I agree with Tom. I think avoiding the word "weapon" plays into the anti-gunner framing of the Second Amendment as about sport, hunting, and recreation. While those are undoubtedly valid reasons for the Amendment, and maybe the main reason we all own guns, the biggest reasons the 2A was passed were anti-tyranny and defense of self and property. I refuse to frame the right differently to accommodate the anti-gun crowd.
Inevitably, when I argue with anti-gun friends or colleagues, the line comes up "Yeah, well, a car is deadly but it's used for lots of useful stuff, a gun's purpose is to kill." Our side of the argument dodges this, and while I point out there are many non-lethal reasons for gun ownership (deterrence, target shooting, etc.), I do not dodge their central point, I admit it and embrace it. Yes, most of my guns were designed to kill. My Ruger LCP is designed to kill close-range assailants. My Beretta PX4 is designed to repel moderate threats in the service or home setting. Even my Ruger 10/22 is frequently used for varmint control or hunting - killing - and my AR-15 and Remington 870 are dedicated killing platforms.
Now, I hope to God every time I put one in my pocket or on the nightstand that they remain placid shooting range toys my whole life. But that's not why I bought them. I bought them because they are weapons. Like my forefathers with the rifle above the hearth or a sheathed sword near at hand, I take full ownership of my weapons, and am proud of them as a free man.
Sorry, this got long-winded. And I completely understand why you'd want to avoid the term to keep things comfortable. I do the same in tense enough social situations, same with politics and religion.
Beretta PX4 .40 S&W | Beretta 92FS 9x19 Para | Rock Island Armory GI 1911 .45 ACP | Colt Python 4" .357 Magnum | Colt 1968 Det. Spec. .38 Spc. | Ruger LCP .380 ACP | Daniel Defense M4V1 5.56x45 | Alpine M1 Carbine .30 | Steyr M1895 8x56 | Ruger 10/22 .22LR |1943 Izhevsk Mosin-Nagant M91/30 7.62x54R | Remington 870 12GA