LAW-abiding gun owners all across this great country have fallen into a dangerous trap. That trap is using the same verbiage as those who would like to strip us of our God-given right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The words “assault weapon” should never leave our mouths. To be precise, there is no such thing—never has been. Anti-gunners, to provoke a visceral response from the general public, invented the term.
How about “assault rifle”? Not much better, because a true assault rifle is capable of full-auto fire. How many of us actually own a select-fire rifle? Damn few. The truth of the matter is that select-fire or fully automatic firearms have been strictly regulated since 1934.
“Modern Sporting Rifle.” Although created by pro-gun folks as an alternative to assault weapon or assault rifle, I don’t care much for this either. The term “sporting” is not in the Bill of Rights, and hunting Bugs, Daffy, Donald, Bambi and other cuddly creatures has absolutely nothing to do with the intent of the Second Amendment.
So what do we call them? How about “rifle” or “personal-defense rifle”? If those do not sound exciting, good—give the antis nothing to hold on to.
“High-Capacity Magazine.” Although I have used it myself in the past, I hate this term. I have exactly two “high-capacity” rifle magazines. Both are 60-round mags manufactured by SureFire for use in the AR platform. All the 20- and 30-round magazines I have are standard capacity. That is, they were designed to function in the rifle with that many rounds.
Let’s say you carry a Ruger SR9 with a ten-round magazine. Now you have a diminished capacity magazine, as that pistol was designed to operate with a standard capacity magazine of 17 rounds. (This is assuming, of course, that you live in a free state that allows standard capacity magazines.)
Awhile back, I was talking to a gentleman who is a fence sitter—meaning that he is neither pro- nor anti-gun.
He posed the question, “Why do you want a high-capacity magazine?”
I answered him by saying I don’t—I just want the standard-capacity magazine the gun was designed to operate with, be it six rounds or 30. He replied, “Well, that doesn’t sound unreasonable.”
Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it.
It will take some practice, but we need to get out of the linguistic trap.
If we can control the definitions, we have a better chance of controlling the debate.
Until next time, stay low and watch your back.