The “clip vs magazine” crisis

posted at 10:01 am on February 2, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

The current gun debate has brought an old, familiar bugaboo back into the limelight, and it’s one most of you have probably seen. It comes in the form of critics rising up and taking umbrage with commentators substituting the word “clip” for “magazine” when talking about weapons technology. I’ve lost count of the number of tweets, blog posts and articles which decry the error and seek to dismiss the arguments being made. This avenue of attack is based on the speaker or author’s failure to understand the fundamental mechanics of weaponry, leading to the assumption that the rest of their argument must therefore be specious.

The first thing to point out is that these critics are absolutely correct on the technical merits. A clip and a magazine are two different animals, and most younger gun buyers today – particularly civilian, sport shooters – are unlikely to have ever seen a clip. You can find a nice review of the difference between them here, but a shorter answer will suffice. A magazine feeds rounds into the chamber of the weapon, is generally spring loaded, and is part of the firing / reloading process for the gun. A clip traditionally held rounds in a set configuration, generally by the base, and facilitated loading into the magazine.

Unfortunately, over a long period of casual use, the two words have begun to merge. It’s an easy mistake to make. I’ve made it myself. Heck… so has Wayne LaPierre for that matter. That doesn’t make it right, but it falls into a pattern which has been plaguing logophiles for ages… the sad fact is that words evolve over time, often to their detriment. And when they are used incorrectly for a long enough period by enough people, the “new definition” takes root and it’s pretty much impossible to exterminate.

There are tons of examples to be found. One of my “favorite” (as in pet peeve) entries in the category is hoi polloi. The original meaning of the phrase was “the common people,” referring to the great unwashed masses. It was actually a derogatory term. But it’s a fancy sounding phrase, and confused writers began using it to refer to the upper crust, elite. That was done so often that modern reference works now actually refer to both as correct usage. The word was turned on its head.

Further fun – or tragic, depending on your point of view – examples abound. Did you know that “awful” originally meant, “‘full of awe’ i.e. something wonderful, delightful, amazing?” The word Manufacture was first used to reference things made by hand with artisan craftsmanship. Counterfeit was a compliment, meaning “a perfect copy” and a “punk” once meant a prostitute or harlot. Whether we like it or not, words evolve. And “clip” has slowly but surely begun muscling its way into the language as a casual alternate meaning for a magazine.

That doesn’t mean you’re wrong to try to correct people, but there’s a downside to it as well. When we fall back on sniping over technical tap dances out of the dictionary over differences in terminology which have little practical effect on the subject at hand, it seems to weaken the argument. There are so many stronger, valid criticisms to be made of the pitch being given by gun grabbers, and resorting to the, “nanny nanny boo boo, you don’t know what a magazine is” argument just makes it look as if the speaker has run out of valid objections. And please keep in mind that I don’t say this from a position of somebody defending David Gregory here. Any review of all my columns on Second Amendment issues will show that I’ve been right up there with the strongest defenders of gun owners’ rights you’re likely to find, and I remain so to this day. I’m also something of a nitpicker myself when it comes to a love of words. But this argument, as satisfying as some may find it to use, really doesn’t seem to be helping anything.


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Those great for drive-by fruitings…

JetBoy on February 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I thought it was a ‘run-by fruiting.’

Washington Nearsider on February 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Obfuscation by liberals is normal practice. That way you can scream about “assault weapons” and never have to actually define what it is.
GarandFan on February 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Exactly. We’re talking about potential laws, not geek conversation. Creating ambiguity is a ploy to create a law that means anything that the enforcer wants it to mean.

kurtzz3 on February 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I miss William Saphire.

HarneyPeak on February 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

How many hills are you ready to surrender? One here, one there,and eventually you’ve lost the battle.

soundingboard on February 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I have the constitution and the 2nd amendment on my side which is really all I need.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I’m just not going to automatically assume ill intent from someone who calls a magazine a clip. There are far more effective ways to get hoplophobes on board with the cause than using the word “clip.”

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

It’s unintentional for most people. But the media / progressive talking points choose words VERY carefully. Just like Obama saw during the campaign that calling “tax increases” sounded negative to people while calling it “a balanced approach to bring in more revenue” sounded like a positive to people.

It’s all about how you frame it. Pollsters know this, advertisers know this, democrats know this, but for some reason republicans / conservatives don’t seem to have any idea.

Progressives are constantly and purposely framing things and changing words to advance their causes. In fact, if you want to read a short book on the subject by a progressive linguist, google george lakoff. He’s made it his life goal to re-frame arguments for democrats.

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I am no more in favor of the wanton misuse of language than anyone else here. I’m just not going to automatically assume ill intent from someone who calls a magazine a clip. There are far more effective ways to get hoplophobes on board with the cause than using the word “clip.”

