This argument simply does not hold water for average people. Ordinary usage of the word indicates otherwise.
By that logic, NOTHING is ever ANYTHING except an "inanimate object" until you actually use it for something.
A hammer is not a tool until you hit nails with it.
A car is not a vehicle unless you're driving it.
A sneaker is not a shoe unless you're wearing it.
It's astonishing to me how desperately we try to make our firearms into something they're not, especially since we seem to be the only ones in the world who care and certainly the only ones who believe it.
This is like the firearms worlds version of Schrödinger's cat. It's not dead or alive until you open the box.
It's not a weapon until you use it.
In a lot of cases I'll agree with you but in this you're reaching for the sky and fallin short. Yes a hammer is a tool, a car is a car, a shoe is a shoe. But all that points out reality, that a gun is a gun. It's not like I'm out there saying a gun isn't a gun for Lord's sake. I'm callin it exactly what it is, a gun. But nothing, absolutely nothing is a weapon without use and/or intent. Yet, everything and anything including the previously mentioned teddy bear can be a weapon. So where do we draw the line in what we call weapons or what we call tools or what we call toys etc etc? The only place we can draw the line is with use and intent. And for civilians to generically refer to guns as weapons is no better then generically callin their skinnin knife a weapon. Because at the heart of things most guns are not and will never be a weapon.
When I go blow up some cans I use a toy not a weapon, when I hunt I use a tool not a weapon, when I CC THEN I have a weapon.