About the “Assault” Weapon Label

You may have noticed that I constantly refer to “assault” weapons in quotes like that or something similar. Why?

Because I refuse to use such a prejudiced term without at least indicating it’s inaccuracy. In a rather Orwellian way, manipulating language serves to manipulate thought. It frames the issue in a way that benefits one side.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but would anyone still buy them if they had an offensive name? Would anyone want a bouquet of Hand Shredders? Would that still be considered romantic? Of course not.

This is true in fiction as well. See “Names to Run Away From Really Fast”

“Assault” weapons are functionally identical to any other semi-automatic firearm. The only differences are details like the shape of the grip, an adjustable shoulder stock, or other minor items. They throw the same bullets with the same velocity and same rapid fire.

Some day I’ll post some pictures compared “assault” and traditional firearms.


About jurmond

'Jurmond' was the name of my first character in a homebrew D&D campaign. He was a gunslinger and tinker, creating and carrying strange weapons that belched fire and smoke. That was well over a decade ago but I still think of him whenever fiction and firearms collide, so it seems the perfect pen name for this project.
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2 Responses to About the “Assault” Weapon Label

  1. Atticus says:

    If an assault weapon is any semi automatic gun I guess even a revolver could qualify.

    • jurmond says:

      Well, yes and no. To be justify the classification, it needs to appear militaristic in some way. Like, paint it black or something.

      Second, a revolver is NOT a semi-automatic. Revolvers do not use the force of the fired cartridge to reload the firing chamber and reset the action. Revolvers are entirely dependent on muscle power to operate their mechanisms.

      However, I do get your point. There are some damned fast revolver shooters who are capable of matching speeds with a semi-auto. Jerry Miculek is the biggest name, but Spencer Hoglund is really quick with those single-actions, and the late Bob Munden’s quickdraw reputation lives on.

      PS – Wait … someone actually reads this blog???

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