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I am no more in favor of the wanton misuse of language than anyone else here.

Sorry. I did not mean to imply you are.

I’m just not going to automatically assume ill intent from someone who calls a magazine a clip. There are far more effective ways to get hoplophobes on board with the cause than using the word “clip.”

You are correct. But educating people on correct terminology is good. I post this you tube video, without comment, every time this subject comes up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzmVJ1rXD9U

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

It just strikes me as odd that folks are really quick to assign ill intent to leftists when that’s not necessarily the case here. …

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

You and I mostly agree, so I don’t want to be antagonistic. But I think you are naive on this point: With leftists, they are always seeking advantage. Incrementalism is a powerful strategy, not an innocent mistake. Except with the ignorant who are *being* propagandized. Instead of eye-rolling, take it as an opportunity to educate and have a real discussion.

Fenris on February 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Just like Obama saw during the campaign that calling “tax increases” sounded negative to people while calling it “a balanced approach to bring in more revenue” sounded like a positive to people.

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Bill Clinton used to use the term ‘contributions to the Treasury’.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

People should be corrected on the difference between automatic and semi-automatic, because it’s not just a mistake, but a way of equating two types of weapons that are functionally and legally very different. Letting that error stand confuses the issue, and allows the gun grabbers to portray commonly used firearms as something they aren’t.

BTW – Here’s an excellent video on the difference between a magazine and a clip that’s simple enough for a Democrat to understand. Maybe.

RadClown on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

While I am certainly enjoying the entertainment of watching it make the Husband go ballistic (I’m easily amused). I do think that those who are propping themselves up as the mouthpieces, on either side, should at least have some semblance of knowledge. I tend to discount those people as regurgitating talking points and not smart enough to make reasoned arguments on their own.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Just bought a Remington 1903 made in 1944 yesterday. You know, the ubiquitous A303 licensed to Remington for war production. Bolt action 30-06 5 rnd. stripper to charge the magazine. Under the AWB it would be considered as an assault weapon due to the bayonet lug.

vinceautmorire on February 2, 2013 at 10:11 AM

A very good example of just how stupid the AWB was, and will be if they manage to pass it again. Because it happens to have the bayonet lug it would now be illegal, even though it functions no differently than my Savage Model 11 30-06 with a box magazine. It irks me to no end that I could take my perfectly legal Ruger 10-22, simply change out the stock to a Archangel for a hundred bucks, and it would become illegal. Same weapon, just different furniture.

Our country is being ruled by dumb a$$es.

kam582 on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Kind of like what Bugs Bunny did to the word nimrod.

tommer74 on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Our country is being ruled by dumb a$$es.

kam582 on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

And probably for longer than we think.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 11:27 AM

The gun grabbers seek to redefine “military grade” in a manner that will be a direct and egregious violation of the 2nd amendment(…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed).

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 10:16AM

Whenever I hear the term military-grade in a gun debate I remind the opposition that that would include Brown Bess muskets, Colt Single Action Armys, 1911A1s M1 Garands, and M1 Carbines.

Not just “military grade”, but military issue.

That’s caused more than one grabber to quickly try to change the subject, or leave the discussion all together.

soundingboard on February 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

What in the bloody blue hell does this have to do with anything Jazz said in this post? Did I miss something?

Careful. Rolling my eyes at you that hard may cause them to get stuck that way.

But seriously, I don’t think I’m the one engaging in straw men against my fellow commenters here. I see a lot of stuff here being blown wildly out of proportion viz-a-vis this particular post of Jazz’s. And I am normally NOT very quick at all to defend Jazz.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I was trying to use another example of purposely distorting words in order to re-frame the debate.

Look, I don’t totally disagree with you. I’m just saying that I think you’re absolutely underestimating the other side, and that a lot of people are.

The progressives are actively pursuing a goal, while we’re just wandering around like chickens with our heads cut off.

So no, THIS is not the most important distinction to make. But I promise you that every talking point word used in this policy debates (and in campaings) is carefully and precisely picked to elicit certain emotions and to re-frame the argument.

If you think it’s not, I don’t know what to say other then look at the ’08 and ’12 elections and how Obamas wild distortions ended up winning him the whitehouse.

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You and I mostly agree, so I don’t want to be antagonistic. But I think you are naive on this point: With leftists, they are always seeking advantage. Incrementalism is a powerful strategy, not an innocent mistake. Except with the ignorant who are *being* propagandized. Instead of eye-rolling, take it as an opportunity to educate and have a real discussion.

