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Old February 25, 2013, 01:10 AM   #1
LogicMan
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Why Hasn't the NRA Emphasized that Assault Weapons Do Not Really Exist?

So this really has confused me. The NRA in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, via Mr. Pierre, has had ample opportunity to point out the nonsense that the term "assault weapon" is, but hasn't done so. I find this really amazing. Even in his first press conference after the shooting, all he said in reference to claims made about such weapons is that such claims "are not true," but otherwise did not elaborate any further.

IMO I would have given a long, in-depth explanation on why the NRA cannot support a so-called "assault weapons ban," explaining how the term is not real nd really needs to be dropped from the political lexicon altogether. Instead however, he comes off as very abrasive and criticizing to the media (so no surprise they then panned him completely afterwards) and they have let Obama come out looking like the adult in the matter, and even worse, they went after him with that ridiculous ad calling him a hypocrite, which right or wrong, the way it was done it shouldn't have taken a genius to figure out it would get panned (which it did).

The NRA needs to come across as the polished, professional, and knowledgable organization, but instead they just keep appearing as a group of paranoid gun zealots by not destroying every media person and politician they talk to on this term assault weapon. I cannot believe they haven't emphasized repeatedly the nonsense of this term.

Would it be so hard to run ads showing Obama saying, "Weapons of war do not belong in the hands of civilians," then have someone polished-looking explain in a quick fashion that the term is meaningless and only goes by the cosmetics of the guns, and that actual automatic-fire guns have already been outlawed for years? And also show that many of the same guns used by the military are also used by civilians. I think such ads would really have a positive impact, because they'd criticize the President without being abrasive.

It's painful enough watching Republicans struggle to explain why "assault weapons" should be allowed to be legal when this is one of the easiest debates to win with politicians and media types. Republican politicians lacking knowledge on it is one thing, but the NRA??

I also feel gun people are letting their guard down too much on the issue of gun control. People say that if they pushed through a federal AWB, it would be an electoral repeat of 1994. Yes, just like no president with an economy as Obama had was re-elected I don't buy it. We don't know if it would get them electorally or not.

But also, President Obama is the Democratic party version of a Reagan, a man of principle (albeit left-leaning principle), not just a pure politician, hence why they won't let the gun control issue die. They are either hoping to get it passed, or to use it against the GOP next year in the elections (or to keep the issue alive, use it against the GOP in the elections, get control of the House, then try to pass it then).

Last edited by LogicMan; February 25, 2013 at 02:35 AM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:04 AM   #2
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Man, I understand, and respect you logic. But there are some things you need to understand. First, and foremost, Assault Weapon is not a nonsense term. It is (sadly) a valid term, codified in law, and has been since the AWB of 94. And even though the Fed law sunset, several state laws saying the same thing did not.

Yes, Assault Weapon is a made up term. But they made it up, and got it into law, so it is now a valid term.

Where the nonsense comes in is the continual, and intentional confusion and misdirectiion about what an "assault weapon" actually is. Our "unbiased" media, who helped create the term "assault weapon" won't even follow their own definition, continually misusing the term, no matter how often, or how well it is explained to them. This is either a tremendous case of willful ignorance, or more likely, a calculated deliberate action.

Yes, the NRA comes off looking like paranoid gun zealots, because that's what the media wants them to look like. And where do they come off looking so foolish? In the MEDIA!!! (after all, they do their own editing)

Any interview where the NRA destroys the anti gun interviewer simply doesn't get on the air. Only the clips and sound bytes favoring the media's agenda get played, over, and over. No matter what is brought up, they will focus only on what best suits them. Facts don't matter, unless they can be twisted to seem to support their side. Total BS is repeated endlessly, acepted as fact (usually with no actual investigation of the data) and repeated again.

Take the NRA ads about the security of the first family. What the media focused on was the idea that somehow the NRA was claiming that the first family shouldn't have that security. They harped on that endlessly. That is all they could, or would talk about.

They completely refused to consider that the point of the ads was that is was hypocritical for those children to be protected by armed security while DENYING IT to OUR CHILDREN. Did you hear any of the media reflect on that?

In 1944 Adolf Hitler named a new rifle design Sturmgewehr. This translates to "assault rifle" or "storm rifle". Assault/Storm being used in the military context, that of assaulting or storming an objective. The rifle so named was select fire (semi and full auto), and fired an intermediate power round, more powerful than the standard pistol round, but not as powerful as the standard rifle round of the era.

