I Really Hate Euphemisms

Over on a comment at Uncle’s site, Ron W Says:

It’s always assumed that so-called “assault weapons” are useful only for criminal assaults or military offensive tactics (from whence the name). Military assault weapons are full-auto and have been illegal to citizens since 1934 without an expensive and intrusive fed permit.

But the semi-auto legal weapons are great for personal self defense. They should be called self-defense rifles (or weapons) and those of us who believe in, defend and exercise the RKBA should focus on that aspect and point out repeatedly that armed self -defense is a basic human right.

This reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to blog about. I know the term “assault weapon” is a problem for us. I agree we ought to do our level best not to use it. But all the other terms I’ve heard people wanting to apply strike me as poorly thought out euphemisms.

So what’s the best thing to call an AR-15? Homeland defense rifle? Self-defense rifle? Sport utility rifle? All these terms make me gag, not because they aren’t accurate, AR-15s are useful for all those things, but because no one other than gun blog readers has any idea what the hell you’re talking about. Let’s call them “rifles” or if you want to be a little more specific “service rifles”, of which there is a specific class of competition. A service rifle is any rifle that’s made from a military pattern. For competition purposes, this would be the M1, M14, and M16. The notion that these rifles have no sporting purpose was always a myth perpetrated by the anti-gun groups and people like Charles Schumer and Mitt Romney. Any time you hear someone utter that load of crap, feel free to throw service rifle competition back in their faces. So can we go with service rifle? It’s not scary sounding, because it doesn’t have the term “assault” or “weapon” in it, and there are certainly legitimate sporting uses for them.

5 Responses to “I Really Hate Euphemisms”

  1. Bitter says:

    So you’re not really a fan of the EBR term, huh?

  2. Sebastian says:

    I don’t mind the term Evil Black Rifle (EBR) because it’s descriptive and mocking, and not an attempt at euphemism. I also think people would at least have some idea of what you’re talking about. I also think black rifle is acceptable, since it’s also descriptive, but with the mocking component removed.

  3. Ron says:

    I like Sport Utility Rifle. That’s kind of cool.

    Its all marketing anyway. The gun haters started using Assault Rifle because it conveyed something people would be afraid of. What are you going to assault?

    But Sport Utility Rifle. That’s something you get for fun or to compensate for organ size. We’d have every middle class person in America look for the Eddie Bauer edition AR-15.

  4. Sebastian says:

    We can blame the nazis for the term assault rifle. It’s a translation of the German word Sturmgewehr. Sport utility rifle sounds better, for sure, but I’m not sure it really says anything. Any firearm really falls into the sport utility class, in that you can use it for sport (target shooting, hunting, clays, etc) or utility (survival, self-defense, SHTF scenarios). But service rifle means something specific, which is a rifle made from a military pattern.

    Of course, it does bring up the question of what class would a rifle like the new Kel-Tec 308 Bullpup fit in, or a Bushmaster M17S, which have never been adopted by the military of any nation. It’s not perfect, but it’s more accurate than calling a semi-auto an assault rifle, and better than “assault weapon”, which was never anything more than a legal term.

  5. countertop says:

    I know, one Buy A Gun Day comes in a couple of months (heh, just in time for the NRA Convention – coincidence, I think not) I’m gonna run right out and try (if the wife lets me) to get an EBR Sport Utility Rifle.


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