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Weapon or Firearm-Is it just semantics?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Grandpa Shooter, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. Grandpa Shooter

    Grandpa Shooter Member

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    I was just reading the debate about open VS concealed and one of the members referred to a firearm as a weapon. I stopped using "weapon" a long time ago to attempt to curb the fear associated with the use of the term. As a long time shooter, trainer, range officer, ex military man, I have consistently advised others to not fuel the fire by using "weapon" when referring to a firearm.

    Is it just semantics or is there indeed a perceptual shift when we continue to call something a "weapon" which we hope to Heaven we never have to use that way?
     
  2. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    if you're carrying it concealed, for self-defense it is definitely a weapon.

    On the other hand target guns usually aren't weapons unless they are pressed into service as such.
     
  3. cnorman18

    cnorman18 Member

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    a difference

    I would think the difference between the two terms is that "weapon' can denote many things--gun, knife, tire iron, whatever. If we're talking about firearms in the context of self-defense (as opposed to target shooting or other sports), they ARE weapons. I don't see a need to avoid the term. Hoplophobes aren't going to be any happier with "firearms", anyway.
     
  4. Chrome

    Chrome Member

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    Agreed Owen.

    My pocket knife is not a weapon. It's a tool. My weapon is clipped to my pocket or back pack depending on where I'm at.

    My 22/45 is not a weapon. My P99 is.

    An axe is not a weapon until it used as such. Until then it is just a tool.

    Later,
    Chrome...
     
  5. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    the NRA discourages the use of the word weapon in any of its gun safety classes.

    this is stressed repeatedly in the instructor classes.
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

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    In strictly linguistic terms weapon would be any of an entire class of objects - anything that is used in inflict harm, either offensive or defensive. Firearm is a class of weapon.

    i.e. "His weapon of choice was not a rock or a gun, it was a firearm."

    Though they have distintly different connotations the terms tend to be used interchangeably.

    Brad
     
  7. Red Dragon

    Red Dragon Member

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    Weapon is just a general term encompassing every object used in combat, defense, etc.

    Firearm is just a catagory of objects that can be used as a weapon.

    It all depends on the use. (a knife can be a weapon or just something to cut your steak.)

    That's my 2 cents anyway.
     
  8. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Member

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    I'd say its a firearm(tool) until you have to use it for something other than recreation...Then it becomes a weapon.
     
  9. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Hi Grandpa,

    Truthfully I believe it's a matter of education more than semantics. Consider: The bow and arrows my uncle forced me to make when I was 12 is definitely a weapon as the deer I had to kill with it (them) is proof of. The sword my Dad's uncle made him when he got his officers commission is also a weapon even though (to my knowledge) never used as a weapon. About an hour ago five Apache helicopters flew over our house here. Trust me on this-- one look and you KNOW they are weapons. At least to the uneducated...

    Through many hours it was explained to me that my bow is only a tool, no different than the drawknives and sandpaper I used to make or the flat stone I used to hone the bone arrowheads to sharpness with.

    Dad's sword is a simply a symbol from bygone times.

    And the helicopters... to the brave men that fly the things they are simply tools of their trade.

    We as a nation have allowed ourselves to being duped out of our morality to the place where the only thing that is evil are the tools needed to protect what is good and moral. My Gramps always said that men will become wiser and weaker. When we condemn the tools that make us equal in the status quo by making the word weapon a negative we fulfill my Gramps prediction. Perhaps instead of risking the wrath of the ignorant you should simply look then in the eye and ask them what the frack their problem is.

    Selena
     
  10. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    A firearm is a weapon, but not all weapons are firearms.


    In addition, some states have Concealed Weapons Licenses, others have Concealed Handgun Licenses ... so there is a legal distinction between a weapon, firearm and handgun.
     
  11. CTPistol

    CTPistol Member

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    A weapon is something made strictly for harming someone

    A firearm is an instrument or tool made for many purposes..collecting, investing, recreation, self defense...etc

    Im with the NRA on this one.."firearm"

    I cringe when I hear mall ninjas at the range adding "tactical" and "weapon" to every sentence.

    :barf:
     
  12. Nolo

    Nolo Member

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    I would say to always call a firearm a weapon. Why? Because it is one. Antis will often claim that a firearm's sole purpose is to kill people. That is incorrect. It's primary purpose is to kill people. Target shooting is practice for killing people, even if it has evolved into a sport in its own right. Hunting is not killing people, but it is killing. It is important for new shooters to understand and respect that. You should not be afraid of a gun, you should respect a gun. That's part of good range discipline. Now if only we did the same for automobiles...
     
  13. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Do to being born in the wrong year, I had to take the Texas Hunter Safety course once upon a time.

    The instructor attempted to chastise me for referring to my rifle with the term "weapon". He gave me the line about referring to it as a firearm to not offend people who might over hear me. Then he went off on the tangent about "harvesting" deer. Okay, full stop. You use a weapon to kill a deer. You harvest wheat with a thresher.

    The "firearm" and "harvesting" stuff is just poor PC appeasement for people with an abysmal understanding of US history and a very low tolerance for being offended. They need to get over it, not us adapt to them.
     