That general term, assault rifle became used in the shooting community to describe weapons in that class, select fire, intermediate power round. The rifles in this class usually shared other features, detatchable magazines, pistols grips, relatively straightline stocks, etc. But those cosmetic features were not what defined or classed them as assault rifles. Select fire, intermediate power round was what defined them.

The US govt never used the term assault rifle, because under US law they are machineguns. There was no legal need, or use for a separate term.

Move up to the shooting at the Stockton schoolyard (1989?). Patrick Purdy opened fire with a semi auto AK, then killed himself with a 9mm pistol. Left without a live suspect to focus on, the media focused on the rifle he used.

They screamed "He used an assault rifle!" (because the semi auto AK looks like the full auto one)

We answered, "No, he used a semi auto rifle. Assault rifles are select fire"

They screamed back, "He used a semi automatic assault rifle!!"

Now, "semiautomatic assult rifle" is a mouthful, and a cumbersome sound byte. After a while, the media, aided by anti gunners in and out of govt came up with a much easier phrase, "Assault Weapon".

It was actually a stroke of genius on their part. Not only did it sound almost exactly like assault rifle, but it also played into the more common American usage of the word assault. ANY weapon used to assault someone could be an assault weapon! AND it also took advantage of the fact that exterally many semi autos look the same as actual assault rifles.

And to add to the confusion, the AWB defined assault weapon as semiautomatics with certain cosmetic features, the ones that made them look most like the select fire assault rifles.

And, Assault Weapon also covered shotguns and handguns, those with the listed features. As well as a long list of semi autos by specficic name and model.

here's something else to consider, the rifle that the Sandy Hook killer used, after murdering his own mother, could only have been an "assault weapon" if it had been legally in Conn before passage of the 1994 AWB (the state one, which did not sunset) and so grandfathered.

Otherwise, the 'legally owned AR-15" could not have been one. The media has been noticably silent on this, only calling it an assault weapon. IF it met the state definition of assault weapon, and was a post 94 gun, it could not have been legally owned there. Not that it makes any difference, but personally, I'd like to know if it was a legal pre 94 gun, or if the media is just lying to us, again...

Sadly, while we know that the things that make something an Assault Weapon have nothing to do with the function of the firearm, the fact is that the term is codified in law, and is not going to go away.

We can keep wasting our time and breath, trying to explain the difference, but the sad truth is that the media is not listening, and the "average joe" either doesn't understand, or doesn't care. For a lot of them, if you assault someone, you used and assault weapon, and their small minds are already made up.
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:34 AM   #3
LogicMan
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Quote:
Man, I understand, and respect you logic. But there are some things you need to understand. First, and foremost, Assault Weapon is not a nonsense term. It is (sadly) a valid term, codified in law, and has been since the AWB of 94. And even though the Fed law sunset, several state laws saying the same thing did not.

Yes, Assault Weapon is a made up term. But they made it up, and got it into law, so it is now a valid term.
Couldn't they just explain this to the general public though? I mean I don't think it would be that hard to point out all the nonsense relating to it. Yes, on paper, it might legally be a term now, but explaining that technically, it is not a term, and pointing out how legislators continually seek to redefine it to cover whatever guns they want (which really shows how empty it is), I think shouldn't be problematic.

Quote:
Where the nonsense comes in is the continual, and intentional confusion and misdirectiion about what an "assault weapon" actually is. Our "unbiased" media, who helped create the term "assault weapon" won't even follow their own definition, continually misusing the term, no matter how often, or how well it is explained to them. This is either a tremendous case of willful ignorance, or more likely, a calculated deliberate action.

Yes, the NRA comes off looking like paranoid gun zealots, because that's what the media wants them to look like. And where do they come off looking so foolish? In the MEDIA!!! (after all, they do their own editing)
Yes, but it doesn't help matters when the NRA feeds this by not explaining to the public that they are not for some kind of special weapons of mass destruction being allowed to remain legal, that these weapons are nothing of the sort. The President and Vice President go out and say completely nonsensical things about guns. Dianne Feinstein claimed the AR-15 is one of the most powerful guns on the market and the Philadelphia police commissioner, at her press conference, claimed such guns are so powerful that you can't hunt with them because there'd be nothing left of the animal (!!!).

If these people can get away with spouting utter nonsense, then I think the NRA could very much get away with stating the facts on the technicals about these guns.

