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Can we present a united front re: the "Modern Sporting Rifle"?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by beatledog7, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I did a search on "modern sporting rifle" after perusing the thread on the heavily boycotted and now all but canceled Eastern Outdoors Show:


    There are many news stories about this, but here is one from The Washington Post, dated 24 January:


    A brief quote from the article:

    One could argue that those comments are rather Fuddish, but that’s neither here nor there.

    So, back to my point: Are we presenting a united front when we call the civilian versions of rifles modeled on what were originally military designs “modern sporting rifles”?

    I know they have sporting purposes. I know they have utility purposes. I know they are the best form of small arms to hold in defense against tyranny. And I know we have gun owners on all sides of the argument over what to call them and how to describe them. But is the moniker “modern sporting rifle” broad enough to be applied to a cadre of platforms which many supporters of RKBA view as the most effective last resort “anti-tyranny” device on the civilian market and which they own predominantly because of that view?

    It’s been beaten to death on this and other forums, but the national coverage being afforded this event shines a light on it once again. Plenty of anti-gun people are aware of what was going to happen but now is not happening in Harrisburg, and they’ll also be keenly aware of how divided the gun community is on how it views these kinds of rifles, the ones antis incorrectly but almost unanimously call “assault rifles.”

    My view is that supporters of RKBA and 2A should somehow link arms on this and figure out what to call these rifles. In the past I suggested the term “operator configurable rifle” for the AR. It’s a term that makes sense in that it’s both technically accurate and broad enough to cover all the ways in which the platform is employed. It also de-emphasizes all the "bad" stuff the antis throw out. It’s not perfect, nor is it the only option. But using it -- or any standardized term -- beats the heck out of fighting amongst ourselves over what we should call them.

    If the antis can unite in labeling these firearms, why can’t we? It would be a step toward presenting a united pro-2a front, a feat at which we consistently fail.
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Because not all of them are "user configurable".
  3. Fremmer

    Fremmer Well-Known Member

    The 2nd amendment isn't about protecting sports or hunting (careful, soon they'll be talking about how you don't need blood sport rifles)....

  4. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Well-Known Member

    Current technology firearms.

    Current technology firearms, neutered... because they can't take advantage of modern select fire technology.:(

    Modern weapons.

    Latest generation firearms.

    All-purpose weapons.

    All-purpose firearm.

    All-purpose rifle.

    Utility rifles.

    Universal Utility rifles.

    Universal Purpose rifles.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  5. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Please, can we keep this focused?

    My question is about our inability to present a common front on ARs as the antis do. Is it impossible? Are we as the gun-owning community too divided on the AR and similar platforms to present a united front?

    To amplify the point: The boycott of the PA show will seem to a lot of antis a great opportunity to show how crazy we are--that we won't go to a gun show unless it has maniacal killing machines on display because we ourselves are only interested in firearms because of their maniacal killing power. Is that the way we wish to be viewed?

    Of course that's not what we're about. But messaging and perceptions matter.
  6. MAKster

    MAKster Well-Known Member

    The way I see it is that you will never see a united front because gun owners by definition strongly believe in freedom and individuality. They have no more interest in taking orders from the gun industry bosses than they do from Congress. Many gun owners are suspicious that the gun makers and groups like the NSSF are willing to sell them out to protect their profits.
  7. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Well-Known Member

    Maniacal killing machines? Seriously? :rolleyes:

    So now we are supposed to act full of shame, as if semiautomatic rifles are all icky, undesirable and OK to discriminate against in rather lame attempt to placate gun prohibitionists? If we act as if it is OK to shun modern firearm technology, what idea do you think lawmakers will get?

    A message was sent and the message was clear: If you pander to gun grabbers and discriminate against what little is left of the 2nd Amendment you will go out of business. Hopefully politicians have received the message too. Gun owners and supporters of the Constitution put their money where their mouth is.

  8. heavydluxe

    heavydluxe Well-Known Member

    I'm a relative n00b gun owner, though a long-time legal proponent of the 2nd Amendment.

