Words Have Meaning In The War On Guns

I am not a writer. I am not a lobbyist, or looking for a political career, or trying to raise money, or pushing any agenda of any sort. I am not here to tell you what you need to do or how you need to act. I can't even tell you the best way to prevent violence. I am simply a young American who works his butt off day in and day out trying to live a happy life. I work a very blue collar job. I live in a small town in rural America. I'm a fan of God, guns, my country, tattoos and horses. I am not a perfect person. I cuss, I fight, and I get lazy. I have even made a few mistakes where I have found myself in legal trouble as a result (Thank God nothing that would impede my gun rights). I have seen firsthand what guns in the wrong hands can do. I have also seen where if a gun would have been in the right hand it could have saved a lot of suffering.

I spend a fair amount of time online reading opinions of other people. I have tried to look at both the pro-gun and anti-gun side. I see the common stereotypes associated with people on both sides. While I have just scratched the surface, I have begun reading into a history of firearms and their worldly influence. Because none of the current issues involve hunting arms and they seem to concentrate on what the media and politicians refer to as "assault weapons." This is where I will focus my attentions this time around.

First off, what is an assault weapon? If you have had your head under a rock in perfect and blessed ignorance of current events for the last several decades the logical answer would be that an assault weapon is a weapon used to assault someone. There have been many weapons created with the main intention of hurting fellow humans all throughout history. Besides assaulting another man what was the purpose of a sword? I can't say I've ever heard of people hunting with long swords. So if that's the case, nearly anything can be an "assault weapon".

Ever sense some Chinese alchemist stumbled upon black powder somewhere around 1,200 years ago it has been used in weaponry.

"The earliest known formula for gunpowder can be found in a Chinese work dating probably from the 800s. The Chinese wasted little time in applying it to warfare, and they produced a variety of gunpowder weapons, including flamethrowers, rockets, bombs, and land mines, before inventing firearms." (Chase, Kenneth (2003), Firearms: A Global History to 1700, Cambridge University Press).

Then, of course, people have sought to advance technology to make killing of things more efficient. When the first automatic gun was invented by Hiram Maxim in the late 1800's it received both great reviews and heavy criticism. Fifty men with a few Maxim guns could defend against an attack from thousands of men. It could also be used to invade a country and take out the entire standing army in a day. This advanced into more and more power, both in bigger and smaller packages. Then come the assault rifles.

The term assault rifle is a translation of the German word Sturmgewehr (literally "storm rifle", "storm" as in "military attack"). The name was coined by Adolf Hitler as a new name for the Maschinenpistole 43, also known as the Sturmgewehr 44. Using a strict definition, in order for a firearm to be considered an assault rifle it has to have several key features. Which are: It must be an individual weapon with ability to fire from the shoulder, must be capable of select fire (full automatic/burst fire option along with the semi-auto option), must fire an intermediate power cartridge, its ammo must be fed from a detachable magazine, and is has to have a range of 300 meters or more. With these requirements we narrow down what can be considered an assault rifle to a rather small group. No true assault rifle is easy for an American civilian to get his hands on. Have you ever tried? If you get past all the red tape and bureaucracy then feel free to pony up the 15-20 grand it will cost for the gun, considering they're now collectors' items because the Firearms Owners' Protection Act that banned a civilian from ownership or transfer rights of any fully automatic weapon which was not registered as of May 19, 1986. Any such weapon manufactured and registered before the May 19 cutoff date could still be legally owned and transferred by civilians. That means anything produced after 1986 is considered illegal for civilians.

What about "tactical rifles" or "combat rifles" or "sniper rifles?" Are those further weapons of death and destruction able to strike fear in any man's soul? Or are they labels intended to bolster sales and create fear so that they may be demonized? Because if so, that's really counterproductive for both sides. Look at the zombie craze. It made a huge splash and many people went out, bought guns, and learned how to use them all in order to better protect themselves from the "undead." I consider this a good thing. It helped the economy, it made guns cool again. No longer is it just the "right wing wack job" that wants to own AR-15's and AK style rifles because he is afraid of the communist party taking over America. Now it's your big brother who has the AR-15 because he's going to be able to effectively save your butt when z-day comes. All this and the video game Call of Duty perpetuated mislabeling that now the anti-gun crowd is using to fuel their flames. First, understand the term "Sniper rifle." As told to be by a former USMC scout sniper, "There is no such thing as a sniper rifle. There is just a sniper and his rifle." So if you can't call any of these .50BMG or Tactical Remington 700's sniper rifles, then what are they? The correct term would be a long range precision rifle. Well, that's not very scary.

Now, the term used is "combat rifle." In my eyes a combat rifle would be any rifle you chose to go into combat with. To go into combat is to engage in a fight. If you look at it that way then yes, your AR or your AK style rifle could be a combat rifle when used in a fight for self-defense, but so could your little .38 revolver, or your great grandpa's 12ga shotgun. If you use it in a fight, whether defense or assault then the weapon you use is your combat/self-defense weapon.

Why do politicians and anti-gunners use these terms if they're incorrect? I believe it is part ignorance and part fear mongering. Trying to create an emotional reaction strong enough to demonize an inanimate object. How effective would it be to say "We need to ban semi-automatic small caliber sporting rifles with plastic accessories?" Some have started calling them "military style" rifles. Yes, that's true. The design for my sporting/self-defense rifle was based off a design that is or was used by a military force. The Brown Bess musket is an outdated military style firearm. It is probably responsible for more deaths than the M-16. Yyet it's legal for anyone, felons included, to own. Where is the outcry on this?

