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Is it time to consider the words we use when talking firearms?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Desertdog, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Desertdog

    Desertdog Well-Known Member

    These are just my thoughts and are put here for your consideration.

    Do you think it is time we changed some terminology we use when talking or writing about firearms.

    Wouldn't it be better if the words we use be different than what the gun-grabbers use?

    Some words that they use include terms such as:

    Assault weapon, as this sounds very aggressive.

    Weapon, this word sounds aggressive, but not as bad as assault weapon.

    Automatic, unless talking of full automatics, as the bliss ninnies will probably take it to mean full automatic.
    This one can probably be waived when talking to gun buddies.

    Personally, I don't even like to use the word 'gun'.

    There is probably many more you can think of that we would be better off not using.

    I think that there are less threatening words such as rifle, pistol, revolver, firearm, and shotgun.

    Adding the caliber and/or company name or other description to you firearm such as AR15 or even Sports Utility Rifle, or Sporter in your references should not make the firearm sound more threatening, maybe even less.
  2. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    I agree 100% that the choice of terms you use greatly affects whether or not you get your point across without a lot of connotative baggage. For example, when debating anti's on some other forums, I've found that a lot of people just do not understand the term "semiautomatic," thinking it more or less synonymous with full-auto; "self-loading" is a lot clearer without being pedantic, and avoids the cognitive dissonance that occurs in a lot of people's minds when you throw them a term they don't quite understand.
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    I am inclined to agree for the most part - except perhaps for the fact that we should even have to contemplate having to use more ''moderate terms''. It is the fault of the uneducated and hyped anti's and the media which makes this even something to think of.

    I personally - for same reasons ... try and avoid use of ''assault'' and ''tactical'' ..... in particular. ''Self-loader'' certainly is a good way to avoid the misunderstanding of the term ''auto'' when used with semi's. sadly too the simple word ''gun'' has achieved an awful notoriety .. and ''weapon'' too. In NRA instruction the word ''weapon'' is frowned on .. ''firearm'' being the word of choice.

    Beyond this aspect then yeah ... names of specific firearms is good ... a lot of the acronyms and abreviations work well ... we know what they mean anyways!:)
  4. Can'thavenuthingood

    Can'thavenuthingood Well-Known Member

    I disagree.

    We ought to continue to use the correct terminology for whatever we are discussing and not submit to less frightening words. They are after all just words mostly misunderstood due to a lack of useage and definition by the general non gun population.

    The communication medias do quite a fine job of clouding and confusing the gun terminologies. We should not assist them by using "lesser" words though the definitions may be the same. Instead we ought to continue to clarify defintions and teach the non gun population the truths.

    As far as the term "weapon" is concerned, anything is a weapon depending on intent and use.

  5. sendec

    sendec member

    Interesting concept-

    With which I respectfully disagree. Firearms have a particular technical vocabulary, I would not want to change it for the sake of , well, I was going to say political correctness, but I think that term is over-used and is pretty much meaningless anymore.

    I wish for our sakes that we did a little better job of policing ourselves when it comes to vocabulary. We get lazy and sloppy and pretty soon people are loading clips into gats and dogs lie with cats and demons take control...... Sorry, got a little carried away.

    I understand the motivation, but let us not relinquish control of our language just yet. Many of the rifles I own are either assault rifles or main battle rifles. That is the technically correct nomenclature for them. To call them anything else would be somewhat duplicitous. Look at the way we howl when some journalist identifies something incorrectly. I also think I have seen people here get miffed when antis use language to their nefarious ends. Let's not get accused of the same. We have nothing to be ashamed of or to conceal. Let's call a spade a spade, and a whatever by whatever.
  6. Billmanweh

    Billmanweh Well-Known Member

    that made me laugh
  7. tulsamal

    tulsamal Well-Known Member

    The US Army made me use weapon instead of gun. (I know, I know, the famous rhyme.) I can live with that for an M16 but it doesn't apply to my firearms at home. I've refused to call my personal guns "weapons" for years. If they are weapons, they must all be defective. I enjoy collecting guns. I enjoy reading about guns. I enjoy shooting guns. That would be enough for me. I DO have a CCW and I do carry a gun. If somebody forced me to do so, I would use that gun as a weapon. But that's not the primary purpose of my collection or interests!

  8. nonquixote

    nonquixote Well-Known Member

    I'm going to start calling mine "Happy fun enablers of peace and joy"

  9. WvaBill

    WvaBill Well-Known Member

    By controlling the terms one can control the debate.

    I side on using the correct terminology. Semi automatic. Weapons. Firearms.

    After the AWB sunset, is there a "definition" for assault weapon? Assault rifle, SMG, selective fire, but never semi automatic assault weapon.
  10. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    Don't we already do this?

    It's the gun grabbers who misuse terminology. I own a 1911-style semi-automatic (or "autoloading") pistol. I don't ever tell anyone that I have an "automatic pistol" or an "assault pistol." Among gun people I have a Para Ordnance. To other people, I have a legal handgun for which I have a license to carry.

