rifle" is partly defined by being selective fire and capable of fully automatic fire or bursts.

An "assault weapon" is a vaguely defined term that came into being with the 1994 AWB and is basically a catch all for anything the framers of that legislation thought were guns intended primarily for crime. (And skipping any discussion of that silliness in and of itself.)

Unfortunately, the ship sailed a long, long time ago on "assault weapon" entering the lexicon in modern American English. We may not like it, but fighting against it is about as productive as trying to correct people who say "e-mail" that the proper term is "electronic mail."

The best route I see is not trying to fight it head on -- semantic precision usually comes across as prissy and turns audiences off. Undermine it with ridicule. There are millions of firearms out there that fall under the "assault weapons" rubric as usually defined. Given that most firearms crimes are committed with some other type of weapon, it's hard to conclude anything except that "assault weapons" are either the most poorly named products on the market, or that they are among the least successful products ever marketed. I mean, counting legally defined "fear assault," the M4 I carried downrange as a soldier assaulted the hell out of a whole lot folks, but sadly my couple ARs and other "assault weapons" back here in the US -- not one single assault, not even a fear assault. I guess some guns are lazier than others.

January 19, 2013, 08:45 PM
The problem is leftist media.
They love the term 'assault weapon' because it sells news stories.
Rational gun owners know that it is a ridiculous and misleading term, and the rest of the general public are probably smart enough to see it for what it is if it was explained to them honestly, but where is our outlet?
How would we get this information across with the media against us?
Social media is probably the best bet, but as the poster above stated, we have to continuously repeat it ad nauseum until enough people get it.

January 19, 2013, 08:56 PM
I would refer to the firearm in question as it is...a rifle. Its a damn rifle. And as the gentleman who posted earlier stated...use the term ad nauseum.

January 19, 2013, 08:56 PM
I would own an assault rifle if I could afford it. Since that's not going to happen, I'll have to settle for a magazine fed semi automatic sporting rifle.
Correct the flawed terminology every chance you get and don't be subtle about it. Tell the speaker it's like calling a house cat a tiger simply because they both have claws, teeth, and a tail.

January 19, 2013, 08:59 PM
The anti gun advocates seem to be forgetting the fact that there are countless lives saved because of firearms in general , from private citizens defending their homes against invaders, military personel who defend our freedoms every day & the police who respond to situations every second of every day . Just think how these tree huggers would feel if the police responded to their home invasion call carrying nothing but plastic toy baseball bats instead of a short barreled ar 15 or mp5.. Bloody hipocrites..lets try banning scum not tools of the trade...

January 19, 2013, 09:11 PM
Seems to me it's already against the law to go around killing folks.....

Njal Thorgeirsson
January 19, 2013, 09:34 PM
I think part of it has to do with the unfortunate fact that "AR15" has an "AR" in it- many people just assume "AR" stands for "assault rifle", thus calling similar weapons "assault weapons" doesn't seem incorrect.

Old judge creek
January 19, 2013, 09:39 PM
I am a civilian. I do not own any weapons. Weapons are what the military and police have.

I own firearms, rifles, handguns and shotguns.

January 19, 2013, 10:52 PM
Gentlemen, can we please stop and think about the 'sporting use' argument?
This is the corner that the antis are hoping to drive us into.

They say that semiauto rifles are ok as long as they are not 'assault weapons', ie they don't have certain cosmetic military features.
'sporting' rifles are ok, even though they are functionally identical.

Once they have us admit that we only need rifles for sport, we lose them.
How can you justify owning a sporting rifle when one is used in a massacre?

Once they have us backed into the 'sporting use only' corner, a full ban is the next step.

Don't believe me?
Look at what happened in my homeland- the UK.

Hunting is great, but is an incidental use of a firearm.

I own firearms because they are the most logical means of protecting my family from people who would do them harm.
If I can also hunt with them, that's great, but it's not my justification for owning them.

January 19, 2013, 11:05 PM
This fictitious term, created entirely by the antis and the media, seems to have now gained mainstream acceptance even though all it really means is "guns that look scary".

And yet, many forum members use the same term while chastizing another for saying clip instead of mag.

Seriously.... which term has a negative connotation in the media with the general population?

We are sometime our own worst enemy.

January 19, 2013, 11:10 PM
One line of thought is to simply embrace the term "assault weapon" and argue that we have a natural right to life and thus the right to own weapons to defend our life, as recognized by the second amendment.

January 19, 2013, 11:17 PM
The assault rifle term was used in 1968 gun control act They were trying then to get rid of them . Was only a few but were all ready in their sights. By saying they serve no sporting purpose.

Here some of LBJ remarks upon signing the 1968 act. Nothing has changed

Congress adopted most of our recommendations. But this bill--as big as this bill is--still falls short, because we just could not get the Congress to carry out the requests we made of them. I asked for the national registration of all guns and the licensing of those who carry those guns. For the fact of life is that there are over 160 million guns in this country--more firearms than families. If guns are to be kept out of the hands of the criminal, out of the hands of the insane, and out of the hands of the irresponsible, then we just must have licensing. If the criminal with a gun is to be tracked down quickly, then we must have registration in this country.

The voices that blocked these safeguards were not the voices of an aroused nation. They were the voices of a powerful lobby, a gun lobby, that has prevailed for the moment in an election year.

But the key to effective crime control remains, in my judgment, effective gun control. And those of us who are really concerned about crime just must--somehow, someday--make our voices felt. We must continue to work for the day when Americans can get the full protection that every American citizen is entitled to and deserves-the kind of protection that most civilized nations have long ago adopted. We have been through a great deal of anguish these last few months and these last few years-too much anguish to forget so quickly.

