Weapon, Firearm...I don't get the controversy.

Weapon, Firearm...I don't get the controversy.

This is a discussion on Weapon, Firearm...I don't get the controversy. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This was posted in another thread which I don't wish to hijack: Originally Posted by tbmccord I am a NRA Instructor and part of our ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Cycler's Avatar
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    Weapon, Firearm...I don't get the controversy.

    This was posted in another thread which I don't wish to hijack:

    Quote Originally Posted by tbmccord View Post
    I am a NRA Instructor and part of our mission is to educate the masses, including law enforcement on the proper terms to use. When asked if I had a weapon in the vehicle, I replied: "With all due respect officer, I do have a firearm in the vehicle. Weapon suggests offensive and my firearms are solely for my defense and the defense of my family."
    I'm not an NRA member (though I might become one) and just don't get this distinction. If I look up weapon in the dictionary, I get this:

    M-W: something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy

    Free dictionary and 3 other sites:
    1) an instrument or device of any kind used to injure or kill, as in fighting or hunting
    2) any organ or part of an organism used for attacking or defending
    any means of attack or defense
    3) A means used to defend against or defeat another

    If I look up firearm I get:

    M-W: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder —usually used of small arms

    Freedictionary: A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.


    It sounds to me that a firearm sure is a weapon and there's nothing about the term that implies offense any more than defense.

    Why does the NRA get their underwear in a bunch over this and try and re-define a term? Seems like foofaraw to me.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    My .02 is that replying the leo question. That a weapon is something that may/can hurt the officer, where as a firearm is implying that you would only use a firearm in defense of yourself and not on the offense to hurt the leo.

  3. #3
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    Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Every firearm is a weapon. Not every weapon is a firearm. A weapon can be used either offensively or defensively.

    The quoted person is making a play on words and should try politics instead. Sounds like standard NRA talk to me.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycler View Post
    This was posted in another thread which I don't wish to hijack:



    I'm not an NRA member (though I might become one) and just don't get this distinction. If I look up weapon in the dictionary, I get this:

    M-W: something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy

    Free dictionary and 3 other sites:
    1) an instrument or device of any kind used to injure or kill, as in fighting or hunting
    2) any organ or part of an organism used for attacking or defending
    any means of attack or defense
    3) A means used to defend against or defeat another

    If I look up firearm I get:

    M-W: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder —usually used of small arms

    Freedictionary: A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.


    It sounds to me that a firearm sure is a weapon and there's nothing about the term that implies offense any more than defense.

    Why does the NRA get their underwear in a bunch over this and try and re-define a term? Seems like foofaraw to me.
    Well I am an NRA instructor and I agree with you. It's a semantics issue. The NRA has an agenda, thats what we pay them for. Part of that agenda is to train and educate all aspect of firearms to the public including the youth. Also they have to understand the message that their oppposition (gun control antis) hears and that the term weapon will be used against us.

    Ironically, I did more than one pushup for saying gun while in basic, it's a weapon. Bottom line, like the old addage; you dance with who brought you!

    As a far training LEO, not my job. IF asked aquestion I'll try to answer but any LEO with two brains cells to rub together will react the same whether you say firearm or weapon. Correcting a LEO on semantics, no thanks! OMOYMMV
    rolyat63
    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor

    A gun in the hand is a million times more valuable than a cop on the phone!

    FL Concealed Weapon or Firearm Program

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Its a distinction for people who like to split hairs and feel superior. I won't feel and more or less threatened or assume any specific use based on the term no matter whether you say "firearm" or "weapon".
    -Landric

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    I teach Ohio 4-H Shooting Sports. We are instructed not to refer to a firearm as a weapon because "weapon" implies offensive. The idea behind the 4-H Shooting Sports program is youth development and life skills rather than self defense. The primary reason (IMHSHO) is so that we don't upset parents and the public. It's stressed that the firearm is a tool. Being former military, that was pretty foreign to me, and to a degree, still is.

    I would guess that different situations ask for different terminology.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    This is my weapon, this my firearm.
    This is for shootin, this is for harm.

    As they say in the barber shop,
    "One man's ado is another man's foofaraw."