Quote:
Any interview where the NRA destroys the anti gun interviewer simply doesn't get on the air. Only the clips and sound bytes favoring the media's agenda get played, over, and over. No matter what is brought up, they will focus only on what best suits them. Facts don't matter, unless they can be twisted to seem to support their side. Total BS is repeated endlessly, acepted as fact (usually with no actual investigation of the data) and repeated again.
I think it would get on the air. The networks couldn't promise an interview with someone like Wayne LaPierre, then all of them decide to cut it (or at least I wouldn't think so). But LaPierre had ample opportunity to explain in detail at his press conference in the aftermath of the shooting and also at the Congressional hearings.

For example, Senator Dick Durbin was saying to him about people who think they need "this kind of firepower" (or something like that, regarding weapons like the AR-15) to resist the government.

Quote:
Take the NRA ads about the security of the first family. What the media focused on was the idea that somehow the NRA was claiming that the first family shouldn't have that security. They harped on that endlessly. That is all they could, or would talk about.
They also harped though that it was wrong to call Obama a hypocrite on the issue because he's the president, so of course he and his family need such security. But regardless, the NRA still made mistakes there:

1) NEVER mention the President's children in an ad being critical of him if you are coming from the political right-wing and the President is a Democrat. Whether you are right or wrong on the substance, especially if on an issue of the political right, it will be twisted against you.

2) Don't use abrasive language, such as hypocrite. It's like calling your opponent a liar in politics. it just turns people off. There are much more eloquent ways of criticizing your opponent.

3) It looks much more adult if you just say the President is well-meaning, but mis-informed, and then state the facts why.

Yes, it isn't fair, the Left can get away with very harsh criticism of Republican presidents, but that's just the reality.

Quote:
They completely refused to consider that the point of the ads was that is was hypocritical for those children to be protected by armed security while DENYING IT to OUR CHILDREN. Did you hear any of the media reflect on that?
The media did respond to it, but they said it's because he's the president, and thus his children are major targets, whereas the average person's aren't. Also, Obama is not calling to completely disarm the citizenry, he has said multiple times he is okay with people being armed to protect themselves, but that "weapons of war" and "assault weapons" should be banned.

For example, in a speech, he said he's okay with people having guns for protection, but he thinks everyone can agree that AK-47s only belong in the hands of soldiers, or something to that effect. In his recent speeches, he has used the phrase "weapons of war."

Remember, what you say doesn't solely count, it's also a matter of how you say it. The NRA needs to speak in a professional, but respectful, tone about the President, and just explain that its disagreement with him on the issue is based on his being mistaken on the capabilities of these guns.

Quote:
In 1944 Adolf Hitler named a new rifle design Sturmgewehr. This translates to "assault rifle" or "storm rifle". Assault/Storm being used in the military context, that of assaulting or storming an objective. The rifle so named was select fire (semi and full auto), and fired an intermediate power round, more powerful than the standard pistol round, but not as powerful as the standard rifle round of the era.

That general term, assault rifle became used in the shooting community to describe weapons in that class, select fire, intermediate power round. The rifles in this class usually shared other features, detatchable magazines, pistols grips, relatively straightline stocks, etc. But those cosmetic features were not what defined or classed them as assault rifles. Select fire, intermediate power round was what defined them.

The US govt never used the term assault rifle, because under US law they are machineguns. There was no legal need, or use for a separate term.
YES, and these are things that the NRA should describe (albeit I'd leave Hitler out of it). But point out such things. There are plenty of reasonable Americans out there on the fence.

Imagine if Wayne LaPierre had made a cordial speech saying, "I want to explain to everyone why we at the NRA are against a ban on what many of you describe as assault weapons..." and go into some detail. The anti-gun ideologues wouldn't like it, but many otherwise reasonable people would respond well to it I think.

Also, humans are emotional creatures and the media often act like children. If you talk abrasively to them, they'll act abrasively back, which is what they did to Mr. LaPierre after his speech because he was so critical of them. But if he'd been much more cordial, I think, even if they disagreed, they would have not been as harsh.

And it would have been hard for them to argue with hard facts on guns stated. The NRA could have done a lot to destroy the term assault weapon I think in that way. With ads as well, these speak right to the people, unfiltered by the media. You'd need short, but very explanatory, and cordial, ads, that explain to people why the NRA does not support a so-called "assault weapons ban," explaining the flaws of the term.

