I don't look at it as playing word games, I look at is as simply denying the antis, the media, whomever have you the chance to have something else to ding us on.
As previously stated I used to be a rifle merit badge instructor. I'm also a combat veteran. Now, holding court before 16 11 years olds on a rifle range is pretty cool. However, I also know that I was not only teaching them, I was also representing the entire firearms community to thier parents sitting behind the firing line. The word weapon was never mentioned, nor did I ever mention my military service outside of a humorous story concerning a platoon of GA National Guardsman attempting to herd goats. Colonel Cooper coined the term Hopolophobe, and I feel that by making firearms appealing to everyone, while still respecting thier ability to be used as weapons, we can eliminate hopolophobia from our society, or atleast give it the old college try.
I don't want to say I regret, but when I turned 12 or 13, Pops who was career military, and constantly gone, very solemly explaind to me, that by giving me a Mossberg 590 I was now responsible for defending Mom, my big sister and the house while he was gone. Crossing that threshold was intense, and I personally never even broached the use of the rifle as a weapon in my merit badge classes, only that a rifle could be a deadly instrument if you violated the four "always rules."
All of the above is just my opinion, and I realize I'm in the minority here and mean to disrespect to any of the above posters and thier views on proper terminology.
"Growing up as both a Southern and the son of a child of the '50s, I was imprinted with several things that have long stuck with me. The F-86 Saber Jet was the finest fighter ever flown, the National League is always superior, and Leslie Coffelt
was the finest revovler shooter since Mr. Ed."