  8. #8
    Member Array AWDeanSr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cycler View Post
    This was posted in another thread which I don't wish to hijack:



    I'm not an NRA member (though I might become one) and just don't get this distinction. If I look up weapon in the dictionary, I get this:

    M-W: something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy

    Free dictionary and 3 other sites:
    1) an instrument or device of any kind used to injure or kill, as in fighting or hunting
    2) any organ or part of an organism used for attacking or defending
    any means of attack or defense
    3) A means used to defend against or defeat another

    If I look up firearm I get:

    M-W: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder —usually used of small arms

    Freedictionary: A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.


    It sounds to me that a firearm sure is a weapon and there's nothing about the term that implies offense any more than defense.

    Why does the NRA get their underwear in a bunch over this and try and re-define a term? Seems like foofaraw to me.
    Being an ex Army guy...I use the term weapon. Too many push ups over saying gun!
    1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:



  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Sunday's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Every firearm is a weapon. Not every weapon is a firearm. A weapon can be used either offensively or defensively.

    The quoted person is making a play on words and should try politics instead. Sounds like standard NRA talk to me.
    I completely agree with you. Guns are weapons, period end of story. If guns were not weapons WHY WOULD ANYONE WASTE THEIR TIME CARRYING THEM!!?

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Every firearm is a weapon. Not every weapon is a firearm. A weapon can be used either offensively or defensively.

    The quoted person is making a play on words and should try politics instead. Sounds like standard NRA talk to me.
    good way to describe it.

  11. #11
    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    people always go too far when they believe in something very strongly. I also have been trained with the Army term. Pistol, and weapon.
    Healthy children will not fear life, if their parents have integrity enough not to fear death.
    -TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM--

  12. #12
    Member Array rstrainii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divebum47 View Post
    I teach Ohio 4-H Shooting Sports. We are instructed not to refer to a firearm as a weapon because "weapon" implies offensive. The idea behind the 4-H Shooting Sports program is youth development and life skills rather than self defense. The primary reason (IMHSHO) is so that we don't upset parents and the public. It's stressed that the firearm is a tool. Being former military, that was pretty foreign to me, and to a degree, still is.

    I would guess that different situations ask for different terminology.
    In the Marines we called our rifle a weapon, but I can see the sense behind calling it a firearm. Weapon is used to hurt or destroy, firearm does not sound as bad, but again no sense in splitting hairs and the officer might want to know if you had a weapon because clubs, knives, guns etc are weapons.

    Correcting an officer is not a smart thing ever, I think my reply would have been "yes sir and here is my permit to carry it and it is located ?????" All while my hands are in plain view.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Every firearm is a weapon. Not every weapon is a firearm. A weapon can be used either offensively or defensively.
    My Giles .38 Special M1911 is a LOUSY weapon, defensive or offensive.. For 50 and 25 yard NRA Conventional Pistol competition, it works VERY well.

    "Weapon" is a description of the USE of an object, in this instance, a firearm.

    A genuine katana is a better weapon than my Giles. Everything about it is optimized for killing people. Most of the killing utility of my Giles has been removed or severely degraded. Of course you might CHOOSE to engage in combat using a five shot semi-auto handgun firing a 148gr. L-HBWC over 2.8gr. of Bullseye. I'll stick with my Glock 22, or even a Hi Point for combat, defensive or offensive.

    As a famous oxycodone user once said, "Words mean things."

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Seems to me, that if you tell an officer you have a "weapon", he may assume it was a firearm, but it could be a baseball bat, a can of mace, a switchblade, etc.

    If you say you have a "firearm", there is no confusion whatsoever.

    I would use the latter response to a LEO, just for the sake of clarity, if nothing else.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Seems to me, that if you tell an officer you have a "weapon", he may assume it was a firearm, but it could be a baseball bat, a can of mace, a switchblade, etc.

    If you say you have a "firearm", there is no confusion whatsoever.

    I would use the latter response to a LEO, just for the sake of clarity, if nothing else.
    I agree that you may respond to the weapon inquiry with the specific type(s) of weapons (gun, knife, dirk, etc) but without the condesending tone correcting the LEO, or anyone for that matter.
    rolyat63
    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor

    A gun in the hand is a million times more valuable than a cop on the phone!

    FL Concealed Weapon or Firearm Program

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