And emphasize that the politicians pushing for it are well-meaning, but just mis-guided. This can win moderates as you are thus not acting abrasive. It's like how presidential candidates call each other a "good man" even though they may not believe it.

Quote:
Move up to the shooting at the Stockton schoolyard (1989?). Patrick Purdy opened fire with a semi auto AK, then killed himself with a 9mm pistol. Left without a live suspect to focus on, the media focused on the rifle he used.

They screamed "He used an assault rifle!" (because the semi auto AK looks like the full auto one)

We answered, "No, he used a semi auto rifle. Assault rifles are select fire"

They screamed back, "He used a semi automatic assault rifle!!"

Now, "semiautomatic assult rifle" is a mouthful, and a cumbersome sound byte. After a while, the media, aided by anti gunners in and out of govt came up with a much easier phrase, "Assault Weapon".

It was actually a stroke of genius on their part. Not only did it sound almost exactly like assault rifle, but it also played into the more common American usage of the word assault. ANY weapon used to assault someone could be an assault weapon! AND it also took advantage of the fact that exterally many semi autos look the same as actual assault rifles.

And to add to the confusion, the AWB defined assault weapon as semiautomatics with certain cosmetic features, the ones that made them look most like the select fire assault rifles.

And, Assault Weapon also covered shotguns and handguns, those with the listed features. As well as a long list of semi autos by specficic name and model.

here's something else to consider, the rifle that the Sandy Hook killer used, after murdering his own mother, could only have been an "assault weapon" if it had been legally in Conn before passage of the 1994 AWB (the state one, which did not sunset) and so grandfathered.

Otherwise, the 'legally owned AR-15" could not have been one. The media has been noticably silent on this, only calling it an assault weapon. IF it met the state definition of assault weapon, and was a post 94 gun, it could not have been legally owned there. Not that it makes any difference, but personally, I'd like to know if it was a legal pre 94 gun, or if the media is just lying to us, again...
Yup!

Quote:
Sadly, while we know that the things that make something an Assault Weapon have nothing to do with the function of the firearm, the fact is that the term is codified in law, and is not going to go away.

We can keep wasting our time and breath, trying to explain the difference, but the sad truth is that the media is not listening, and the "average joe" either doesn't understand, or doesn't care. For a lot of them, if you assault someone, you used and assault weapon, and their small minds are already made up.
I would have to respectfully disagree here. I think that if groups like the NRA are persistent enough and explanatory enough, that many average Joes do care. On the fence I'd bet are a lot of "average Janes" too: mothers, single mothers, and so forth, and these are a key demographic which is why you want to explain the technicals as much as possible, so as to clear things up.

But nobody does this unfortunately. No Republican politician bothers to educate themself on the issue, and the NRA doesn't come out strongly against the term, so the Democrats make it out to all these Janes out there that these childish gun nuts are against the most "reasonable, sane gun regulations."

Last edited by LogicMan; February 25, 2013 at 03:43 AM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 07:27 AM   #4
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People will hear what they want to hear to justify their views and getting into sematics over what a rifle is called is a waste of time. We need to spend our time educating the public that just because a minute amount of crazy people use a tool to harm others is not justification to take that tool away from millions of law abiding citizens. For goodness sake, over 10,000 people were killed or maimed last year in automobile accidents where smart phones were being used to text while driving. Why aren't people getting upset about that and banning cell phones and automobiles?
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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You're wasting your time. The term "Assault Weapon" or "Assault Rifle" has already been accepted into common usage in the English language. You cannot undo this. Just move on.
The real problem is to educate the public. Assault rifles make up only a tiny fraction of gun deaths in this country. I'm lumping in murders, suicides and accidental shootings. They are, in fact, no more of a problem than shotguns.
What we need to do is to show that the assault rifle is just an other type of sporting arms. Are they used in hunting; yes. Are the used in shooting competitions; yes. Are they used for target shooting; yes. Are they used for just plain plinking; yes.
Every LEA in this country knows that the big problem is handguns. In my area the vast majority of gun deaths are from illegally possessed handguns. If they are already illegal, why do we need more gun laws? Why can't we enforce what is already on the books?
Banning assault rifles is kind of like banning sports cars just because they just look fast.
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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Talking about the NRA teaching the public, I am not sure that even most gun owners know much if anything about where these type rifles came from. How many would know that the "A" in AR means Armalite? You can put assualt or tactical on a product and its an instant seller. It's what people want..
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:45 AM   #7
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Too late, I am afraid. And, in my opinion, the NRA would be wasting time and risking looking silly if they kept stressing that point over and over again. The term has been entered into common usage and that is not likely to change.

