When I hear the word ‘weapon’, I think destruction and devastation. I think ‘weapons of mass destruction’ because that phrase has been burned into our minds through the media. When I hear the word ‘weapon’, I think about something that’s purpose is to cause as much harm as it can.
Reason #1: I don’t own any weapons
I remember being at the range a few years ago when a man walked up to me and asked me a question. “So, what’s that weapon you’re shooting today?” he asked. I looked at him and thought for a few seconds, then replied “That tool is my daily carry firearm, a Glock 27.”
The reason that I don’t use the word ‘weapon’ when describing any of my firearms is because I never plan to use them for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage. If I am carrying my G27, it’s an absolute last resort if I’m ever faced with a threat. Instead, my G27 is a firearm (tool) to be used if the need were to ever arise. Until that time, which will hopefully never come, my G27 will sit idly by on my hip.
This tool, in this example my G27, is used to carry out a particular function in the event that it’s needed, and that function is stopping an active threat. If you ever need to draw your firearm in self-defense, you should be ready and willing to pull the trigger. However, even if you draw, pulling the trigger is still a last resort. The mere presence of a firearm, in most cases, is enough to stop the active threat. In a case such as this, there ends up being no need to pull the trigger, hence no need to inflict bodily harm or physical damage.
Reason #2: Weapons Are For Those Looking To Do Harm
As an example, a mass shooter is looking to inflict as much pain and death as possible.
A firearm in the hands of a mass shooter is no longer a firearm; it is now a weapon. Yet in my hands and yours, it’s a tool to use against that mass shooter in hopes of stopping the active threat.
“An armed citizen shoots and kills a mass shooter with his weapon.”
“An armed citizen shoots and kills a mass shooter with his firearm.”
Does one of the above sound better than the other? If you don’t think so, think about the thousands of news articles that use the word ‘weapon’, then think about the general public perception when they hear the word ‘weapon’. What is that word typically associated with?
Well, war for starters, but articles tend to gravitate to that word when talking about a crime that was committed. “The armed man fired his weapon”, “The weapon used in the robbery has not been recovered.” Rarely do I come across an ‘armed citizen’ piece where the reporter refers to the citizen’s firearm as a weapon.
So to an extent, we do see a divide in the media between the two, and I do my part to try and keep that divide apparent. I do not look to cause harm with my firearms, and that in my eyes means that they are not weapons. They are tools that are in place that can allow me to stop a threat that has made the decision to send harm my way.
In reality, I will use the word ‘firearm’ more times than not when talking about any of my…well, firearms. The ‘tool’ analogy is just that; an analogy.
Some will fight me day and night on this topic, but it’s something I feel strongly about.