Media Relations and Guns

I just got this in my email this morning. It’s worth passing on but I’ll add my thoughts after it.


As a media or firearm/outdoor industry professionals at times we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to the firearm debate. The words we use can be powerful and even counter- productive to our firearm freedoms and our side of the story.

The term Assault Weapon is a pure anti-gun propaganda term. It was advanced by and for the anti-gun movement in the late 1970s and popularized in the early 1980s. There is NO SUCH THING! It just does not exist. Yet we even see our own industry and media using it in magazines, on television and radio outdoor and shooting shows, in firearm catalogs, at gun shows and in gun and sporting goods stores across the nation.

If you must use the word “assault” then apply it to the correct type of firearm: An assault rifle (not weapon-ever) is a military carbine that is BOTH full-automatic and semi-automatic and fires a mid-power cartridge (something between a sub-machine and high-power rifle round such as the 7.62x39mm or 5.56 NATO round). For example a Springfield Armory M1-A (.308 caliber) is not an assault rifle; it is “just” a semi-automatic (not automatic) rifle!

Every time the word ASSAULT WEAPON(S) is used by those of us in the industry we use the anti-gun and anti-Bill of Rights rhetoric and propaganda term; we give them more ammunition to use against gun owners and our Bill of Rights. The NSSF (SHOT Show Folks) realized this and for military look alike carbines they suggest the term modern sporting rifle, and that works! REGARDLESS, let’s all of us at least NOT use the anti-gun propaganda term “assault weapon.”

The inflammatory term WEAPON is used by far too many of us in and out of the media. We see this emotive but wrong-headed term used in articles, on television firearm and outdoor shows and even in some catalogs and it is routinely used in gun and sporting goods stores. Nothing is a weapon until that particular item (whatever it is) is used in a single specific incident against a human being. For example a purse, baseball bat, golf club or tire iron is just that unless that item is used in a specific instant against a human; then it can be defined as a weapon–generally in a prosecutor’s case.

And then there is the newest media term “gun violence.” We at Shults Media have never seen a gun or any inanimate object commit violence on its own. This too is a pure propaganda term and when we hear or see it used we remind the user that inanimate objects can’t commit violence and they look foolish for its use.

We hope you do not perceive our remarks as political correctness run amok. The use of these terms is as technically inaccurate as referring to a muzzle loading rifle as a machine gun. When we hear or see these words used incorrectly we should inform the person or entity that is using them of the error and why they are fueling the anti-Bill of Rights people. We found in all cases reasonable people and organizations appreciate learning the facts and the clarification.

Provided to you as a service by

Shults Media Relations, LLC

A PR firm that supports and promotes firearm and outdoor industry products

Okay, they are completely right when it comes to the term “assault weapon”. It’s a B.S. term that has nothing to do with civilian arms. However I disagree with that label being attached to military arms. Because an AR-15 looks like an M16 or M4 our civilian arms will always be mistaken for their military cousins by default. So let’s just stop using that term entirely. Just don’t do it. Some liberal tries to use it…correct him and let him know who little he know what he’s talking about. Sure the term may have shown up in 1970-80’s legislation but, frankly, I don’t care. Let’s wipe it from our vocabulary and not tolerate it from liberals who only use it because it’s a scary term to scare the sheeple with.

Well, nothing is a weapon. My drill instructors think differently and that’s the difficult part in this. So many of us in the industry are former military of one branch or another. The term “Weapon” is engrained in more than just our vocabulary. In some instances I see what they’re saying here. If you don’t call something a weapon then the sheeple won’t get upset. Frankly I prefer to call a spade a spade. Sure my firearms are there for my entertainment and are simply tools. However, a firearms belongs to a certain category of tool called a weapon. Why should we be ashamed of that?

“Gun Violence”, I wholeheartedly agree with them that it is simply an anti-gun propaganda term. Let’s just leave that term alone.

As firearm bloggers, pod casters, or radio professionals we have an obligation to lead the way through the relations with other media forms. Everything we put out there can be seen by anti-gunners as well as neutral parties just trying to get info for a news, or other media,  story. So let’s make sure we’re using terms that are both pro 2A and make us look like everyday people they might live next door to. Most of these people think of us as camo clad hick militia members siting in our basements making plans for taking over our communities while cleaning a room full of guns. Well, we may be camo clad men and women cleaning our guns but we don’t have to play their games. We don’t have to use terms that make us sound the way they perceive us.

That is all…..carry on.

4 thoughts on “Media Relations and Guns

  1. Gundoc,

    Another term I would add that is used in error. “Gun Culture” If there is indeed a “Gun Culture” that can be defined, it DOES NOT include the “Thug Culture” that uses guns as weapons on the streets of Chicago, DC, NYC, etc.

    I would define the “Gun Culture” as a law abiding, rights respecting, society protecting culture that has a broad interest in firearms and lawfull gun activities by a broad spectrum of people.

    1. I would go so far as to say that Hollywood and the gangs are the “gun culture”. We are just responsible citizens that care about the safety of our families and keeping in place a check against a tyrannical government. There is far more in our culture than just guns.

      1. Thanks for reply.
        Agreed in a way. If the MSM insist on using “gun culture” and including us, we need to turn the tables and either redefine us or own the definition and insist that those in Hollywood and the criminal element are a “thuggish culture” or at least they define the “culture of violence”.

        I don’t know where you live but we in the south and middle America are perceived as below the elitist East and West Coast. We are just fly over and our opinions are worthless.

        Similar political culture. The “recipient culture” are courted by the “political culture” for votes to bilk the rest of us of the products of our labor to provide for them.

        With you brother.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. “Assault Weapon” must define a weapon that has been used in an assault. Otherwise it’s meaning is indistinct at best. “Gun Violence” could be descriptive but it’s been coopted by the grabbers and ought therefor to be avoided.
    “Weapon” however is exactly what a firearm is. It’s still a ‘weapon’ even if it’s never been fired, or has only ever shot at paper. If it is for hunting it’s a weapon, and if it’s for defense it’s a weapon. I don’t think it’s reasonable to avoid the correct term. I thought that newspeak was a tool of the left, and it ought to be left to them. As for frightening the sheeple, they are afraid of it no matter what you call it.

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