Guns Aren’t Weapons! No!

Image credit: STILLFX.

NRA TV host Grant Stinchfield is once again attacking the mainstream media — and this time it’s over articles that describe guns and firearms as “weapons.”

Via Media Matters, Stinchfield went on a lengthy rant against an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that talked about fears that campus open carry laws would lead to college students getting drunk and firing their weapons. Stinchfield singled out the use of the word “weapon” as a textbook example of “media bias” intended to make the general public afraid of guns.

“It’s their use of the word weapon that has me bewildered,” he said of the article. “The reporter uses ‘weapons’ in place of firearms or guns so many times, it just becomes bizarre. Here, ‘Fears of gun owners getting drunk and firing their weapons.’ I firmly believe she uses the phrase weapons over firearms in an effort to scare the uninformed.”

Shall we? To the Dictionary!



  1. a weapon consisting of a metal tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance.

  2. any portable firearm, as a rifle, shotgun, or revolver.

  3. a long-barreled cannon having a relatively flat trajectory.

Oh no, look there, right in the very first, primary definition – weapon! Well, maybe there’s a reasonable explanation for this fuckin’ nonsense. Let’s see:

“I don’t like that name at all,” he explained. “To me, the military carries weapons, guns carried for offensive purposes. I carry a firearm, a tool used for self-defense. To me, it is actually a very important distinction. By Georgia, a state rich in firearms history, using the term weapons in an official capacity, it hurts the perception of law-abiding gun ownership.”

Nope. Not a lick of sense to be found there. Gun fondlers always prove they are not in the least fit to be running about with weapons, or to have them stockpiled in their dwellings. Now, firearm is defined thusly:

small arms weapon, as a rifle or pistol, from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder.

Okay, let them have their rifle, bag of powder, and they can keep it dry. At least people would have a chance to run the fuck away, and maybe with their lives. All the weapons which happen to be guns? Gotta go. No more playing superhero or junior g-man or what the fuckever you think you might be. Just gotta shoot? Fine, keep your weapons under lock and key at the local shooting club.

Via Raw Story.


  1. says




    a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage.
    “nuclear weapons”
    • a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest.
       “resignation threats had long been a weapon in his armoury”

    And also: does a soldier’s gun switch from being a weapon to not-a-weapon and back again, depending whether they’re attacking or defending?

    Bloomin’ ludicrous!

  2. says

    It’s ludicrous alright. For less money, you can get an expandable asp, which will easily disable someone, you can even have the fun of breaking bones with the damn things, but, unless you’re a compleat idiot, you’ll leave the person alive, and if they get your weapon away from you, at least you aren’t handing them a loaded fucken gun. Children can’t accidentally murder one another with an asp. Idiots everywhere won’t be able to “accidentally discharge” their weapon. Asps are used for self defense. So why aren’t they all keen on other methods which are actually for self defense, rather than for the express purpose of killing others?

  3. sonofrojblake says

    When I was issued an L85A1a recruit would be ridiculed by the ex-Regular Army recruit training team if they (the recruit) referred to it as a “gun”. A “gun”, we were firmly told, is something that requires a crew to operate it. What we had were rifles. The only other word we were permitted to use in reference to it was… weapon.

    But what does the British Army know?

  4. says

    I have a houseful of sharpy, shiny, dangerous items, ’cause I like swords and knives and spikes. Also have two bows in the house, compound and recurve. Right now, the arrows are fitted with killing heads, so, yeah, weapons. Not the first I’d choose for self-defense, because I’m serious out of practice, and they’d have to be pulled out of their cases and all, so sharp and shiny it would be. Or the asp. Or what the fuck ever I happened to pick up.

    If you really want to be able to defend yourself, you should take a self defense class, learn how to knife fight from someone who knows what they are doing, then learn how to fight dirty. That last is your best bet in any situation. It also helps if you understand that anything can be a bloody weapon, a well sharpened pencil will ram straight through an eyeball or ear. Kitchens are full of lovely, heavy weapons. It always pays to have cast iron somewhere.

    Also helpful: learning how to not panic, keep your head, and assess your situation at every moment.

    Those things will help you survive. Maybe not always, but you can’t live forever.

  5. says


    Hmmmm… So did this guy* use a “weapon” or a “firearm”?

    Going by definitions, unless he was carrying something that required a rod and a bag of powder, it wasn’t a firearm.

  6. says

    I’m also a firm believer in running. If I had been in that house and heard people being shot outside, I would have been out the other side of that house so damn fast.

