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Old August 19, 2015, 05:26 PM   #1
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School me Please

Please be civil. I need help. I fought long and hard during the Clinton years against the term "Assault" rifle. Being an NRA Life Member over twenty years and a regular member close to twenty more, I get a lot of mail. The other day I got a catalog from the NRA about "Tactical" stuff. What happened? Why did we fight so hard to oppose "Assault" but we're fine with "Tactical"?? Another made up term that sells! What is "tactical" stuff? I never saw "Tactical" stuff in the U.S. Navy from 78 to 82 and I was a Gunners Mate. I guess everything we used was "tactical". We just didn't call it that name. Am I on the right track?? Vince
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Old August 19, 2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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My first thought is that "tactical" could refer to offense OR defense.

"Assault" clearly implies offensive intent.

Having a weapon for attacking others sounds worse than having a weapon to defend oneself and loved ones.

I don't know for sure when "tactical" really became popular, but I suspect it coincided with AR's becoming mainstream guns and people wanting to trick out their guns with cool gadgets. Some of those gadgets are legit, but some stuff labeled "tactical" is probably geared toward mall ninjas.

Last edited by idek; August 19, 2015 at 06:01 PM.
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Old August 19, 2015, 06:48 PM   #3
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Tactical. Shrug. It's kind of like a fact of life. If you don't like the word you don't have to use it or you can make fun of it (I sometimes do).

This isn't original at all, it's an internet classic but expresses my feelings pretty well.


Genius to the person that created it.
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Old August 19, 2015, 07:17 PM   #4
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The word Tactical sells stuff to the wannabes it is all about money .
I see Tactical things for sale that have no use for anything but some fool will buy it .

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Old August 19, 2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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Just go with the flow, nothing to get excited about. Words to describe stuff come and go, always have. I know for a fact that a lot of Navy lingo from the 70's and 80's in no longer relevant and replaced with new terminology. If you could go back in time 100 years you'd have a hard time understanding what anyone was talking about even though they are speaking English. Tactical is just a new word used to describe certain types of weapons or other gear. In another generation they'll have another name for the same thing. Life goes on.
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Old August 19, 2015, 09:38 PM   #6
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Firearms are tactical. ICBMs are strategic.

Beyond that, it's meaningless.
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Old August 19, 2015, 10:12 PM   #7
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When in the army, the only time the term tactical was used was to describe a procedure that was tailored to a set of circumstances that differed from normal in some ways. Like a tactical march and the likes.

Equipment was not referred to as being tactical. The exception was trucks, the term tactical was used to differentiate a vehicle that was not commercial.

The rest is just marketing.
Tactical boots are really just civilian boots that have a much higher level of comfort than regular manly work boots.
I have to say that tactical socks are really quite divine .
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Old August 20, 2015, 02:12 PM   #8
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"Tactical" is the current marketing buzz word for everything from rifles to underwear. And 'assault' is still the favourite of media hacks.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old August 22, 2015, 03:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pikie
I fought long and hard during the Clinton years against the term "Assault" rifle.
"Assault rifle" is a valid term. It describes a select-fire rifle that fires an intermediate-powered rifle cartridge. It's a direct translation of the German "Sturmgewehr", and the German StG-44 is considered to be the world's first assault rifle. Yes, the term is usually mis-used, but that doesn't make "assault rifle" an incorrect term in and of itself.

However, the term "assault weapon" is a made-up political term that describes a semi-automatic rifle based on arbitrary scary-looking cosmetic features. The 1994 Crime Bill defined and then banned "assault weapons", but true assault rifles had nothing to do with that law. As far as I know, the last federal legislation that involved assault rifles was the 1986 Hughes Amendment that banned any new NFA registration of assault rifles and all other machine guns.
0331: "Accuracy by volume."
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Old August 22, 2015, 05:36 PM   #10
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I think if you look at the demographics 21 years ago, people owned guns for different reasons than they do now. In 1994, the majority of guns were owned for target shooting or hunting. People did own them for self defense or second amendment purposes, but not like they do now.

As far as I know, these past couple of years are the first tim that more people say they own firearms for self defense than for hunting or target shooting.