History has shown that an unarmed man is at the mercy of an armed man. Why people are willing to reduce their ability to protect themselves is beyond me. Maybe it's just complacency. Nothing bad has ever happened to them so the only use they see for firearms is what video games, movies, and the rare mass shooting portray: Death, destruction and evil. Maybe they have never fired a semi-auto sporting rifle and saw how much fun it can be. They can't understand its usefulness as a tool to protect your land, your family, and yourself. Maybe they lack an understanding of history and tie that back into the complacency because they believe that their happy little world will never end. Maybe they are just the peace loving type and have an unrealistic expectation of a crime free world.

Whatever it may be, disarming citizens is bad. Falsely labeling these items is a way to make them seem evil. This needs to end and my little voice can't do it alone. Help educate the masses. Let them know what they are supporting. Please use correct terminology. Pro-gun people using the wrong names only reinforces their standing and breeds more ill-contempt for these firearms. We need the public to know that these guns are not evil. An AR-15 does not encourage more deaths.

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About Blake Jones
Blake is 20 and lives in central Wyoming. He comes from a ranching family. He has enjoyed firearms since my grandfather, who is a former Alaska state trooper, gave me my first .22 when I was 10. I have never been really political until this gun grab. It's opened my eyes.

13 thoughts on “Words Have Meaning In The War On Guns

  1. Communists intentionally created today's American Society for the express purpose of enslaving us. Communists have made our young into barbarians without any morals whatsoever. This SCUM then sit back and blame a tool for their creation. Only the gullible believe this LIE.

    Individuals who have become barbarians without Christian Morals are the reason children are murdering other children. The foot of the problem is Communist Propaganda.

  2. Steven Newman says:

    "How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a MASTER with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system." Sen.. Barry Goldwater, 1964

  3. If the left wants to get their way, they are going to have to stop lying to the American People. I watched Hillary Clinton lie during the Senate Hearings on Benghazi. Eric Holder continues to defy a Congressional subpoena regarding the Fast & Furious fiasco. Obama's been lying to everybody ever since he was elected. Biden it seems was born to lie and the rest of the Democrates just folloow suit since they know nothing will happen to them if they get caught. Now they want us to do as they say but not as they do, as it they are scacred cows. I'm pretty fed up with all of their crap and all of the changes that Obama is stuffing down the throats of the American People. He is Taxing everybody to death because he has gotten this country so far in debt that unless he stops his wastefull spending our deficet will be passed on to future generations. Doesn't the Left know what is happening to our country? Now they won't even let us hand down a firearm to our son's and daughters without asking his permission and going through a ton of red tape. I hope I'm not the only one who feels like we are living in a different country right now.

  4. A.Levy ,Well said.I agree with you 110%

  5. Great point that I too have been trying to make......beware the labels that the government tries to apply and the definitions they want to use. ANY weapon, some things not considered a weapon such as an axe or baseball bat, can be considered 'assault' since they assault something. If we don't rein in these ignorant politicians you can bet they will want to begin 'expanding' any definition they apply to include more and more later on. Maybe some politician's aren't so ignorant...they are working on an agenda to turn the USA into a socialist country where they and their own families/cronies are elevated to the controlling faction.

  6. Jonathan Carruthers says:

    To me, the most telling case highlighting how words are used to forward a cause was the recent purchase by DHS of 7,000 M4 rifles to be issued for use within the US.

    The AR15 and replicas of the M4, capable of semi-auto fire only and available to civilians, are maligned as deadly "assault weapons". Experts from the gun-grabbing crowd (such as "Buy a Shotgun" Joe Biden) have gone on record as saying they have no useful purpose as personal defense weapons. Even Obama said, "“AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals; that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.” While not cited during that same speech, it has been glaringly apparent in more recent diatribes those sentiments extend to semi-auto AR15s and M4s. Therefore, they too must be banned for the safety of the children.

    To avoid confronting the obvious hypocrisy, the M4 variant of the M16, capable of full-auto 3-round burst fire, that DHS has ordered is now a "Personal Defense Weapon".

    I laughed.

  7. Words have meaning? Guns would have more meaning. They are something the leftists understand.

  8. Let's issue every one a Colt Mod 1873 .45 cal Peacemaker, It is after all the gun that made every one equal.

  9. Words have meaning.
    Allowing politicos of all ilks to redefine ("It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is.") our vocabulary should be viewed the same as lying.
    Giving a pass to 'weasel words' and phrases like "I misspoke" only allow our elected officials to believe we are a bunch of simpering ninnies they can bamboozle at will.

  10. Blake, very good article. It is easy to understand and points out the hypocrisy of the language of the left and others that just don't know the differences. Glad your eyes are open at 20! Keep it up and never back down when right.

  11. As long as politicians continue to re-write the real meanings of words to suit their needs they will get their Subjects to follow blindly. Just waite until they turn the term hunting rifle into a sniper weapon just because the rifle has a scope! I am totaly surprised that they haven't done this already!

  12. Simply put, what the Left is attempting to do is create the imaginary utopia they always envision, one that is free of evil. And to them, the only way to do that is to eliminate guns, and everything else they dislike. Yes, i said eliminate, not control. They want a total ban on ALL firearms.

    What they never seem to understand is, to eliminate evil, something we ALL would love to see, you have to dramatically alter human nature. And all the laws, rules, and regulations ever made have yet to accomplish that impossible fete. You would think they would have learned that from the Prohibition on alcohol back in the late 1920's. Human nature doesn't change when the humans involved don't want it to change! And no court or elected crook is going to change that.