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Colin’s Dad Hates “Modern Sporting Rifles”

I was amused to see Andrew Goddard, who’s father of Colin, the Brady Campaign’s newest rising star, post this over on a public forum in Facebook:

Andrew Goddard on the Modern Sporting Rifle

For the record, I don’t really like MSR either. When I go to practice, or more rarely these days with my schedule, to shoot a competition, I take my rifle. I don’t feel the need to call it more than that, or to justify my use for it.

Mr. Goddard’s problem is that “military assault weapon” is just as much of a finessed public relations term as “modern sporting rifle.” Sure, there are military assault rifles, but I don’t own one of those because my rifle does not fire like a machine gun, and neither does anyone else’s who hasn’t shelled out five figures and $200 for their federal stamp of approval. Both terms are inventions of PR flacks and marketing types looking to manipulate public opinion in their favor.

But before I agree with Andrew Goddard a bit too much, I will note that the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s latest data shows that 51% of “MSR”owners hold a membership at a shooting club, and 89% consider target shooting to be their primary reason for owning one. So I’m not sure, even if it’s a finessed PR and marketing term, why it is inherently inaccurate. Andrew Goddard clearly has some things to learn about what types if firearms are most prominent in modern target shooting sports.

This sort of destroys our opponents’ mental images of AR-15 owners hunkered down in bunkers waiting for the blue helmeted UN stormtroopers to follow the directions written on the back of all the road signs straight into their hideout. I really do believe that’s what they think people own an AR-15 for. They don’t think this. Or this. Definitely not this. (h/t to Robert for the pics.) They let their fear and ignorance get in the way of sound judgement on the matter.

23 Responses to “Colin’s Dad Hates “Modern Sporting Rifles””

  1. Miguel says:

    Should we tell him that the AR rifles were sold to the civilians long before they even came to be known to the Military?

  2. Gerald says:

    “They don’t think this. Or this. Definitely not this.”

    I’ve determined that they simply don’t think.

  3. The Second Anonymous says:

    Like father, like son, uses ignorance promote their own ignorance.

  4. Here’s a thought. Goddard is Brady Campaign. Joan Peterson is a BC board member. Yet we keep seeing them on CSGV’s Facebook page. Is CSGV trying to poach Brady’s spokespersons by being more active and aggressive?

    Andrew Goddard seems more of a fit with CSGV anyway. He sounds like a person who’s off his rails and is flailing around at his target rather than considering his actions. He seems likely to do more damage to his own cause with his bigotry and lack of message discipline.

  5. terraformer says:

    “Sure, there are military assault rifles, but I don’t own one of those because my rifle does not fire like a machine gun,”

    Which is equally a massaging of the language. Does a 3rd burst, full auto or SA trigger mechanism really make a difference? It’s a rifle. All shoot the same rifle rounds. I don’t see the difference.

  6. hellferbreakfast says:

    The term “assault rifle” was coined by the anti-gun news media. the public fell for it, hook, line, & sink I’ve heard many gun owners & Fudds use the term..

  7. Weer'd Beard says:

    Also isn’t the AR quickly becoming the #1 Small and Medium Game rifle out there?

    I certainly know a bunch of Iraq and Afghanistan vets who have ARs for the sole purpose that its the rifle they trained on and carried while in the service. Its a gun they know, and a gun they’re comfortable with. (FYI that’s the reason why my carry gun is a 1911…its simply the platform I’ve put more rounds downrange with than any other gun, so its the gun I’m most comfortable with)

    And on top of that (especially when you factor in all the chambering options like 6.8 SPC, .30 AR, .30 Blackout, and .450 Bushmaster, and all the cool optics you can mount on them) they’re accurate and effective guns at hunting. So why not call them a “Sporting Rifle”.

  8. Chas says:

    Colin needs help from daddy.
    Who knew that sending people to prison for exercising a constitutional right would be such hard work?

  9. Unfortunately, shows like The A-Team had a lot to do with making military-styled semiauto rifles really cool to a population that probably did not know much about guns. It’s all about fashion!

    Worry more about the nut, not what he is using. An insane person with a Ruger 10/22 is far more dangerous than the average American with a full auto.

  10. Sebastian says:

    Assault rifle was coined from the German word Sturmgewehr. It is a real term with an actual definition. But one of those definitions requires it to be select-fire.

  11. JayF says:

    terraformer: “Which is equally a massaging of the language. Does a 3rd burst, full auto or SA trigger mechanism really make a difference? It’s a rifle. All shoot the same rifle rounds. I don’t see the difference.”

    Go to a police range with an unregistered full-auto rifle and ask if it’s OK to shoot there. When arrested, tell the judge that you don’t see the difference.

    See what happens.

  12. Weer'd Beard says:

    Jay, you don’t address weather the law is bullshit or not.

    I think that was terraformer’s point.