So now we must complete the task which this long needed legislation begins. We have come a long way. We have made much progress--but not nearly

January 19, 2013, 11:39 PM
One line of thought is to simply embrace the term "assault weapon" and argue that we have a natural right to life and thus the right to own weapons to defend our life, as recognized by the second amendment.
Someone who 'gets it'!

Unsavory as it may be, firearms are our best defense against those who would harm us, our loved ones, or an innocent third party who cannot defend themselves.

Firearms prevent murder, rape, and bodily harm.
It has nothing to do with their suitability for hunting.

I hope to hell I never have to fire a gun in anger, but as a parent I have a duty to own one.
If I can kill a deer with a gun, that's handy but incidental.

The antis can argue against the private ownership of firearms for sporting purposes, but they cannot argue against self defense.

January 19, 2013, 11:57 PM
No there isn't. When folks say assault weapon they mean a semi auto AR or AK rifle. We know this isn't correct but when we start to argue the differences I think it doesn't cast us in the best light. This is just my opinion and I know many will disagree.

1911 guy
January 20, 2013, 12:02 AM
I just ask them to define "assault weapon". When they start babbling incomrehensively, I start educating. "Assault" is a verb, not an adjective. Go from there.

January 20, 2013, 12:09 AM
I DO disagree...the ''blurring'' between full auto and semi-auto implicit in the anti's use of the term ''Assault Rifle'' is on PURPOSE!:cuss:

January 20, 2013, 12:51 AM
Although I hate the term because it is sneaky and dishonest, I do gain a glimmer of satisfaction from it.

See, the antis know full well that the general public wouldn't take them seriously if they really understood what they're trying to ban.

They'd come across as irrational.

They'd come across as irrational because they are irrational.

Any idiot with an internet connection could easily prove to themself that the measures that they pose are ridiculous and will not prevent crime.

But they are right, right?

So, how can they prove that they are right when all of the evidence suggests otherwise?

They resort to dirty underhand tricks. They lie. They invent scary-sounding terms like 'assault weapon' which makes Joe public afraid.
They show footage of automatic weapons to confuse and decieve the public into agreeing with them.

That's what is so abhorrent to us.
Surely if they had a good argument, it would stand on its own?
Why resort to lies to prove their point?

Because their argument is invalid, but they won't admit it to themselves.

So why do they do it at all?

Beats me...

January 20, 2013, 12:55 AM
Rifle or utility rifle. I stop people every time I hear the term "assault weapon".

General Geoff
January 20, 2013, 12:57 AM
I use sarcasm in the form of calling them evil black rifles.

January 20, 2013, 01:02 AM
This is old, but still funny...

January 20, 2013, 01:11 AM
Nice, but they forgot the shoulder thing that goes up.

I always thought it would be fun to invent a pro-gun term like 'anti-rape pistol', or 'family protection shotgun'

I don't think that it would catch on with the leftist media however.

Also, neither term is deceptive, unlike 'assault weapon'....

January 20, 2013, 06:45 AM
Assault weapons have been subject to registration and tax since 1934, and no new ones have been available to the public since 1986.

January 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
This site ( was created to help combat the "assault weapon" propaganda. It has gone viral, so hopefully it is having an impact.

I know some people dislike the argument that assault weapons aren't machine guns, because they believe the Second Amendment safeguards a right to both. However, repealing the Hughes Amendment isn't the battle we are fighting right now.

January 20, 2013, 02:35 PM
There is always the chewbacca defense. =D

Texan Scott
January 20, 2013, 02:42 PM
I think the antis have the corner on chewbacca. "If my argument doesn't make sense, you MUST ban! Why? It doesn't make sense! What did I just say?"

January 20, 2013, 02:45 PM
They are simply semi-automatic rifles to me, and I refer to them as such in my conversations now.

January 20, 2013, 03:12 PM
I say assault weapons are outlawed already.
Modern Sport Rifles look like their military brothers just like
NASCAR stock race cares look like the ones you and I can buy. So my Toyota Camery can run the Daytona 500??? :neener:
It's cosmetic only.


January 20, 2013, 03:26 PM

Here is a good video that the public might benefit from. My only fear is their concern once they find out the potential of a 10 round magazine.

January 20, 2013, 03:27 PM
The problem is if you address it by any of the alternative terms (modern sporting rifle, etc.) other than the specific model when talking to the general public they will instantly label you as a fringe nut, much like people that insisted on calling french fries, freedom fries. This leaves us with the option to embrace and educate, or come up with our on term that does not sound as stupid as "modern sporting rifle", maybe something like modular expandible carbine, this term though only reall works on AR, leaving the AK partly out there.

January 20, 2013, 03:45 PM
I call it a ''semi-auto'' short for semi-automatic Rifle which can be anything from a 10/22 on up to the various AR Platforms, and I'm careful to explain to anyone who asks ''can you have that''? [usually about my little .22 ''M4'' Colt/ Umarex] the difference between a semi-auto look alike, and a full on select fire military weapon. Then I'll let them shoot it. Make a lot of converts that way.

January 20, 2013, 04:20 PM
Hey, with the legislation they're talking about nearly every semi-automatic rifle will be affected. That's the way these laws end up working.

If the various proposed legislations don't make distinctions among semi-automatic rifles, I'm not going to either.

They are semi-automatic rifles.

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