Fenris on February 2, 2013 at 11:24 AM

By “leftists,” I don’t just mean the policy makers. I mean the voters who believe with their heart and soul that what they are doing is moral even though it is clearly not. Some of those folks aren’t entirely beyond confincing…

But then you get into the question of whether calling a magazine a clip has anything to do with hoplophobic incrementalism at all. I just don’t think it does. I think banning bayonet lugs is incremental. I think the assault weapons ban that Clinton signed into law was supposed to have been incremental. Banning pistol grips and flash suppressors? Incremental indeed. The redefinition of military-grade has been taking place much longer than I’ve been alive, step-by-step.

But as far as the particular subject which Jazz brings up here? Sorry. I’m just not seeing it.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

I tend to discount those people as regurgitating talking points and not smart enough to make reasoned arguments on their own.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

As do I, but for reasons entirely unrelated to calling magazines clips.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

My “favorite” is “begs the question”. I can’t count how many supposed smart people use that term but fail to know what it really means.

SuperBunny on February 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

One of my favorites too. And one of the questions the article begs (avoids, fails to ask) is, to what purpose and effect is the gun banners’ use of a term being put? For example, is there any doubt that the banners’ misuse of assault weapon carries more visceral punch (or is more deliberately employed) than clip? Clip is to magazine what boat is to ship, what gun is to rifle, what motor is to engine. But assault weapon is a different rhetorical beast. It is the left’s emotional tip of the gun-banning spear, intended to summon a visceral reaction: a terrifying and unjustifiable device in civilian hands, a one-term argument for “unlawful–case closed.” My answer: don’t cede the left their own vocabulary, but gauge the challenge to fit counterargument.

Barnestormer on February 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

The redefinition of military-grade has been taking place much longer than I’ve been alive, step-by-step.

But as far as the particular subject which Jazz brings up here? Sorry. I’m just not seeing it.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Not unless you were born after 1968 it hasn’t.

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Kind of like what Bugs Bunny did to the word nimrod.

tommer74 on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Heh.

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

It just strikes me as odd that folks are really quick to assign ill intent to leftists when that’s not necessarily the case here. …

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

You are heavily underestimating the democrat / media machine if you think the distortions are just oversights that always happen to help the democrats.

While we may disagree with the progressives, their leadership is not full of idiots. They chose the words they chose for a reason. At every level. It’s not Piers morgan, off the cuff, slipped up and said “clips.” Politicians and media at every level are saying “clips” when many / most of them, I’m sure, are aware that that is the incorrect term if only because us “word sticklers” have informed them multiple times on their shows and on twitter.

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Not unless you were born after 1968 it hasn’t.

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

1978. I like to think of myself as still pretty young. In five-and-a-half years from now? Who knows?

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

As witnessed by all the comments, Jazz is again 100% right.

tommy71 on February 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM

I tend to discount those people as regurgitating talking points and not smart enough to make reasoned arguments on their own.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM

As do I, but for reasons entirely unrelated to calling magazines clips.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Yes, MANY / MOST just repeat the talking points as they’re told to and don’t care if they’re wrong. Look at DWS, she’s a great progressive because shes just a talking points robot.

But the people CRAFTING the talking points pick the words they pick in order to advance their agenda. Just like a campaign speech — every word and phrase is picked for a reason.

I work in sales, we have a team of people who do this for our company. They find the words that will best help us sell to our customers. Not that we have scripts, but just like politicians and media, we get bullet pointed “talking points” on new products with orwellian words peppered all over them in order to help us sell our product.

It’s not a new or confusing tactic. The dems just happen to be very good at it.

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Modern Democratic ‘Fire-Eaters’

M2RB: Blue Öyster Cult

Resist We Much on February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

FYI,
clips are for hair and paper and some weapons. The M-1 Garrand comes to mind as a rifle that uses an eight ‘clip’ which secures the rounds and is inserted into the internal magazine. As for the other objects that store round, the overwhelming majority are ‘magazines’.
As for ‘fully automatic’, who invented that? The only modes of fire that I am aware of are Auto, Semi, Burst, Single. Now the LSM has contributed to a lot of myths and dis-information regarding firearms and this is one. Never used the term ‘fully auto’ when I was in the service and I don’t remember and weapons with a ‘Fully Auto” mode. If there were such a mode then there must be 3/4 Fully Auto, 1/2 Fully Auto, 1/3 Fully Auto, 1/4 Fully Auto, etc.

soghornetgunner on February 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Not unless you were born after 1968 it hasn’t.