  7. says

    I’ve trained and practiced a variety of martial arts (Eskrima being my favorite) for more than 30 years. I taught my wife and daughter as much as they’ve been willing to learn. My personal First Rule of Self Defence…Get away as soon as you possibly can. If you cannot get away, defend until you *can* get away.

    That rule applies to me just as much as to them or anyone else.

  8. says


    Get away as soon as you possibly can. If you cannot get away, defend until you *can* get away.

    Yep. Get out to live another day. Best possible rule.

  9. says

    At Ft Dix in 1983, we were thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that “weapon” is what you call it, not “gun.” Whenever someone slipped up and called it “gun” the drill sergeant would make them stand with one hand down the front of their pants and the other holding their rifle straight out to the side (with 7lb at the end of your arm this quickly becomes excruciating) yelling over and over “this is my weapon, this is my gun, this is for killing, this is for fun.”

    Clearly NRA weenie actually never had any practical experience with firearms.

  10. emergence says

    I thought conservatives hated political correctness. Why are they so hung up on what we’re supposed to call guns?

  11. cartomancer says

    Maybe it’s because “weapon” still has evidence of one of those fancy European æ dipthongs in it, so it must be up to no good. Also two syllables, so probably some sort of communist conspiracy or something.

  12. says


    Why are they so hung up on what we’re supposed to call guns?

    Because weapon is the reality of guns, that is what they are. They don’t want that, they want ‘firearm’ because that sounds less deadly.

  13. says

    For self defense much better than a gun is a mace/pepper spray. Unfortunately conservative politicians have banned that in some countries. Knives have many uses besides being a weapon -- there does not a day go by when I do not use my knife for something, and there was not a single instance when I had to use it as a weapon (and I hope it continues that way). Unfortunately conservative politicians have banned many kinds of knives in many countries (including parts of US) too.
    AFAIK the only tool that is legal everywhere to carry and can be used for self defence is a very strong pocket torch. Blind your opponent with 1000 lumen and you get a few seconds you can use to get away.

  14. lumipuna says

    I guess there’s a framing difference between things that can be used as weapons vs. things that are inherently weapons.

    Gun use for self-defense is weapon use in terms of common language, I’d agree. So is hunting, but target shooting maybe isn’t? Anyway, guns are weapons much more predominantly than most other devices.

  15. says

    IANAL, but in Cz there are objects that are classified as weapons undergoing regulations -- like explosives, firearms, air rifles, bows and crosbows -- and weapons that are not regulated -- like knives or swords or blackjacks. So one cannot own and carry a firearm without licence, or carry a crossbow above certain strength, but one can own and carry as many blackjacks or knivese of any kind as one wants.

    However law recognizes as a weapon anything that can be used to make an attack against a person more effective, if it is used as such. So if someone uses a sharp pencil to stab someone to death, it is considered as an attack with a deadly weapon and carries appropriate consequences just as if they stabbed them with a knife.

    So context matters. Anything can be a weapon in the right context. But not everything can be not a weapon.

    I do not think target shooting makes the weapon a not weapon, since target shooting is a necessary practice to use the weapon effectively at all. So even if the fighting end is removed from the equation, and the practice is made to be a goal of its own for sport and/or entertainment (which are valid reasons in my opinion), the weapon is still a weapon used as a weapon.

  16. says

    Interestingly, bows are not classified as weapons in Germany but as sports gear, reason being that, well, they aren’t used as weapons anymore AND that you cannot hurt somebody in a split second decision.
    But seriously, guns are not weapons?

    BTW, yes, I got internet.

  17. chigau (違う) says

    There are at least three axe-throwing businesses in my town.
    They also do knife-throwing.
    They do corporate events, birthday parties, bachelor/ette parties, etc.
    They serve beer.
    I am sooooo tempted.

  18. says

    They also do knife-throwing.
    They do corporate events, birthday parties, bachelor/ette parties, etc.
    They serve beer.
    I am sooooo tempted.

    Don’t mix knife-throwing and alcohol! It may make you throw knives at cops, and miss!

  19. lumipuna says


    So even if the fighting end is removed from the equation, and the practice is made to be a goal of its own for sport and/or entertainment (which are valid reasons in my opinion), the weapon is still a weapon used as a weapon.

    That makes some sense, considering that sport shooting apparently originates from shoot-to-kill practice. Anyway, I concede that a gun is fundamentally more weapon-y than, say, an outdoor knife.

  20. rq says

    Oh hey there, strange German person in the corner who just lurked through the door!!! *hugs* It’s great to see you again.


    As for the weapons, well, next time the range instructor gives the group shit for some people not listening to or following the rules, I shall tell him, bravely, that it doesn’t matter because guns aren’t weapons. I think he’ll believe me and stop being so serious about safety.

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