1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

Question for NRA instructors about the "W" word

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ochmude, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. ochmude

    ochmude Marine Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,315
    Likes Received:
    1,784
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    This post reminded me of the guidance for NRA instructors to refrain from referring to firearms as "weapons". The value/logic of that practice has already been debated at length several times on this forum, and I'm sure this thread will devolve into another such debate rather quickly. Before that happens, though, I hope to get a question answered that occurred to me after reading Wiskie762's post linked above. Does anyone know how NRA instructors handle that taboo word when teaching introductory level courses in states that officially refer to their license as a "Concealed Weapons Permit"? Is there any official guidance from the NRA on the matter? This is just a random question that popped into my head, and I apologize in advance if this thread gets retarded.
     

  2. PATRON

    PATRON NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    I tell my students that it,s a gun until it,s used on someone or an animal, just like a bat, knife, ETC.Then it becomes a weapon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ben Diss

    Ben Diss

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    43
    I don't do a lot of classes, and I'm not a big fan of that practice, so I just explain the NRA's position on the word and I don't use it. If a student does, I don't make a big deal of it. I've been in a class where the instructor had a "weapon jar". If anyone used the "W" word they had to put a buck in the jar. I'm not so picky. It's tough because for years that what we called them in the Marines.
     
  4. revolverboy

    revolverboy

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    2
    I teach NRA's HFS, BP & Utah CFP courses pretty regularly. I never call guns a weapon. I stay away from saying 'concealed carry weapon', CCW. Always a firearm or a gun (or blaster, heater or paper punch). I point out that a 'weapon' is the 'mind' and everything else is a 'tool'. I tell them that I have knives and hairspray & a BIC lighter in the car. (The hairspray/BIC is poor man's flame thrower.) They can be used as weapons. I also point out that someone can jab a pencil/pen into the eyes or throat but we don't consider those 'weapons'. Same with beating someone with a hammer. These are 'tools' and can be used by a good guy or a bad guy.

    If someone calls a firearm a weapon during class, I let it go. If someone says they don't own any weapons, I ask them if they have a hammer, steak knife or a car. Then point out that any of those can be used to take a life.
     
  5. jasons

    jasons Moderator Moderator NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    15,784
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    I simply don't subscribe to NRA newspeak.



    Apology accepted. [grin]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. Navy Moose

    Navy Moose

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,577
    Likes Received:
    525
    Location:
    Live Free or Die!
    Since I became an instructor, I've actually gotten away from using the term "weapon" in my BPS classes. It is rare for me to use it. The first few classes, the lead instructor would needle me during the instructor review at the end of the day.
     
  7. TWtommers

    TWtommers Instructor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    429
    Location:
    South Central MA
    Mass law constantly refers to weapons. Its a bit of a dance but I try to only use the word weapon when referring to the law. When referring to the object, its firearm or gun. The beginning of my law portion (at the end of the class) is about the legal terminology so the "weapon" word comes up a lot. When I talk about the guns on the table though, I never use that word.
     
  8. 7.62x39

    7.62x39 NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,114
    Likes Received:
    423
    Related story

    When I took the RSO course taught by Jon Green He had a giant (snoop Dog size) florescent orange W on a necklace. When somebody used the word weapon, they had to wear it. The word was dropped from our vocabulary very quickly. LOL
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. FPrice

    FPrice Retired Zoomie NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Messages:
    18,627
    Likes Received:
    3,636
    Location:
    Western Mass
    I try to be somewhat precise in the words I use, although I know I make mistakes from time to time. To me a rifle is a rifle, a pistol is a pistol, a revolver is a revolver. But I also don't get bent out of shape over the issue, I've got bigger, more important issues to deal with.
     
  10. TWtommers

    TWtommers Instructor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    429
    Location:
    South Central MA
    Never wore it once. One of the only ones. [smile]

    I don't think using the word is something to get bent out of shape about. To me it has a lot to do with audience. If its a class full of former military guys no one would raise an eyebrow. If its a class of apprehensive non-shooters, it won't help them feel more engaged or comfortable.
     
  11. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    13,612
    Likes Received:
    3,659
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    When the "National Gun Association" becomes consistent with their terminology, so will I.
     
  12. Navy Moose

    Navy Moose

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4,577
    Likes Received:
    525
    Location:
    Live Free or Die!
    Same with my instructor's course, about half were former military and I know I wore it a lot. I think the class photo, had me wearing it :)
     
  13. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,972
    Likes Received:
    4,663
    Location:
    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    My son and I both avoided it in the Instructor course.

    I point out that the Mass licenses (which they are going to be applying for) are for Firearms, not W******.


    Of course, since we're both mainly Trapezoids, it's easier to avoid it in our daily parlance.
     