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:33 AM

1978. I like to think of myself as still pretty young. In five-and-a-half years from now? Who knows?

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Damned whipper snapper… o_O Get o0f my lawn… ;p

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

As for ‘fully automatic’, who invented that? The only modes of fire that I am aware of are Auto, Semi, Burst, Single. Now the LSM has contributed to a lot of myths and dis-information regarding firearms and this is one. Never used the term ‘fully auto’ when I was in the service and I don’t remember and weapons with a ‘Fully Auto” mode. If there were such a mode then there must be 3/4 Fully Auto, 1/2 Fully Auto, 1/3 Fully Auto, 1/4 Fully Auto, etc.

soghornetgunner on February 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I think “fully automatic” came at one point as a civilian neologism from “semi-automatic,” seeing as how semi- in some contexts does mean half. There are lots of terms my brother uses in the Navy that I’ve never used in civilian life and probably never will. Cuts both ways, I figure.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Resist We Much on February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Excellent commentary.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Good video on clip vs. magazine HERE.

While Jazz may be right in some instances of this particular term, the entire debate is typified by proponents consistently getting their terminology wrong, not because of popular use but because of ignorance. That ignorance is an essential part of the argument for banning “assault weapons”, a term that is at the center of the controversy but which nobody knows the definition of — or rather everybody thinks they know the definition of, but everybody thinks differently. When the Violence Policy Center originally proposed the use of the term in their anti-gun campaigns, this was not a bug but a feature, one that allowed gun banners to scare neutral observers into thinking they were talking about machine guns.

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

– Josh Sugarman, VPC founder, 1988

The bottom line is that you can’t have a debate about an issue when you’re using words you don’t know the meaning of, or don’t agree on that meaning. We can’t even talk about proposed gun laws if we’re not speaking a common language.

Socratease on February 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Damned whipper snapper… o_O Get o0f my lawn… ;p

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

http://www.tonyrogers.com/humor/images/guncontrol/image003.jpg

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

The bottom line is that you can’t have a debate about an issue when you’re using words you don’t know the meaning of, or don’t agree on that meaning. We can’t even talk about proposed gun laws if we’re not speaking a common language.

Socratease on February 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

This.

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Yep, just another way to concede and make sure the low info voter remains that way.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Damned whipper snapper… o_O Get o0f my lawn… ;p

SWalker on February 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

http://www.tonyrogers.com/humor/images/guncontrol/image003.jpg

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I totally LOLed. But I hope you’d never use those on me, Walker.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM

…But then you get into the question of whether calling a magazine a clip has anything to do with hoplophobic incrementalism at all. …

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

It’s part of a larger strategy that has been focus group tested. Politicians use focus groups for everything.

One reason, in this particular point is, I suspect only: They want people to be ignorant about terms of art because the unknown is scary. God and evolution made us that way, things that go bump in the night etc. Especially when you know it does have real potential for being used improperly, but don’t know much else. When you actually become familiar with something, understanding when and how it works, then it becomes less of a threat. Fear is another powerful strategy for the propagandists.

Well, I gotta go, big gun show in Columbus coincidentally. Probably same old stuff, but will see. Go ahead and have the last word if you want, I’ll read it later.

Fenris on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I don’t like anti-gun people using clip because it’s usually a sign of a greater ignorance of guns in general.

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Well, I gotta go, big gun show in Columbus coincidentally. Probably same old stuff, but will see. Go ahead and have the last word if you want, I’ll read it later.

Fenris on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

My last word is simply this:

Thanks for a rousing debate and yet keeping it civil. I don’t get too riled up about simple differences of opinion. Have fun at the gun show and God bless.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I don’t like anti-gun people using clip because it’s usually a sign of a greater ignorance of guns in general.

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Just had to do it.

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I don’t like anti-gun people using clip because it’s usually a sign of a greater ignorance of guns in general.

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

SO how do you feel about pro-gun people using that word? If you’re talking about words having different meanings based on who says them…hey! Wait a minute! Isn’t that what libwits usually do, Bish?

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Someone writing for a show like CSI or ER are are gonna cram all the the technical jargon they can into their character’s mouths, not because it’s necessary to follow the story, but to cement in viewer that these professionals are wizard-like beings on a whole ‘nuthah level.

If you don’t like guns, you like the fact that there’s this impressive list of nomenclature and terminology. You even get to say “My God! They even use multiple terminology FOR THE SAME THING gasp ZOMG”.

All they’re trying to do is paint gun owners as a culture so mechanistic, maniacal and exclusive that they “use a language that you, the public, can never even hope to understand”.

HarneyPeak on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

And if they get past the “KEEP OFF THE GRASS” sign: http://www.tonyrogers.com/humor/images/guncontrol/image029.jpg

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I don’t like anti-gun people using clip because it’s usually a sign of a greater ignorance of guns in general.

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

That’s typical of pontificating liberals, with more than only guns. Latest example: NYC mayor Bloomberg says nursing is better than bottle feeding. So, he ordered hospitals to keep formula under lock and key.

Ummm…WHAT?

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM

“words evolve over time” – E.M.