    As a former outsider, it's always seemed that the anti-gun movement has done a better job in terms of setting the terminology or branding the 'threat'. In that sphere, the pro-RKBA community has always been REACTIVE.

    In my estimation, that's because gun lovers are always in the position of trying to balance presenting firearms as what they are (tools in the hands of humans) while not giving too much ground to the left in that firearms advances are - and have always been - driven by largely military needs. In other words: Guns don't kill people, people do. But, *these* guns are advancing the way they are precisely so they can be more efficient killing instruments. While I agree the application trips over into sport and target sports, the fact is that is residual.

    I think the best we can do is to unite on a term like "modern rifle" or "modern handgun" - implying these are the implements best suited for current times and applications (whether sporting, or otherwise). After all, that's language that's even coinciding with Heller's "common use" clause.

    The terminology game, while important, is not where we will win/lose the battle.
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I hope you're right. I made it clear that I do not see ARs as maniacal killing machines, but that many antis do. Is the message you so clearly stated really the way anti-gun legislators will spin it?

    Very good points, and worthy of deeper thought on my part. Perhaps rugged individualism is what's really under attack, and rampant conformity is the enemy.
  10. sobx

    sobx Member

    Hey everyone, first post here, I think...

    I agree with the OP in that a well crafted message will do more good than retracting to discussion of rights, which although true, seems to have some difficulty with traction in the halls of public opinion, at least in some regions/divisions.

    To the OP, I personally think "modern sporting rifles" is a pretty good term if it could be universally used by the proponents of owning them. Assault weapons is a nasty term implying one-purpose use which is false. (Assault vehicles made by Kia have probably been used in homicides). Military-style weapons is a little better, but still implies intent. While we agree that A purpose is to serve that need if ever necessary, most will likely never need them for that purpose, just as the US will likely never need its stockpile of ICBMs. But we have them for that purpose.

    However, modern sporting rifle, which is well over 99% of what these rifles are used for, is a fitting name and I think well crafted. LEOs carry them, but not for sporting purposes. However, it would be interesting to know the number of rounds fired in anger vs. sport. I don't think we have enough 9's after the decimal to describe than percentage.

    With respect to maniacal killing machines, "perception is reality". Those that think that deepen their distrust for *them* and those that have them every time the other team appears to just dig in their heels. I realize that the debate seems very closed on this side, however, the discussion with only heels buried makes us seem less pragmatic and more ideological and that scares people. Lots of them. Agree with OP that messaging is key. Bobby Jindal acknowledged that on several fronts yesterday.

  11. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    Of all the buzz words they throw out there, "military-style" has to be the dumbest. Everything from a muzzle loaders to Trapdoor Springfields to bolt actions to semi-autos are "military-style". Heck, I own 4 real, as issued, honest to God, military rifles. At least 2 of them were probably actually used in WWII. Ironically my AR-15 is far from being "military" in anything but appearance since it's a blowback operated dedicated 22LR upper on a lower that has a different sized receiver from a M4A1, not to mention different fire control group.

    Evil Black Rifles are just the target of opportunity right now. If they can get those they'll go after "sniper rifles" and "rapid fire" bolt actions next like my M95 Steyr (http://www.vpc.org/graphics/snipcov2.pdf).
  12. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Well-Known Member

    And then they will point to the statistics (which they are conveniently ignoring now) and say "Look! Most firearms used in crimes are handguns! We should ban those too, for our safety!"

    The end goal is to adopt UK prohibitive gun laws, and then some.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) works for me as it is a neutral term. It is certainly better than the common EBR (Evil Black Rifle).

    We can hope for a united front relative to gun control issues. But many do not see the RKBA issue as absolute in that no additional controls are needed. We work with what we have.

    My one brother for example can not understand why many people are so set on being able to own MSR's when to him they are not a practical hunting firearm. I try to convince him that the 2A is not about hunting. But he feels this is an outdated fear. Some people rub their St. Christopher medal for luck and others rub their MSRs.