My opinion is, if one is trying to win a propaganda war (which make no mistake, all of our political discussions of divisive issues like this are) one is not likely to change terms that are in usage, one must work to change the definition of those words, what people think of when they hear those words. Examples that come to mind from history are "terrorist" and "welfare". In my opinion, the left has always been much better at this sort of thing then the right.

Not to bash they NRA too much, but they are way too ham-handed an organization to be able to achieve something like this. Their strength, which they should stick to, is working the legislature and running ads at election time. I am only speaking of their political efforts, of course, not the training and other tasks they also complete.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Assault Weapon is not a nonsense term. It is (sadly) a valid term, codified in law
Wrong. Law uses the term "assualt rifle" for some fully-auto firearms.
The 'weapon' term is simply emotional rhetoric, sadly now commonly used for all firearms by many in the media.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:10 AM   #9
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Wrong. Law uses the term "assualt rifle" for some fully-auto firearms.
Actually, he is not wrong. Here is a definition from NY law, if you look you will find it defined in other state laws.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/P...E/P/265/265.00

" 22. "Assault weapon" means (a) a semiautomatic rifle that has an
ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the
following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of
the weapon;
(iii) a bayonet mount;
(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a
flash suppressor;
(v) a grenade launcher; or
(b) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least two of the following
characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of
the weapon;
(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds;
(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine; or
(c) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable
magazine and has at least two of the following characteristics:
(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the
pistol grip;...."
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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In doing some reading both on here and the rest of the gun friendly interwebz, I've come to the belief that the fight over the term "assualt weapon" has already been lost.

In addition to fighting a loosing, uphill battle againt an entrenched foe(the media), even correcting the terminology wouldn't help us much.

Further more, and this is my pessimism showing, when we make the argument that "the ban will never work, it targets cosmetic features" usually followed by a Mini-14 picture, all that seems to do is further demonize semi-automatic rifles for no gain. By saying that the banned guns would be no different than some of the legal guns, all we are doing is giving the anti-gunners more targets to ban later.

I say ignore that glaring error on behalf of the media in regards to the term "assualt weapon" and focus on making Congress and our State Legislator's understand that the 2nd Amendment means I can have an "assualt weapon" if I want to or an "assualt rifle" if I can afford it.
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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Every tissue is called a Kleenex and every adhesive bandage in called a Band-Aid. Every semi-auto rifle with even a hint of "military" in it's appearance will and likely forever more be called an "assault rifle". It's a stigma, it's biased...and it's not likely to change in the immediate future.
Even if the NRA tried to change that, the mainstream media won't care and the common person...both anti, semi-pro or undecided isn't interested in a semantic debate over the term and it's use. IMO it's not important anyway at this point. Improving the image of us gun owners is. Showing us gun owners in a more accurate light would do far more. Once we start gaining ground on that front, the word's impact as used right now will soften or change all together. The correct use of "assault rifle" is a very small battle that would get won by winning other battles, both legislative and PR, which are far more important and have a bigger impact on the large picture.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:20 PM   #12
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It wasn't so long ago that a morning guest on FOX News actually said, that civilians shouldn't have access to assault ammo. What the...

And no one on set disputed the remark.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:40 PM   #13
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And no one on set disputed the remark.
If it's not in the prompter, it's not gonna to happen. I work in TV and 95% of the folks I've worked with over the years don't have a clue about what they're talking about. Still doesn't stop most of them.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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The basic problem is that most of the population won't listen to anything but sound bites. The average attention span is short, and most people just aren't as interested in this subject as we are.

Trying to "explain" almost anything in detail is a losing proposition.

Unfortunately, what works are memorable little remarks (Joe Biden: "Use a shotgun. Just get a shotgun."), and appeals to emotion. The latter is something the NRA does rather crudely, which is a shame.
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Old February 25, 2013, 03:01 PM   #15
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I notice that when used by the police they are called Patrol Rifles. Much less terrifying name.
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Old February 25, 2013, 04:31 PM   #16
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I think Vanya made an excellent point in identifying the fact that our populace now relies on sound bites in forming their opinions.

This problem is compounded by the fact that there is so much disinformation, falsehood, and plain idiocy in gun control arguments. Each item requires an explanation to demonstrate its falsehood, and even if you can fit one into a sound bit there are so many others to cover that it becomes impossible to counter all the arguments in a digestible statement.

