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Old November 27, 2012, 12:05 AM   #1
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Need to stop using the word weapon. What's more appropriate?

I see the YouTube celebrities referring to every firearm as a weapon and it makes me cringe.

Now, if you're a wingshooter or something, don't come after me, I know you don't call your fancy shotgun a "weapon".

We need to control the language to put out a better public image.

What should we always call firearms? Call them just that "firearms", guns? Call it what it is, rifle/pistol/shotgun?

I like "defensive firearm". Think of it as the opposite of "assault rifle". The media pounded on the term assault rifle and altered the meaning and perception. They controlled the language.

Imagine if we always described a a language "positive" way. If we tie the word defense to the word gun or firearm, that would be golden.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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It is what it is.

Gun, firearm, GLOCK (Cause all guns are GLOCKS), etc.

And yea, there are a weapon…Can't say anything against calling a spade a spade.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:46 AM   #3
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gun, firearm, peacemaker, revolver, semi, semi-automatic, shotgun, rifle, weapon, and there are plenty of other alternatives to choose........gun, weapon, firearm are probably on the very top of the list. choose anyone you want. you can say handgun too, pistol, etc
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:50 AM   #4
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You could say piece.
But it can be confusing.
People ask me where I'm going.
"Down the road a piece", I say.
"Or maybe it's down the road looking for a piece", I say.
Maybe if you spelled it peace it would distinguish.
As in the Colt PeaceMaker (rtm, etc.)
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:29 AM   #5
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I kind of like "Roscoe"
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:41 AM   #6
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Although my drill sergeant in Army basic training made it clear that "guns" are those big boomer things on Navy ships, I think in day-to-day conversation the word "gun" is generally understood. If further distinction is required, we have "shotguns," "rifles," and "pistols." (And to head off the protests from the self-styled purists, a revolver is a type of pistol.)
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:42 AM   #7
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Or as my girlfriend's code word goes..."(Sig)arettes".

"You have your cigarettes on you today?".

I don't smoke. Makes it easy.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:59 AM   #8
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Defensive happy sunshine rainbow unicorn machine... or is that too long?

Seriously though, I don't think coming up with creative terminology to try and frame weapons/firearms/guns/<insert subtype here> in a better light is a good idea. IMHO it's no different than slapping the label "assault weapon" on something to make it sound more dangerous. It's dishonest and just brings confusion to an arena that could use more clarity and truth, and less spin.
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:06 AM   #9
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It's weapon. Call a spade a spade.

Or if you are of the more precise persuasion, you could call it a pistol/rifle/shotgun ..... similar to "D-Handle shovel/posthole digger/grain scoop ....

Maybe "Ranged Hole Puncher"?
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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Although my drill sergeant in Army basic training made it clear that "guns" are those big boomer things on Navy ships,
As member of the Redleg Bretheren (Field Artillery), I (and every Fort Sill DI, EVER,) can assure you that though I have never been been on a Navy ship, those "big boomer things" we carted around we in fact called "Guns".
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:44 AM   #11
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Two possibilities: 1. firearm; 2. weapon.

"Firearm" is better, IMO, because a weapon includes everything from a steak knife to a blowgun to a slingshot. Firearm also is not misleading in that only a dolt would misconstrue one as a mortar or rocket or a howitzer or a guided missile or a "gun," which in military terms is the modern equivalent of a cannon and is most commonly used to describe large artillery pieces and the big tubes on destroyers, cruisers and battleships.

So... if you are a wingshooter, refer to your "shotgun" and do not be distracted by liberals who try to change the definition.

Last edited by Tom Servo; November 27, 2012 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Removed criticism of liberals
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:47 AM   #12
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No, I'm fine with calling them weapons. That's what they are. Even a little .22 plinker shares the design and potential purpose as something intended to be used to inflict harm.

Calling them weapons may help hammer home how serious these things are, and I see a lot of shooters who need that.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:10 AM   #13
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Provide more positive examples of guns in our culture rather than wasting time trying to trick people into liking them. They aren't stupid, amd wont appreciate any play on words. Convince them through intellect and cite examples of how guns help not hurt.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:13 AM   #14
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I agree with Tom. I think avoiding the word "weapon" plays into the anti-gunner framing of the Second Amendment as about sport, hunting, and recreation. While those are undoubtedly valid reasons for the Amendment, and maybe the main reason we all own guns, the biggest reasons the 2A was passed were anti-tyranny and defense of self and property. I refuse to frame the right differently to accommodate the anti-gun crowd.

Inevitably, when I argue with anti-gun friends or colleagues, the line comes up "Yeah, well, a car is deadly but it's used for lots of useful stuff, a gun's purpose is to kill." Our side of the argument dodges this, and while I point out there are many non-lethal reasons for gun ownership (deterrence, target shooting, etc.), I do not dodge their central point, I admit it and embrace it. Yes, most of my guns were designed to kill. My Ruger LCP is designed to kill close-range assailants. My Beretta PX4 is designed to repel moderate threats in the service or home setting. Even my Ruger 10/22 is frequently used for varmint control or hunting - killing - and my AR-15 and Remington 870 are dedicated killing platforms.

Now, I hope to God every time I put one in my pocket or on the nightstand that they remain placid shooting range toys my whole life. But that's not why I bought them. I bought them because they are weapons. Like my forefathers with the rifle above the hearth or a sheathed sword near at hand, I take full ownership of my weapons, and am proud of them as a free man.