  14. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    I have to say that all firearms are weapons.

    Sure, you can collect them. People collect all sorts of things -- it doesn't change the nature of what they collect. If a guy collects paper clips, do they cease to be designed to hold paper together? Sure, you can compete with them. People race cars around tracks, but that doesn't mean the cars aren't transportation.
     
  15. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard Member

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    So what would be a weapon? Hmm? What is made ONLY for harming someone and not for collecting or admiring, or self-defense?
     
  16. Pat McCoy

    Pat McCoy Member

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    A firearm, like most any other tool, has the potential to be a weapon, but is not a weapon until it is used as such. My walking stick is just that until after I use it to defend myself, then it will be referred to as a "weapon" in the resulting reports and adjudications.

    My Colt is a pistol, possibly even a self-defense pistol, until I use it as a weapon

    Many things not designed as weapons can become weapons by their usage: screwdivers, hammers, baseball bats, plate galss windows.
     
  17. jungleroy

    jungleroy Member

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    A firearm is a tool, and weapon may be what you chose to use it for.
     
  18. Juna

    Juna Member

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    A weapon is only a weapon when it is used as one. A gun is a firearm, until it's used to shoot or threaten someone, at which point it becomes a weapon.

    The term "weapon" carries with it a connotation of violence and negativity. We don't need any more negative connotations associated with firearms. Your gun is merely a tool or an inanimate object until you're forced to use it as a weapon.

    The same is true of the term "assault rifle," IMO. Assault is a human action, not a trait of an inanimate object. Such terms should not be assigned to inanimate objects, IMO. One could use a 30-06 hunting rifle to assault someone, but would that make it an "assault rifle?" If not, why is a select fire rifle used for target shooting an "assault rifle?" I think it's a junk term used to assign criminal and violent connotations to inanimate objects as a back door method of brainwashing people into believing guns are violent.

    Just my $.02.
     
  19. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Political Correctness :banghead:
     
  20. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Weapon is a fine generic term that can be applied equally to all firearms regardless of type. Specific terms of catagory are fine as well (rifle, pistol, sidearm, shotgun, etc.). I don't like to sugar coat, that road leads to dead end puff words like assault weapon and saturday night special that are meaningless catagories.

    Most of all, unless it is a cannon, mortar, heavy machinegun, or (OK-I can bend) shotgun---I don't call it a gun either.

    I get your point, but I don't feel we serve our cause by making people feel better about emmotionally charged words to descibe firearms (soft or sharp).
    I like 'weapon' especially when indocrinating people new to gun safety, especially kids. My little Benjamin Air Pistol is as sure a weapon in my eyes as any of my firearms. Just my take.
     
  21. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    The dictionary's definition of a weapon is "any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon" and " something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy" (Merriam-Webster)

    Weapon has a negative connotation in my opinion. I have a good friend who is in the military and when he uses the term weapon when referring to a firearm it makes me cringe.

    I have never used any of my firearms in combat or self defense to injure, defeat, or destroy. To me firearms are a tool, a tool that I enjoy using for target shooting and protection. I hope I never have to use it as a weapon but I will not rule it out.
     
  22. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    As far as I'm concerned "arm" and "weapon" are synonymous.

    The only reason I carry this pistol around all the time is to shoot someone, if the need should arise. It is without question a weapon. Obfuscative word games tire me.

    If you want to argue that one of my Remington 37s (single shot 20lb 22lr) isn't a weapon, I won't disagree.
     
  23. mugsie

    mugsie Member

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    Ya weren't in the service were ya?

    This is my weapon,
    this is my gun.
    This is for killing,
    and this is for fun!

    Call it what ya want, but a firearm is a weapon. It is used to kill (spare me the target shooting etc. which is a derivative of hunting) for food, protection or the preservation of our freedoms.
     
  24. Alexfubar

    Alexfubar Member

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    Ummm , is " weapon " a BAD word ? Simply having this debate means the PC influences have gotten too deep a hold on our minds.

    I carry a concealed weapon. In case I decide it is a good idea to shoot holes through someone who needs them.

    The fact that I have never done it , and primarily shoot paper and steel targets resulting in fun for me and those like me is just a side effect of wanting to aquire more proficiency at shooting People who may require getting shot.

    I am a free citizen of the USA , a former (NG) MP , a black belt , and I cultivte self defense abilities. The fact that I legally carry a weapon and it makes people who are afraid of free men being armed is not my problem.

    But if they can display good manners I will share my experience and time with them , otherwise - I vote against their leaders , I donate to those whop promise to protect my rights , and I ignore the ostrich people who bury their heads in the sand hoping that the scary people will just go away.
     
  25. twodawgs

    twodawgs Member

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    Well, all my guns are guns. Have been since I learned to talk and will likely be such until I can't talk. My rifles and shotGUNs are guns and my revolvers and pistols are guns and I have GUN safes and a GUN rack and my bows are not guns and my ax is not a gun and my knives are not guns..

    And when we talk about our opponents and the issue of guns we talk about GUN control and GUN grabbers.

    YMMV
     
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