    Ditto long guns. I have an AR-15 type rifle. I never tell anyone I have an "assault weapon" or even an "assault rifle." Among gun people I have an AR-15 clone. To other people, I have a .22 caliber rifle that I use for target shooting. That's all they need to know ... if I decide they need to know that much.
  11. sc1911cwp

    sc1911cwp Well-Known Member


    Abortion VS Pro Choice. This is an example that illustrates how people perceive the topic being discussed. Have a gentleman stand up and defend a position who wears a suit and tie verses an guy dressed in jeans and a ballcap...I think you can see the difference. However, bear in mind it is the MEDIA that usually choses the people to voice the positions they care to air. As such, we become pawns of them. Someone told me once that a first impression can be wrong, however it IS the first, and sometimes lasting impression you make. So beware, you ALWAYS will be perceived as an example of the GUN NUT. Dress and behave accordingly.:) Shoot well and be safe.
  12. Eskimo Jim

    Eskimo Jim Well-Known Member

    I do use specific words that believe mroe accurate describe the arms that I talk about.

    I avoid using 'assault rifle' because the name is inaccurate and the word 'assault' sounds menacing. No, I am not afraid of words.

    I prefer the term self loading rifle. That's most accurate for me and describes the action of the rifle pretty well.

    Long arms, I tend to call them rifles or shotguns then refer to the action.

    handguns covers self loading pistols and revolvers.

    Use whatever phrase you want though. I won't be offended. Call your rifle a 'super sub MOA double tactical extreme assault weapon' if you're into tongue twisters if you'd like. It's fine with me.

    I think that pretty much covers it.

  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    He who defines the terms usually wins the argument.

    That saidâ„¢, the leftist extremists keep redefining the terms to suit their perverse ends. First they wanted to "control hand guns;" then they wanted to "rid the streets of assault weapons;" then they wanted to "prevent the streets from being flooded with semi-automatic weapons;" now they're "promoting common sensible gun safety measures," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    To the extend that we react to the machinations of anti-Second Amendment bigots, we've wasted our time and efforts. We need to seize the day and go on the offensive.
  14. einstein

    einstein Active Member


    Currently, the term we gunners should keep away from is "Assault Weapon".

    THAT is a term created by the anti-gunners.

    Use "military style rifle" instead. Without the quotes.

    einstein (not that smart, just like the hair)
  15. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Well-Known Member

    Watch out, DesertDog, you go making sense like that, people will start calling your 'new' terminology "flower powered" and "sissified".

    Haven't you naysayers ever talked to a moderately anti who said he was for the Assault Weapons ban, but didn't even know what "semiautomatic" means? Don't you realize just why he supported the ASSAULT WEAPONS ban? Because it was about ASSAULT WEAPONS (rawr! Scary words!), because anti-gunners were able to create a new term that sounds evil and scary. Connotations [the feelings, emotions, and thoughts elicited by diction/nomenclature] are substantially more important and denotations [the dictionary definition of a term], politically speaking. You can more easily manipulate someone to your cause with pathos than logos. Pluck their heartstrings, don't pick their brains.

    Using all the proper technical nomenclature might make you feel some sort of pedantic superiority over the leftists, but the fact remains that they get classes of firearms banned solely on the literary [not literal, literary, as in literature] aspects of their laws. Our fight against antis must be completely across the board. We almost always win when facts are compared against facts; a talented rhetorical-engineer (heh) can twist an appeal to emotion [it's for the chiiiilllldreeennnn] to the pro-rights advantage; but where we tend to lack is the war on diction.

    To a fence-sitter, a term like "single-shot" or "precision" sounds better than "semiautomatic" or "self-loading"...

    I apologize for the rambling, ranty sort of my post, this is a subject that sort of riles me.

  16. answerguy

    answerguy Well-Known Member

    Here's the link you want ot read:



    by Alan Korwin, Author
    Gun Laws of America

    Part One -- The Concept

    Certain words hurt you when you're talking about your rights.

    People who would deny your rights have done a good job of manipulating
    the language so far. Without even realizing it, you're probably using
    terms that actually help the people who want to disarm you.

    To preserve, protect and defend your rights in this critical debate, you
    need effective word choices.

    They want you to say (and you lose if you say):

    It's better to say (and they lose if you say):

  17. gundam007

    gundam007 Well-Known Member

    Well, as a matter of correctness in terminology, I hardly ever use the word gun UNLESS I am talking to a non-firearm knowledgable person. In fact, when doing drill in NJROTC with the drill rifles, we must refer to them as rifles. If we call them guns, First Sergeant makes us do 10. :D
  18. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Well-Known Member

    I like "homeland defense rifle" myself ;)
  19. coylh

    coylh Well-Known Member

    PC speak is silly and easy to poke fun at, but I think it would be good to be consistent and specific about our terms.

    The Rambofication of a lot of normal stuff is bad image, and image matters. Assault is a crime, not a firearm's feature.

    A lot of decisions (AKA votes) are based on buzz-word level thinking. While proper understanding is the long term goal, let's not aid the other side by inventing our own self-demonizing names.

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