Sorry, this got long-winded. And I completely understand why you'd want to avoid the term to keep things comfortable. I do the same in tense enough social situations, same with politics and religion.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:26 AM   #15
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I suppose if you were carrying any handgun(gee,interesting term...hand for me) so it was not visible it would be "carrying a concealed weapon"

I generally call a rifle a rifle and a shotgun a shotgun.

Handgun,rifle,shotgun.All useful weapons.oops,carbine I suppose,too.Another weapon.

Unless I was thinking "sporting arm"

One day I was looking in the Machinery Handbook and came across definition of screw vs bolt.According to the Handbook,the same fastener can be either.Used with a nut,its a bolt.Used in assembly to a threaded hole,its a screw.Application makes the difference.

You may call your side by side a fowling piece,but sitting on a stagecoach,its a weapon.

I prefer not to consider myself defanged and declawed.Nope.I believe in being dangerous.

Being dangerous,we can look out for each other.

An armed society is a polite society.Armed with weapons.

But,if it makes you more comfortable,handgun,rifle,shotgun,all useful terms.Whatever makes you happy.Peace...Namaste.

Last edited by HiBC; November 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:47 AM   #16
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Yammi, only because it was I once heard someone refer to a firearm as that. Seriously though, I do use the word weapon, but try to substitute it with system or platform during so it does not sound as menacing to some.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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In the simplest terms, Good Point!
As someone once pointed out, we (gun owners) are a minority. Putting others at ease while helping them to appreciate our passion for firearm ownership is not just a good thing, but a smart one as well.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:24 AM   #18
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IMHO, finding and using some less offensive wording is a great idea . I like firearm because of the spade thing and it covers most all guns in a conversation . We all must remember that at the end of the day it will come down to the wording and how it's presented to the public and the courts if we wish to continue having the right to bare arms . The other side is winning in the war of words and if we can't change the preception of guns then we may lose them for good . Black & white is good but I don't think thats how this fight gets won .
Tolerate- allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with , without interference.
If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going . or a picture of Mohamed
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:25 AM   #19
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I know that when I went through the NRA instructor course for the Boy Scouts, it was pounded in our heads that "weapons" were not permitted, but firearms, guns, and rifle was okay.

I try to stick with either of those and avoid the word weapon.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:52 AM   #20
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Good thread.
I'm going to chime in with a similar thought from a LEO's perspective as to what word not to use;

Traffic stop scenario;
Say you have a CHL or are otherwise legally carrying a firearm and you want to inform the officer of such....either out of courtesy or as required by law in some states ---------

If you are ever pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop...when you are speaking with the officer, especially at first contact with them, never say

"I have a GUN".
Training has embedded in us that the word "GUN" is a alarm / action word much like the word "FIRE" in a crowded theater is an action word. This would be especially important if there are two officers at the traffic stop where one officer is standing back off a few feet and the other is conversing with the driver at the car door. The second officer hears the conversation but his mind is only paying partial attention to the words because it is his job to visually watch the scene and be the safety. He hears bla, bla, bla, bla, GUN, bla bla.... and his training takes over and he draws his weapon.

I have had people (with CHL's) ask me how to inform an officer that they have their "gun" with them. I suggest the following wording...
"Officer I have a concealed handgun permit and I do have the FIREARM with me on my person" (or in the car) (or but do not have a FIREARM with me at this time).

While you are saying this don't be fumbling around with your hands. In my part of Texas most officers are very pro citizen carry and if you happen to tell them you have a CHL but don't have the firearm with you at the time they will probably comment "why not cause it ain't doing you no good left at home".
Another note to all is that in Texas when an officer runs your Texas driver license on the computer, your Texas CHL will show up in the information he sees, so always tell them you have a Texas CHL when you first speak with them. Legally you only have to show it to them if your are carrying, but if you are not carrying please tell them you have a CHL but are not carrying.

My whole point in this post is not use the word GUN in front of law enforcement since to us it is a danger word.

If you live in Texas and have a CHL, thank you. If you haven't got one yet, go get trained and get one!
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:54 AM   #21
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Call it a criminal re-education tool . Or even call it a guidance counselor for poor misguided youth of the pillaging type.
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:02 AM   #22
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Try killing machine, as in "where did I leave my killing machine"? Honestly guys, come along now .
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:04 AM   #23
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I just use the term "firearm" and then let the use of the firearm define its use, whether its for:

Weapon (and if so, define if its used for defense, or to harm another)
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:07 AM   #24
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I think we should follow the lead of that greatest of entertainers.....Prince.

We should call them "the objects formerly known as weapons".

Gimme a break... it is what it is.

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Old November 27, 2012, 10:12 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by CJohnson76 View Post
Yammi, only because it was I once heard someone refer to a firearm as that. Seriously though, I do use the word weapon, but try to substitute it with system or platform during so it does not sound as menacing to some.
Less menacing, more mall-ninja.

If there was any term I'd want people to stop using, it would be "platform".

They are guns, guns are weapons. They are firearms, firearms are weapons. Rifles, rifles are weapons. Handguns, handguns are weapons. Any of those terms is just fine. It usually makes sense to use the most descriptive term to avoid confusion. "Weapon" is a classification, not a singular item, except as a general classification.
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