I honestly think that the sheer volume of misinformation being produced and publicized regarding firearms is part of the political strategy to get gun control measures passed.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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That the term "assault weapon" may exist in law doesn't grant it any technical authority, and I think this point could be made, you just again need the right person to make it and explain it clearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overhead
Too late, I am afraid. And, in my opinion, the NRA would be wasting time and risking looking silly if they kept stressing that point over and over again. The term has been entered into common usage and that is not likely to change.
Really? Wow, I'm surprised to see people think this. I'd think it could really put the administration on the defensive. It's just all in how you go about doing it. If you repeatedly, and calmly, and very professionally, refute all such claims about "assault wepaon," politicians and journalists would be hard-pressed to refute any of it.

Last edited by LogicMan; February 25, 2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:23 PM   #18
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The reason I think the NRA missed an opportunity to educate the public via say the press conference is because the NRA's press conference was hotly anticipated, and a lot of people who normally wouldn't pay any attention whatsoever to the NRA were paying attention. That was the time to explain things in some detail. Just do it cordially, say to people, "Even if you disagree with our position, we want people to fully understand why we hold the position we do," something like that. Just saying, "These things are not true!" about the media claims as LaPierre did makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I feel like yelling at him, "You should have explained why they are not true!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEMack618
I say ignore that glaring error on behalf of the media in regards to the term "assualt weapon" and focus on making Congress and our State Legislator's understand that the 2nd Amendment means I can have an "assualt weapon" if I want to or an "assualt rifle" if I can afford it.
The problem with this though is that unless played very carefully, it is one way the media make gun owners look like nuts and fruitcakes and loony-toons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumnote
Every tissue is called a Kleenex and every adhesive bandage in called a Band-Aid. Every semi-auto rifle with even a hint of "military" in it's appearance will and likely forever more be called an "assault rifle". It's a stigma, it's biased...and it's not likely to change in the immediate future.
Even if the NRA tried to change that, the mainstream media won't care and the common person...both anti, semi-pro or undecided isn't interested in a semantic debate over the term and it's use. IMO it's not important anyway at this point. Improving the image of us gun owners is. Showing us gun owners in a more accurate light would do far more. Once we start gaining ground on that front, the word's impact as used right now will soften or change all together. The correct use of "assault rifle" is a very small battle that would get won by winning other battles, both legislative and PR, which are far more important and have a bigger impact on the large picture.
It's my own opinion, but I think one way to help change the image of gun owners is to emphasize the wrongness of the term "assault weapon" and always be calm and professional when doing it. Don't put anyone on TV who will get emotional-acting over it, or else then people could think, "Some gun maniac getting all bent out over the semantics..."

But I think if done right, it could change people's minds. Also, I do think people care about if a term is completely incorrect. If people are calling to ban a gun because they think it's a weapon of mass death and you explain it's nothing of the sort, and that is why you are opposed to such a ban, I think a lot of people are reasonable enough to listen. The trouble is how to reach them via short commercials and ads. The people who don't care are the ideologues bent on gun control anyway. But otherwise, it's not just semantics, it's about pointing out that this isn't just a semantic issue.

One point to consider though on explanatory ads, have you seen the ads explaining why we should drill for oil and natural gas on Fox News? Those are more lengthy by commercial standards, but yet must be successful because they keep running them. I think if the NRA ran some type of professional ad explaining to people about the term assault weapon and hence why they are opposed to an AWB, that they could change minds and appear more positive.

Last edited by LogicMan; February 25, 2013 at 05:39 PM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UtopiaTexasG19
People will hear what they want to hear to justify their views and getting into sematics over what a rifle is called is a waste of time. We need to spend our time educating the public that just because a minute amount of crazy people use a tool to harm others is not justification to take that tool away from millions of law abiding citizens. For goodness sake, over 10,000 people were killed or maimed last year in automobile accidents where smart phones were being used to text while driving. Why aren't people getting upset about that and banning cell phones and automobiles?
Well they are already outlawing driving while holding a cell phone, and as for cars, I fully believe that if it wasn't for the fact that cars are necessary for society to function, then their ownership would be much more regulated and possibly banned, or only available in more limited use. It's just that normal people need them.

If we lived in a society where, for whatever reason, everybody had to carry a gun around, we wouldn't have the harping for gun control that so many call for.
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Old February 25, 2013, 06:21 PM   #20
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I've said this many times. You will not make a case by trying to convince folks the semi versions of EBRs (like that term?) are somehow less dangerous than some other weapon.

