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View Diary: A crazy man with a "fighting rifle" (133 comments)

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  •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, mamamedusa

    I've made this point before, but people never seem to get it.  The purpose of the use of jargon in the gun debate is the same as in other contexts.  The use of jargon is part of an effort to cloak the jargon user with some sort of expertise and to exclude nonusers from the conversation.  The most common example of this is the condescension one hears from gun fetishists if one says "clip" when one really should say "magazine," even when the distinction is wholly irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    The fact of the matter is that most people are not experts in most things.  That one is not an expert does not mean one cannot have an opinion.  For example, should Kossacks (or anyone else) be disqualified from expressing an opinion on environmental laws if they cannot tell me what constitutes a "hazardous substance" for purposes of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act?  

    It takes no particular expertise to know that these killing machines are extremely dangerous.  As you say, the question is really quite simple:

    Do we want people with such weapons roaming our streets?
    That question can be answered without reference to jargon.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:17:25 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  To be more clear (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy, Little

      Correcting someone who says clip when he or she means magazine, that's pedantic. Doesn't really make a difference if someone messes that up.

      Correcting someone who conflates semiautomatic rifles with automatic rifles, or assault rifles with assault weapons, is not. Those are two very different types of rifles; even if they look the same, the internals are different (you can't just play around with the sear to turn a semiauto into an automatic, despite the claims of many armchair gunsmiths).

      (Mind you, in the first example, while it can be an obfuscatory tactic, it can also just be on the same level of correcting someone for using an apostrophe to make a plural or confusing "you're" with "your.)

    •  And I never said anything close to that (0+ / 0-)

      he or anyone else should't have an opinion on this!

      •  I didn't claim you did. (2+ / 0-)
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        YucatanMan, JR

        My comment was not directed at you specifically but rather at a more general feature of the debate on this topic.

        Strangely, the rigid insistence upon correct terminology appears to be a one-way ratchet.  I'm a lawyer, yet I'm regularly lectured by laymen not only about the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment but also about the proper method of constitutional interpretation.  Apparently, specialized knowledge is only necessary or important if it leads to the preferred policy result.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:37:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the article had said it was a pistol it (0+ / 0-)

          would have been wrong. I simply corrected a fact.

          And honestly, this thread was started by this comment:

          Just to note: I've been reading a very lot on this (1+ / 0-)

          and talking with friends way more into guns tham myself.

          It was not an AK-47. It was an AK variant, or something like that. AK-47s by their nature are selective-fire - meaning that they can be both semi-automatic and automatic (and other things, but never mind). This was semi-auto only.

          That people are getting this worked up over that very, very mild comment is a lot more curious than my wanting to correct one tiny fact in the story.
        •  And my preferred policy result, as I've said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JR

          in this thread, is that military style semi-automatic weapons be banned. I'll add that I also think high-capacity magazines for rifles and handguns should be banned. In fact I wouldn't mind in the least if the U.S. went to Australian rules tomorrow.

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