18 November 2007

What's In A Name?

Recently, I started using the name "competition rifle" to describe the scary looking rifles the antis want to ban. Primarily because the AR-15 and its variants are used with such frequency across the U.S. in high-power competitions. When I talk to people who are uninformed on the issue and ask them why they want to ban competition rifles, they immediately tell me they would never want to do that. Why do they react that way? Because they didn't really know what they were agreeing to ban. Their fear comes from the words that are used by the media and by gun politicians and operatives.

Some other folks have pondered the same question. There is a debate within our culture on this issue. What to call the big scary black rifle -- a relative peashooter compared to the M1 Garand with which I enjoy honing my marksmanship skills. Some call the discussion stupid. Others aren't sure, but feel we need to address it somehow.

Words do matter. The other side learned this long ago (i.e. -- "hidden guns," a sinister phrase as opposed to our focus on "concealed firerms"). We need to be less serious about being serious -- on some occasions -- and utilize the language to our benefit more often. On the humor front, when you click through to a different site from the link in the previous paragraph, the writer at the What Would John Wayne Do? blog has taken a stab at some different monikers for the AR. One of the more memorable possibilities . . . the "Seriously, I could have bought two or three good lever actions for what I paid for this" gun.

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