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Reader Dave H. put his thinking cap on and has devised a way to soothe the fragile psyches of some of those we deal with on a regular basis:

I read about the decision to ban fifty word from New York tests because they didn’t meet politically correct muster. Like others on the site, I let a few rants fly in the discussion, but then I had an epiphany: “The guy down the street with all the guns is right”. No wait, that was a poster I saw yesterday. I realized maybe we could PC-ize the “assault weapon.” Turn their favorite weapon – words – against them. I mean who would be afraid of a “high capacity magazine” (their term not mine) if we called it instead a “manufacturer-standard cartridge loading device?” Of course, we don’t have to use these terms with our brothers and sister in arms, just the individuals disinclined to acquiesce to our request. Our request being, of course, leave me the hell alone to exercise my constitutional rights as I see fit. To aid in future arguments discussions with the more “progressive”-minded gun grabbers, I came up with the following PC versions of assault weapon definitions . . .

Semi-automatic – Self repeating firearm (see…not nearly as scary)

Detachable magazine – Removable manufacturer-standard cartridge loading device

Collapsible stock- Multi-user ergonomic adjustable platform

Folding stock – Maximum space utilization platform

Pistol Grip – Ergonomic user interface handle

Threaded barrels – Muzzle device compatible barrel

Flash suppressor – Exhaust gas luminance control device or retina preservation system

Muzzle brakes – Exhaust gas recoil dampening device

Compensator – See above

Barrel shroud – Forward hand safety envelope

Assault weapon – Modular self-repeating home defense tool

I don’t really know if these would actually help in a prospective argument, but they might. And maybe they’d even get some new shooters to the range. That would make it all worth it.

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  1. I don’t like the “self repeating” part of the semi auto/assault weapon. I prefer User Controlled, pressure ejecting rifle”

  2. Mikhail Kalashnikov would be offended that the chart implies that the AK-47’s design was influenced by the StG 44. He insists that he came up with the design on his own.

    • Yeah, and it was only a few years ago he was cornered and admitted he had several of the StG developers, “liberated” by the Soviet army, working with him after WWII *at all*.

      • Yeah, they helped out with the stamping process, nothing else, if you look at the insides of the stg and the ak platform, they are quite different.

  3. Bi-metal excreting device with self injecting capability on a user adjustable, shoulder mounted, dual handled platform…

    • Elegant linguistic depiction, Beldar! Surely the aggressive authority figures clod in reinforced cavalry footwear shall relinquish the persecution of beings who cherish the just claim to retain and wield bi-metal excreting devices!

  4. That’s cute. Seriously, though, words do matter and recapturing the vocabulary is an important tactical objective in the overall strategy of maintaining and expanding our firearms freedoms. A few real world examples of rephrasing I’ve used are below. I don’t claim originality of any or all of them in particular. Some I may have started using on my own, but most I’m sure I’ve picked up from others along the way.

    Not guns, but firearms or, better, household firearms
    Not handgun, but sidearm
    Not assault weapon/rifle, but self-defense firearm
    Not high capacity magazine, but standard capacity magazine
    Not concealed gun/handgun, but privately carried firearm/sidearm
    Not concealed carry, but private carry or right to carry
    Not pro-gun, but pro-self-defense or pro-freedom
    Not anti-gun, but anti-civil rights
    Not Second Amendment, but Bill of Rights
    Not gun owner, but responsible firearms owner
    Not common sense legislation, but senseless victimization measures
    Not gun control, but dangerous disarmament
    Not preventing a return to the Wild, Wild West, but promoting a return to a reckless, racist past

    I could go on, because it’s actually pretty fun. Recast the debate using terms that readily inject reality into the discussion, and subtly extract emotion from it. If we can get people at least to speak in terms that reflect reality, then perhaps we’ve made some progress toward both getting them to think in terms that reflect reality and fortifying them against false arguments.

  5. Never adopt your enemy’s vocabulary; Never modify it to fit their argumentary points.
    Guns= Firearms
    Assault Weapons= Firearms
    Assault Pistols= Firearms
    Single Shot=Firearms
    Nuff Said?

  6. I can’t believe this follows so closely on a reference to Wittgenstein in a recent article. His point was that language is a very limited medium for conveying information, and where language fails it is better to be silent than to introduce confusion or antipathy. He was a bit of a twerp though, and most people who bestowed the title of genius upon him, did so because they failed to follow his arguments.

    What’s wrong with “Rifle”, “Shotgun”, “Pistol” or “Revolver”. Sub category is less important than the actual form. “Assault” is not a term that should be used for commercially available rifles. Keep it simple, folks, there are some very dim bulbs on the other side.


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