    I agree with Joe Biden on this one point, "Let the facts speak for themselves."
  14. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Well-Known Member

    One of the GREAT and TERRIBLY FRUSTRATING things about Second Amendment Supporters is that we tend to be "individualists". That makes a "unified front" damn near impossible, however it also means that the individuals are pretty passionate and committed to their ideals and beliefs unlike a lot of the anti-rights people who depend on emotion and "heat of the moment" to do anything.

    The Anti-Rights people may provide a face that appears fairly unified, but they suffer greatly from the huge ebb and flow as emotions run dry and the "heat of the moment" cools over time. It's a lot easier to look "unified" when your total numbers are relatively small overall.

    We have HUGE numbers of individualists and keeping that focused is like herding cats but the thing is that we tend to have a LOT more staying power because, for the most part, we're operating on a basis of calmly reasoned ideals and principles.

    So, ultimately, we seem a lot less cohesive, but far more powerful.

    also, I've been quite intrigued how we've been taking ownership of the "evil black rifle" term and making it a "middle finger gesture" back at the anti-rights folks. I didn't think that was a good idea but in this case I was wrong and I've been astonished at how doing this has resonated with a lot of "fence sitters".
  15. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Well-Known Member

    I personally hate the term "Modern Sporting Rifle", I would much rather a term like "Modern Modular Rifle" to imply its highly configurable nature or something similar, Modern Sporting Rifle just seems silly, and it often seems absurd to the general public, how often have you had this conversation, someone off the street asks you what is a Moden Sporting Rifle, and you either go on about it is a rifle with these features, and they get a blank look, or you say it is an AK or AR and they say, Oh an Assault Rifle.
  16. happygeek

    happygeek Well-Known Member

    It's the term I use because as I said in post #11 "military-style" is absolutely meaningless. "Assault weapon" is equally meaningless, espicially in legal terms that vary from CA to NJ to NY. I believe Evil Black Rifle was originally a tongue in cheek term based off EBR (as in Enhanced Battle Rifle), but it perfectly conveys what's being talked about; i.e. a black rifle that looks scary. A rifle doesn't even have to be a semi-auto to be a EBR, the VPC called the Savage 110 BA an "assault rifle" for example (http://www.vpc.org/studies/militarization.pdf).
  17. junyo

    junyo Well-Known Member

    It is sad that this is what the world has come to. The common citizen is so far divorced from the concept of armed self defense that any reference that that icky old military is damning. So we'll call it a modern sport rifle. Or how about a 'unicorn peace and love launcher'? Maybe a 'rainbow gumdrop dispenser'?

    Well, eff that. It's a weapon. The reason why it looks a lot like what the military carries is because the people in the military use weapons, as weapons, every day. Therefore what they've found works/does not work, is pertinent, since in ones daily life as an accountant in Topeka, one does not get to personally test whether or not his 'fairy twinkle shooter' will work when it truly comes down to the come down. Which is why every flashlight on the face of the earth is 'tactical'. It's way 'mil-spec' is a marketing term. In a million other product types it's perfectly acceptable to admit that yeah, we're aping the military. But non-gendered and unpersonified higher power forbid that in the one area where the military has a monopoly on daily experience that we emulate them

    It's. A. Damn. Weapon.

    I won't apologize for that, I won't hide it, I won't do this lawyerly parsing of phrases like it means something. It's words, and more words, and the conversation gets dumber and dumber, because we've ceded the fact that not only is it okay to have irrational fear, those fears are a valid basis for policy. Do you think it will be more acceptable to people who are too incurious to educate themselves that the evil black baby killer has been re-branded? It still has the shoulder thing that goes up, which obviously makes it a weapon of mass destruction. Call it a 'tulip sunset drizzler', call it a 'blueberry muffin slingshot', call it a 'freedom fire stick'; the next time someone gets shot, we'll be right back here.
  18. ExTank

    ExTank Well-Known Member

    junyo, you are my personal hero for today.
  19. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Well-Known Member


    I'm using that one.
  20. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Well-Known Member

    Labels we can use:

    Ordinary modern rifle

    Standard capacity magazine

    personal defense weapon

    ladies companion

    Or, for when you want a stronger statement

    Genocide preventer

    Rapist repellant

    mugger plugger

    Lynch stopper

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