I think there's been something of an awakening in this country that arms are meant to be destructive, and an acceptance for the first time that this can be a good thing and that it's something we have a right to. The old strategy, it appears, was to appease people by insisting that their guns were less harmful than they are. The new strategy is to accept that guns are harmful, but to argue for the greater good in the hands of the law-abiding populace and the inability to control that power in the hands of evil.
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:28 AM   #11
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According to Bruce H. Kobayashi and Joseph E. Olson, writing in the Stanford Law and Policy Review:

Prior to 1989, the term "assault weapon" did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of "assault rifles."

In this nation, the term was invented as a means to selectively classify firearms for government control.
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Old August 25, 2015, 09:51 AM   #12
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I am also a life member of the NRA. I never fought the terms "Assault Rifle", "Assault Pistol" or "High Capacity". I embrace them and I collect them! I don't care if the technical definition of an Assault Rifle means it must be full auto - I still call my AK and assault rifle. I call my Sites Spectre 9mm an Assault Pistol. I refer to all of my handguns that hold more than 15 rounds "high capacity"; and pistols that hold more than 25 rounds "mega-capacity".

I don't care if the media wants to call guns "flesh blasters", "meat grinders", or "death rays". About the only term the media uses that I really do object to is referring to AR-15's as "high-powered" rifles. Really??? If an AR-15 is a high powered rifle, then I suppose a .338 Lapua rifle must be Nuclear Powered.

Maybe I'll give my guns some more politically correct names like:
Colt 1911: Nazi flesh eater
AR-15: America's Death Machine
Tanfoglio Stock 10mm: Mega-cap Street-Gang Annihilator
FN five-seven: Body-Armor-Butter-Maker.

Don't run away from the stupid labels the anti-gun media tries to pin on us; one-up 'em and throw it back in their faces.
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Old August 25, 2015, 11:52 PM   #13
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I've always wondered what a 'low-powered rifle' was.

The media phrase 'high-powered sniper rifle' means granddad's scoped deer rifle.

An SKS is a 'AK47-type rifle', of course, also high-powered.
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Old August 26, 2015, 12:35 AM   #14
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The other day I got a catalog from the NRA about "Tactical" stuff.
Tactical simply means items which are suitable for self-defense and which are also likely to be a reasonable fit for LE and military applications. It's a term used to differentiate from firearms accessories which are primarily recreational or intended for the hunting market. Not that there can't be crossover between the categories, but I think the difference is fairly clear.

It's just a way to separate items into categories that will make sense to the people interested in one but not the other. If I'm looking for a red dot scope with a reticle that has .223 aiming points, I'm not interested in sorting through a bunch of scopes that are clearly intended for deer hunting or F-Class target competitions. And vice versa.
I never saw "Tactical" stuff in the U.S. Navy from 78 to 82 and I was a Gunners Mate.
In the military, ALL firearm related equipment is tactical since they don't engage in recreational shooting or hunting. So there would be no point in trying to distinguish between all the gear that was tactical and all the non-existent gear that wasn't.
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?

Last edited by JohnKSa; August 26, 2015 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Left out "from"
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Old August 26, 2015, 08:30 AM   #15
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I'm kind of agreeing with John - by now we all know what is meant by "tactical" when referring to firearms and firearms accessories. Did tactical always mean a specific genre or style of gear? Probably not. Then again, does the term "television" (originally referred to Iconoscopes and Farnsworth Image Dissectors with 525-line CRT projectors) originally have anything to do with led flat-screen devices?

Languange and words morph to define new things as they arrive. Everyone knows what a TV is and most folks know what tactical firearms look like.
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Old August 26, 2015, 08:37 AM   #16
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Prior to 1989, the term "assault weapon" did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of "assault rifles."
To elaborate, the category was invented out of thin air by the Violence Policy Center.

(...) the issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. (...) Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.
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Old August 29, 2015, 08:56 AM   #17
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I'd love to see a manufacturer make an AK style rifle in pink with rainbow designs on it, and market it as a "self preservation tool to protect the gay community from violence and to ensure women's health rights". Then the anti-gun groups would have to tread very carefully if they wanted to criticize what they had previously called an "assault weapon".
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
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