But the function and the name of the instrument does not.
I hope that clears it up for all of you who never had to do 25 push-ups for confusing the two.
And yes, that includes the metrosexual LaPierre.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

And if they get past the “KEEP OFF THE GRASS” sign: http://www.tonyrogers.com/humor/images/guncontrol/image029.jpg

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I can’t tell if the molon labe tatt was photoshopped in, but I sure hope not. That’d be awesome. :)

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM

They have been working at this, for a long time, since the Joyce foundation really got underway twenty years or so, Holder from his deputy perch at Justice, wanted to ‘demonize’ guns, 17 years ago,
yet he sends guns to the Sinaloa cartel, and has a trooper threaten a six year old with an Mp’-5

narciso on February 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM

“<b.Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what we’re at now,” Biden told reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats in the Capitol.

J_Crater on February 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Are there a lot of examples of people with working knowledge of firearms misusing the terms? It might be just as likely that the uninformed don’t understand what they are saying.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Are there a lot of examples of people with working knowledge of firearms misusing the terms? It might be just as likely that the uninformed don’t understand what they are saying.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent both come to mind. Just look either of those two guys up on Youtube, and you will see that they both use the terms “clip” and “magazine” practically interchangeably in much the same manner as the media does.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Modern Democratic ‘Fire-Eaters’

M2RB: Blue Öyster Cult

Resist We Much on February 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Fire of Unknown Origin?

Del Dolemonte on February 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

There are so many stronger, valid criticisms to be made of the pitch being given by gun grabbers, and resorting to the, “nanny nanny boo boo, you don’t know what a magazine is” argument just makes it look as if the speaker has run out of valid objections.

No more thorough and complete nonsense that this. Allow me to illuminate a couple of the reasons.

1. The idea that someone wishes to ban something that they neither understand nor can describe with accuracy is insulting to all thinking beings, let alone free citizens in a Constitutional Republic.

2. The Left is at war with not just the political Right but with Reality itself.

This isn’t beanbag. It’s politics. It’s the kind of politics in which the Left has decided nothing is out of bounds. Nothing is free from the Left’s tree-shredder like mode.

You want to know why we’re attacking every gun-grabbing jackass who can’t tell a clip from a magazine?

It’s because we want them to fail!

I’d suggest you pause if you think that there is anything to be gained by the hand-wringing, mincing, Marquess of Queensberry rules, deferring, soft-shoe attitude that Hot Air has become famous for.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Left uses language itself to leverage the maximum amount of force on the Body Politic. Every damned time someone purportedly on the Right starts with this hand-wringing stuff, the Left wins.

This is war by other means. If we don’t make use of every opportunity and means of fighting, we lose. Case in point: Romney 2012. If that wasn’t clear enough: McCain 2008.

You’re free, of course, to adopt whatever political dialog you feel best suits you but I’ll be damned if I’m cowed into the kind of weak-kneed, hat-in-hand posture that the Left loves to exploit.

chimney sweep on February 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I don’t generally care about pro-gun people mixing up the terms, they aren’t trying to steal anyone’s guns. It’s the pontificating, condescending grabbers that piss me off, and if they aren’t bright enough to educate themselves a bit then they deserve derision.

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Timin203 on February 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Thread winner – dripping with sarcasm and dead on.

There ARE reasons to make sure words aren’t distorted, and Timin has nailed ‘em.

Hill60 on February 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

And speaking of jargon, there’s no one more impressed by it’s own jargon than the left. Case in point, here’s the FAQ page for newcomers posting to the infamous Reddit atheism page:

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/wiki/faq

Who else but the left could take a thing like atheism and make it downright byzantine. I laughed my ass off when I first saw this.

HarneyPeak on February 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Mr. LaPierre should certainly watch it, I don’t think Ted has anything to worry about since the Left discounts him as a nut from the get go.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Bishop on February 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Exactly. Misusing terminology is a tell, a sign of ignorance. Obviously, misusing terms doesn’t invalidate otherwise valid points. But I don’t hear anyone claiming it does. It does reflect badly on the credibility of the speaker, and I have seen people disregard everything else a person says once they make a mistake that reveals basic ignorance of firearms.

Another common tell is referring to every AK-style weapon as an AK-47. Knowledgeable gun people restrict that term for the original assault rifle configuration, select fire, i.e., capable of fully automatic fire. There have been numerous variations on that design for the civilian market, in calibers ranging from 5.45×39 (about.22 cal) to 12 gauge shotgun. They all have one thing in common that separates them from the original AK-47: They are all semi-automatic and incapable of fully automatic fire. These semi-autos are NOT AK-47s, and using that term to describe the semi-auto versions is a sign of a certain level of ignorance. They are AK style, AKSs (for AK semi-auto), or just plain old AKs. Often they are referred to by the factory or country of origin. Some have explicitly different names, like the AKM or the MAK-90. But knowledgeable people do not call them AK-47s.

