Noted and award-winning author Wayne van Zwoll succinctly explains why calling your gun–and my gun, and their guns–”weapons” is a problem.
“… I take exception to the use of ‘weapon’ in describing firearms never intended to be weapons—and even those that were. ‘Weapon’ has nothing to do with a mechanism or a firearm type. It refers only to use. My .22 prone rifle, a Remington 37, can be a weapon, but was designed expressly to drill holes in paper. … A Hammerli target pistol is a concealable weapon—but only in the hands of an assailant who can’t, instead find a Glock.
A steak knife can be a weapon; we call it a utensil. An automobile can be a weapon; we call it a vehicle. A hammer can be a weapon; we call it a tool. The trouble with calling any firearm a weapon is that it unfairly imputes purpose.”—Wayne van Zwoll, Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Rifles, from the chapter “The AR Tsunami.”
Like this quote? You can by the our Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Rifles here, and we also recommend Tom Turpin’s Custom Rifles: Mastery of Wood & Metal.
About the Author: Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.
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