Originally Posted by Odd
I'm kind of torn on this one. Firearms can be defined as a weapon or as a piece of machinery designed to expel projectiles at high velocities: Neither are wrong. Machetes are generally classified as agricultural implements but were used during the Rwandan genocide. In the end, words are merely words while actions speak for themselves.
When I think of the first projectile weapon, it was most likely either a rock or a sharpened piece of stick. In that case, would the weapon be the rock/sharp stick, the man throwing it or both? Unlike math which is cold and absolute, words evoke emotions and carry multiple meanings.
Looking at the evolution of warfare and weapons, the human factor is gradually diminishing. A time where man would kill an enemy with his bare hands to a time where man can kill with a press of a switch. Separate the man from the machine, the machine cannot kill on its own* but man can still function independently as a weapon.
I hate to consider objects as weapons since just about any object, no matter how benign, can be weaponized. I also feel that ultimately every man is accountable for his own actions. To even place partial blame on an inanimate object goes against my principles, as the murderer will be 100% responsible in my eyes. At any rate the 2nd Amendment is most definitely not about sporting or hunting, that is a given. In the end I feel there is no wrong or right answer.
*Excluding landmines and traps.
Your own words betray your attempted rationalization.
"Looking at the evolution of warfare and weapons..."
What weapons? If usage of an object is the defining characteristic of whether or not an object is a weapon, there are no "weapons" to evolve. There would be "things" that people sometimes use as weapons, that they are changing to make the use of those non-weapon things more effective when they choose to use those not-always-weapons as weapons.
The way you use the word weapon in that sentence, without definition or qualification, implies that you expect the reader to understand what the word weapon means... and you'd be right.
We all subconsciously know that firearms are weapons and we use the word accordingly. We have to consciously attempt to rationalize it away if we decide we don't like it. It's not the typical (or logical) understanding to think they're not weapons.