I’ve been a student of the history and technology of firearms for many years. I collect and I shoot. I have been trained in regular law-enforcement courses. I also happen to be a student of political science and the law, with some considerable experience.

I came by my knowledge of firearms, politics, and the law the hard way. I earned it. I’ll not be lectured on gun safety or firearms law by people who don’t know correlation from causation, prosecution from persecution, or a Borchardt from a bazooka.

novaculus on February 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Is that a banana in your gun, or are you just happy to see me?

The Rogue Tomato on February 2, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Maybe more of a non-sequitur than a strawman. You should really study up on your logical fallacies. Or is there ill intent in your purposeful redefinition of “straw man?” ;)

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Your statement that you are not willing to die on this hill (clips vs. magazines) implies that others have indicated they are willing to die on it. Yet, no one has suggested anything like that. So you are creating a strawman to beat up on.

There’s a lot of ground between fighting to the death on an issue and not fighting it at all. I think most people here are somewhere in the middle. You don’t have to fight to the death (“die on the hill”) in order to push back appropriately.

Missy on February 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I’ll not be lectured …by people who don’t know …or a Borchardt from a bazooka.

novaculus on February 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Borchardt? Isn’t that Russian/Jewish?Polish soup?

Just kidding. I expect to see one used on the military channel, unless SOD Hagel classifies them, or something.

Don L on February 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

chimney sweep on February 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I, for one, tend to agree with you. In my case, I became so fed up with liberal talking points (I refuse to call them ‘progressive’ and kowtow to their self-definition) a long time ago. As evidence of their nature, I point out the horrific trolls here, most especially on Dec. 14 when, within an hour, we were assailed with abuse while we sought to make sense of 20 murdered children. The liberals showed us no quarter, so I give them none.

Of itself, the difference between clip and magazine is nothing. But it illustrates that self-righteous pontificating liberals usually have no idea what they’re spewing about. Worse, they never realize the ramifications when they get their way.

I’m firmly of the opinion that if they did, we wouldn’t be in this national mess and many liberals wouldn’t be liberals anymore.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The Right surrendered to the Left on this issue a long time ago. Now its amusing to see justifications when the Right constantly uses Leftist terminology on other issues. Do you know the actual meaning of gay? The left coopted it, and now the right follows along. A lost cause.

tommy71 on February 2, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Are there a lot of examples of people with working knowledge of firearms misusing the terms? It might be just as likely that the uninformed don’t understand what they are saying.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

…I’m uninformed about guns except for what I learn from the enthusiasts on Hot Air…

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

How do you double the ammo capacity of a firearm that is clip fed?

Accept calling a ‘clip’ a ‘magazine’ and you can instantaneously add them together to double, or more!, the capacity of a fixed magazine by the number of clips you have for it… and for my Mosin-Nagant you had better believe I keep two or three spare pouches full of clips handy as 5 at a time goes pretty quickly. And that doesn’t even begin to speak of the SKS I have, either.

It is a change in the use of firearms to move from the fixed box magazine that became clip fed (the one-by-one hand fed magazines were a real pain). The utility of the clip is that you lose the mass of the rest of the magazine (box, spring, follower, floorplate) and can carry a lot more ammo with you ready to go into the fixed magazine. Even with polymer mags this is not an inconsiderable saving in mass. With larger magazine capacity, however, carrying around a long clip then becomes a problem of it getting it out of its pouch and pushing the rounds into the box magazine… the detachable magazine makes a whole lot of sense for reliability and ease of reloading… you can fumble both about equally, but all those pointy parts on cartridges tend to want to snag on any loop, tear in fabric, or anything else you thought would never get in the way.

The moment you confound the terminology to make them exactly equal in the law, you then have the ability to cast relatively innocuous weapons as big, dangerous and purely evil nasty assault weapons. Notice that abused term, not even the military ‘assault rifle’ which has a terminology that includes FA weapons with larger than pistol cartridge size and with a longer than pistol barrel length. Assault weapons only exist in the minds of lawmakers… assault rifles have a terminology that can be definitively traced to Germany in WWII, although precursors to them started to show up in WWI, and is a term used to refer to a class of rifle. Assault weapon is a made-up term by lawmakers wanting to blur the line between semi-automatic weapons that may (or may not) have military lineage and cosmetics to them.

Want to sing Kumbaya around the campfire on magazine and clip? Yes they are easily confused and confounded even to those used to the terminology. So? When you make a legal definition, do you really want lawmakers to lump them both together and to say that your magazine capacity includes available clips you own for it? That is what you get for your campfire singing happiness. Mind you that first 16 round tube magazine on a Henry Rifle in 1860 would automatagically reconfigure it into an ‘assault weapon’ while still being classed as an ‘antique’ in federal terms. Just wait until some bright apparatchik looks to get the antique registration service going for such weapons, huh?