  13. Arnie says:

    Please forgive me, gentlemen, for bringing this up again, but doesn’t the Second Amendment secure our right to bear military style assault rifles which we as the [U. S. Code Title 10, Sec. 311, para. b, sub-para. 2] militia are responsible to keep? The Ninth Amendment secures our common law rights to hunt, sport, and self-defense, but we play right into our opponents’s hands if we surrender our right to military arms by tying our ARs to hunting and sporting purposes only. I fear we are running away from our true 2A right and conceding ground our Founders sacrificed so much to secure for us. I acquired my “military-style full combat assault weapons” for the sole purpose of “securing the freedom of my State” from federal tyranny and usurpation at the call of my legislature or governor. If I should also use them for sport or hunting, that is incidental. The Second Amendment wasn’t written for that reason. It was written, to quote Jefferson, so the people at large would always have the ability to “kill tyrants” and throw off their oppressors (see especially Madison’s Federslist #46, final paragraphs!).
    If you bought your AR soley for hunting or sport, that’s great. But don’t let the adversaries redefine the Second Amendment to apply only to those purposes, or you may well open the door for the adversaries of freedom to justify limiting our weapons to five-round bolt action rifles/shotguns of limited caliber.
    Again, sorry for regurgitating my pet peeve. Thanks for your indulgence.

  14. Arnie says:

    Oops, should have read, “…by tying our Second Amendment right to ARs to hunting or sporting purposes only.”

  15. Braden Lynch says:

    I like Arnie’s point. I wish we could end the whole non-sense (in which I have wallowed in myself) of discussing the cost/benefit ratio of firearms ownership and their various uses.

    It all about the Second Amendment. Anti-rights/anti-gunners need to be told to either put up or shut up. Let’s just see their supposedly huge backing for repeal of the Second Amendment.
    Given that they cannot even fill a press room or even a decent sized march, I doubt this will ever occur.

  16. terraformer says:

    “Assault rifle was coined from the German word Sturmgewehr. It is a real term with an actual definition. But one of those definitions requires it to be select-fire.”

    Which, requires context. They had bolt action, or automatic. Why would one specifically create a rifle with a gas operated/blowback/etc mechanism and then limit it to SA only (as opposed to a selector)? It’s illogical to do so from a technical perspective. So yes, we can argue over whether an AR fits this original definition, but without the anti-gun movements in both the US and Europe in the 1930s, this distinction would have likely have not had a difference. So to press this distinction is one of language and not technical design.

    JayF Said,

    “Go to a police range with an unregistered full-auto rifle and ask if it’s OK to shoot there. When arrested, tell the judge that you don’t see the difference.”

    I am sorry you missed the point in my statement, but it is clear I am discussing the language of referring to an assault rifle and not mere technical differences. The destructive power of an AR is roughly equivalent to that of a M16 as far as I am concerned. So by making this highly technical distinction in order to try to win the language war, the greater point is lost. Why is it wrong that someone has an AR-15 or a M-16? By skirting the Assault Rifle term through some technical distinction misses the larger point. They will classify anything as an assault rifle if it suits their needs. So if the common observer shrugs and says “who cares?” when assault rifle means AR-15 they will do so again when it’s a mossberg 500 in mossy digicam.

  17. MJM says:

    If CSGV is competing with Brady Campaign for that tiny, little segment of the market that wants to end citizen gun ownership (Yes, we know that is what you want.) then FAIL! You are both competing for a small number of people getting smaller, and smaller and smallllleeeeerrrr as you fade away.

  18. I sort of like the term “sport-utility rifle” or “general-purpose rifle.” I’ve heard the latter shortened to “Jeep (GP) rifle and think that’s pretty nifty too.

  19. gene says:

    Miller vs US, 1939. “In the absence of evidence” that a weapon is not suitable for the military, it can be banned. Is the opposite true? If it is suitable for the militia, it can not be banned.

  20. Sendarius says:

    I know this is picking nits (I am an engineer – what do you expect), but it irks me more than a little that Mr Goddard Sr can’t even spell “assault”. I have never heard of an “assualt weapon”.

    In anything for public consumption, I would expect the writer to at least try to get the spelling right.

    OK, in this case his intent remains clear, but when people can’t even be bothered to spell-check, I immediately assume that they lack the intellect to fact-check. Although, in this case, that assumption may well be valid.

  21. Keep in mind that Colin’s dad was born and raised in the UK. he finished his engineering degree in the UK. He probably has the default British “No civilian should have a gun unless he’s a rich guy who bird hunts” attitude.

  22. I refer to them as Sport Utility Rifles.

    :-)

  23. Sage Thrasher says:

    What seems to always get lost in this phony debate is how few rifles of any kind are used in crimes of any kind. It’s simply not practical to shove a rifle down the front of your pants when you go to knock over a corner convenience store.

    I find these FBI statistics instructive:
    http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_20.html

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