That the gist of the OP. The sheer appearance of the gun overrides complaining about the correct definition and semantics on an emotional level.

The cognitive approach is that we have the right to own these weapons because of their lethal nature - not because they are nicer than a full auto M-16.

Modern sporting rifle:

1. It's for sport - well, then you don't need 30 round clips full of cop killer bullets (Joe Scarborough quote). Oh, you have to be inconvenienced at a match by reloading - wah, wah. Don't the cowboy guys have to reload SAA revolvers.

2. It's for sport and what other sporting instruments are so intrinsically dangerous - racing cars it seems today - are they constitutionally protected? Why no.

Here's a note - if you have Wayne waving an AR saying it ain't that bad - it's nice, except for the choir - most folks will see a bad gun and the ad will be counterproductive.

The debate has quickly passed by the auto vs. semi argument.

These opinions come from my knowledge of such attitudinal things.
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Old February 25, 2013, 06:21 PM   #21
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"Well they are already outlawing driving while holding a cell phone,"

I am glad they are making laws against this now, everyone will obey, and there will no longer be any wrecks or deaths due to texting while driving. Same as no one ever driving over the speed limit or running a red light. These laws are wonderful reasons for a ever expanding government.
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
I've said this many times. You will not make a case by trying to convince folks the semi versions of EBRs (like that term?) are somehow less dangerous than some other weapon.
Why wouldn't you? Why do you think people would not take to such facts? Not saying you are wrong, but I am curious as to why you believe this so much.

Quote:
That the gist of the OP. The sheer appearance of the gun overrides complaining about the correct definition and semantics on an emotional level.
If you are dealing with ideologues who do not care about facts, then sure, but not all Americans are ideologues.

Quote:
The cognitive approach is that we have the right to own these weapons because of their lethal nature - not because they are nicer than a full auto M-16.

Modern sporting rifle:

1. It's for sport - well, then you don't need 30 round clips full of cop killer bullets (Joe Scarborough quote). Oh, you have to be inconvenienced at a match by reloading - wah, wah. Don't the cowboy guys have to reload SAA revolvers.

2. It's for sport and what other sporting instruments are so intrinsically dangerous - racing cars it seems today - are they constitutionally protected? Why no.

Here's a note - if you have Wayne waving an AR saying it ain't that bad - it's nice, except for the choir - most folks will see a bad gun and the ad will be counterproductive.

The debate has quickly passed by the auto vs. semi argument.

These opinions come from my knowledge of such attitudinal things.
Doesn't need to be Wayne himself doing it, but regardless, if you explain in the ad that the cosmetic appearance of the weapon has nothing to do with its function, I think it could work. You'd have to focus group test it and so forth.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Why do you think people would not take to such facts? Not saying you are wrong, but I am curious as to why you believe this so much.
I can throw my $.02 in on this, having debated antis on stage before. To convince someone of the difference, I need two things:
  1. A receptive audience that wants to hear me out, and
  2. one that's got the time to hear me out.

We live in a world where proper debate behavior and tactics no longer apply. It's about scoring points, getting zingers, and quick soundbites.

Mr. Anti says, "these machine guns of mass destruction belong in the military!"

I say, "well, the AR-15 is actually a semi-automatic rifle, which means..."

Mr. Anti points at a picture of an M-16 (or a bunch of dead kids), and the crowd reacts better to that. I'm not even into my third sentence by the time I've lost them.

The NRA gets a limited amount of face-time in the mainstream media (and boy, has LaPierre screwed it up at a pivotal moment). They can't get embroiled in what the layman is going to perceive as a dry technical quibble.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:20 PM   #24
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I notice that when used by the police they are called Patrol Rifles. Much less terrifying name.
I find it useful to point out that, for their own personal defense, police officers choose semiautomatic rifles and pistols for their effectiveness against multiple attackers.

Why should a police officer's life be worth defending with these guns?.......but your life is not worth defending with these guns?

Make it personal......
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:57 PM   #25
SPEMack618
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And that leads to cries of "The police are paid to do it" and "The President's daughter could be a terrorist target."

The term "assualt weapons" angers me to no end, and I railed against it to all who would listen. In fifth grade. No one cared.

And then the ban sunseted, and no one cared.

And now there is talk of a ban again.

The term assualt weapon is a lost fight.
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