Sure you can go ahead and blurrify terms that have definitive lineage to them. Just like is happening with two other terms: life and death. Go ahead, blur ‘em and sing around the campfire. See where that gets you, and you can even use the 20th century to find examples of it too. I’ll stick to the old fashioned terms, since I’m getting to the point I don’t trust the modern terms nor their intent any longer.

ajacksonian on February 2, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent both come to mind. Just look either of those two guys up on Youtube, and you will see that they both use the terms “clip” and “magazine” practically interchangeably in much the same manner as the media does.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

+1

Wayne LaPierre is the worst possible president for NRA. I will buy lifer memberships for 3 employees (off the books) when he leaves. There is no way that the next possible mouthpiece could be so brain-dead. Also, get all people with history of violence and threats thereof of the NRA BOD.

I Love Ted Nugent on stage (and backstage). But he’s not a good advocate. He regularly uses fake gun taunts on real people. That’s among the most egregious gunFAILS of all times. It’s also a p**** move.

Capitalist Hog on February 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

…I’m uninformed about guns except for what I learn from the enthusiasts on Hot Air…

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

There is a difference between being uninformed and being so willfully, doggedly ignorant as to be impervious to further understanding. That latter type is made largely of liberals.

Guns in general, and certain types, are not for everyone. I, personally, wouldn’t choose to own an authentic and functional Thompson even if I could easily get my hands on one. Just a personal choice. Others would love to be able to have one in their collection, and I say all power to ‘em.

Like with the old saw, “If baby’s not happy, no one is happy,” liberals see something they don’t want and require no one else be ‘allowed’ to have it, either.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

And yet I still see “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” in use by conservatives when “defense rifle” is perfectly descriptive and instantly understood by everyone. Imagine what would happen if every conservative everywhere substituted that terminology in their discourse.

DaNang67 on February 2, 2013 at 1:08 PM

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

You’re on a serious roll today, aren’t you? LOL

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Speaking of Boinking up Gun terms……………………..

The Obama,Over/under shotgun image!!!

White House releases photo of Obama firing gun
Associated Press – 1 hr 28 mins ago
************************************

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has released a photo of President Barack Obama firing a gun, two days before he heads to Minnesota to discuss gun control.

In a recent interview with The New Republic magazine, Obama said “yes” when asked if he has ever fired a gun. He said “we do skeet shooting all the time,” except for his daughters, at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

The White House photo released Saturday is dated Aug. 4, 2012, and shows Obama shooting at clay targets on the range at Camp David.

{The rifle is cocked}
*********************
=====================

in Obama’s left shoulder, his left index finger is on the trigger and smoke is coming from the barrel.

Obama is pushing a package of gun-control measures in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
====================================

http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-releases-photo-obama-firing-gun-162849843–politics.html

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

But…where did that second puff of smoke inches behind the muzzle come from?

And…When did we stop using smokeless powder in modern firearms?

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

We gotta keep learning what the left is trying to do here. It’s completely in there interest that issues are “deconstructed”, atomized to a vapor so they can DEPRIVE you the ability to make connections and establish context.

This was linked by a Hot Air commenter the other. I’ve heard the term “deconstruction” for decades, but, dammit, this is what it is:

http://michellemalkin.com/2013/01/25/rotten-to-the-core-part-2-readin-writin-and-deconstructionism/

And this reminds me what Andrea Mitchell has been doing for years.

Brian: The Presidents task force on guns was question for 3 hours on capital hill. Andrea, what did you see?

Andrea: Brian, in over three hours of hearings, Republicans used the word, barrel, 18 times, trigger, 8 times, reloading, 27 times, and, Brian, they used the word gun, 87 times. Back to you.

Brian: Intestine stuff, Andrea. When we come back, actress Allison William, my daughter, posing nude for the first time. In her own words…

The phrase I just thought of for the MSM: The Word Cloud Media

HarneyPeak on February 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The main point folks make with reference to clip vs magazine, Jazz, is that they are very likely ignorant of that about which they rant. If it is accompanied by otherwise judicious use of firearms terminology – such as knowing the difference between automatic and semi-automatic – then it is often overlooked.

Of course, the other issue is when the law bans things that don’t – technically – exist (like 30-round clips). It makes the law hard to enforce and generally lowers the respect for the law. Imagine if even one judge throws out a case because the law says “clip” and the defendant had a magazine. It begins to crumble right there. When you write laws, you should have a thorough knowledge of the proper terms and use them judiciously, so as not to write crap into law.

GWB on February 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

durrrr me write pretty one day

HarneyPeak on February 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

What a pair she’s got! Wowza!

(all puns authorized)

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

But…where did that second puff of smoke inches behind the muzzle come from?

And…When did we stop using smokeless powder in modern firearms?

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

That *is* smokeless powder. (Black powder would be giving a larger and much more opaque cloud.) And the second puff of smoke is coming out the porting on the right-hand side of the upper barrel.

GWB on February 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

You’re on a serious roll today, aren’t you? LOL

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM

It’s easier than setting up my own blog.

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

But…where did that second puff of smoke inches behind the muzzle come from?

And…When did we stop using smokeless powder in modern firearms?

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Liam:

I’ve got a Mossberg,Full Choke,Model 500,410.,
pump,
and I have fired a single-shot 12 gauge,and I
have never seen that much smoke,yup,good point!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

GWB on February 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

The era of common-sense law went out of fashion a long time ago.

New fancy: “Is Kim Kardashian showing her baby bump yet? News at 11:00!”

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I know little about shotguns. Mine was bought cheap, a basic bottom-of-the-line. Any time I have fired it, I remember the muzzle flash, the kick to my shoulder, and no smoke.

I would be very worried if my shotgun vented smoke somewhere behind the muzzle. Then it’s off to the gunsmith for a new barrel.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM

This is way way off thread, I found it on the right hand side of Ace but you have to read the comments.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The Associated Press ‏@AP

AP PHOTOS: From Teddy Roosevelt to Obama, a look at U.S. presidents holding guns: http://apne.ws/WlWTBK – KM
=========================================

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OBAMA_GUNS_PHOTO_GALLERY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-02-13-19-19

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I know little about shotguns. Mine was bought cheap, a basic bottom-of-the-line. Any time I have fired it, I remember the muzzle flash, the kick to my shoulder, and no smoke.

I would be very worried if my shotgun vented smoke somewhere behind the muzzle. Then it’s off to the gunsmith for a new barrel.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Liam:

Lol,ya,smoke not coming from the end of the barrel,would not be a good day!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Wayne LaPierre is the worst possible president for NRA.

LaPierre may not be the best spokesperson for the NRA, but he understands political strategy as well as anyone in Washington and has pulled some very good moves on the anti-gunners and he is effective. I’ll take effectiveness over smooth-talking any day.

Socratease on February 2, 2013 at 1:35 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

These liberals…especially Obama and his azzkissers…really offend me. I’m seriously bored with explaining to low-brow types where the crap they see and stick to is just that: crap.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM

This is way way off thread, I found it on the right hand side of Ace but you have to read the comments.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Cindy Munford:Lol,a Banana Slicer,talk about the height of laziness!
—————————————:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I swear the comments are so funny and creative!

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

These liberals…especially Obama and his azzkissers…really offend me. I’m seriously bored with explaining to low-brow types where the crap they see and stick to is just that: crap.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Liam:Its the Perception/Deception Operation,

the people who rarly pay attention to politics,come up with
a conclusion,that Obama likes to target practise,er,Skeet
Shooting,and the picture proves,that anti-gun control types are
paranoid,after all,if Obama shoots guns,there is no way,that
Obama will take them away!

Its Nuts!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Its Nuts!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Typical liberalism.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Its Nuts!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Like the term ‘progressive’, I won’t use ‘low-information voter’.

I define them as low brow.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Are there a lot of examples of people with working knowledge of firearms misusing the terms? It might be just as likely that the uninformed don’t understand what they are saying.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

…I’m uninformed about guns except for what I learn from the enthusiasts on Hot Air…

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

…I have a 410 Moss-Berg for the varmints that gets regular use on my property. I have a 16 gauge Moss-Berg that I used in my college days when hunting pheasants and rabbits with my roommates…that has been modified…a quarter of an inch above the legal length limit…that has always been my “home protection”…
About 25 years ago when I still lived in Detroit after getting out of school…my little Welsh Terrier informed me in the middle of the night before we moved…that someone was trying to steal the neighbor cops uninsured Harley!…when I went to inquire if I could be of assistance…I was answered with a shot from a big very expensive chrome pistol that missed!…the pellets from the six shot that I used for birds…made a mess!…and I never went to court!…worked for me…so I’ve never had an interest in anything else.

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I swear the comments are so funny and creative!

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Cindy Munford:

Yup,I liked the Parole and Back-Ground Check one,haha!:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:49 PM

KOOLAID2 on February 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Whatever works! :-)

Long as you and yours are always safe.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM

This is way way off thread, I found it on the right hand side of Ace but you have to read the comments.

Cindy Munford on February 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

That’s funny right there. I don’t care where you’re from.

davidk on February 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Like the term ‘progressive’, I won’t use ‘low-information voter’.

I define them as low brow.

Liam on February 2, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Liam:True Dat:)

canopfor on February 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM

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