  14. Ben Diss

    Ben Diss

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    43
    I hear you and I've used that argument before, however it's disingenuous. A pencil's main, intended purpose is to write. Secondarily, it may be used as a weapon. Same thing for hair spray and a lighter. Same thing for kitchen knives. Not so much for a gun. The gun's primary purpose is to kill. We buy only the most killy guns.

    That's why I'm not a big fan of this policy.
     
  15. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,972
    Likes Received:
    4,663
    Location:
    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    Well, to start the Down this Road Before, I'll say that the majority of the firearms that I own, have no record of being
    "Most killy", at least with regards to people. Though the Milsurp examples may be different.

    The NRA is at heart a Political Organization; they will not advance the agenda that they, and the majority of gun owners are trying to advance by using the terminology of the Antis. In the Basic Pistol class, there are enough folks that have no experience or history with guns, that using the W word will just make them more nervous.

    Additionally, if you teach the NRA course, you're agreeing to play by their rules; if you teach your own course, you can use whatever terminology you want.
     
  16. ochmude

    ochmude Marine Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    6,315
    Likes Received:
    1,784
    Location:
    Yuma, AZ
    But do you still have to play by those rules if you're teaching that course specifically to satisfy the training requirement for people to obtain a card that says "CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT" across the top in bold letters? I'd ask an NRA instructor here in Arizona, but I don't know any.

    Blame Forum Runner for any typos and such.
     
  17. Picton

    Picton NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    5,462
    Location:
    MA
    Good point. Otherwise, I always have trouble saying "gun." That's what comes from learning to shoot in the Army; to me, I'll always think of firearms as "weapons."
     
  18. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,972
    Likes Received:
    4,663
    Location:
    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
    Perhaps there's a SW version of NES?

    I've used the W word, when speaking to military - just as I say "Gracias" to Spanish-speakers, of kilos to foreigners. It's called "Being buzzword compliant" [laugh]
     
  19. bostonasphalt2

    bostonasphalt2

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,988
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Do you run NRA classes? If so then you should be doing as they dictate for those classes. Love it or hate it, it's true.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. jasons

    jasons Moderator Moderator NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    15,784
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    I am an NRA certified instructor and I do volunteer my time to instruct various courses and programs at my club. This is one area where the NRA is wrong - people taking self-defense classes need to get into a self-defense mindset. This is serious stuff, not puppy dogs and rainbows, and all the silly newspeak in the world isn't going to change that.
     
    1 person likes this.
  21. jasons

    jasons Moderator Moderator NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    15,784
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    That's a fairly wide and partly inaccurate generalization, but given the narrow context of people looking for permit to cary a pistol it's not completely wrong. Ask a group of LTC students why they're taking the class and 90% will say "so I can carry for protection" or "to defend myself" or something along those lines. Weapons are used for protection and self-defense and that's a GOOD thing. In my opinion the NRA demonizing the word "weapon" is short-sighted and disingenuous, and I won't be a party to it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  22. Squire

    Squire NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,432
    Likes Received:
    1,961
    I'm not an instructor so this is FWIW. I've never called a gun a weapon until I took a Mass. certification course. Semantically, in the context of Concealed Carry, it is logical. You don't carry it around hidden so that you have it conveniently for the range or in case some suffering stray animals need to be dispatched (I would refer to firearms as tools in this context). Concealed Carry is for personal defense, and can involve the use of defensive weapons (like firearms, baseball bats, hammers, mace, a kitchen knife, or a laptop computer, or anything else that's handy in a situation where you are defending your life and your family's from harm).
     
  23. houdini

    houdini

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    lovely state of mass
    I never use the w word, I use gun or firearm.
     
  24. W.E.C

    W.E.C NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    7,795
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Location:
    Boston
    I guess you could term it pistol or rifle and avoid the pc crap...

    this comes to mind


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2017
  25. Rider

    Rider

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    7,266
    Likes Received:
    1,414
    Location:
    Metrowest
    I've seen heated discussions on this topic, and don't completely understand why people get so jacked up about it. I go along with it for the most part because the reasoning makes sense when you are talking to people who may not be well-versed in firearms culture.

    Guns can be used in many different ways, and when introducing new people to guns, the idea is to present them, and the sporting/defense world, positively. For someone who has never touched or fired a gun, correcting the misconception that guns only exist to kill people makes them much less threatening and can lower their apprehension a lot.

    Let's keep in mind that we are coming at this from a different place than other people are. The cultural aspect of the gun control battle wants to associate negative and threatening words with guns so that people don't feel comfortable talking about them or don't acknowledge their many legitimate uses, including self-defense.
     
  26. TWtommers

    TWtommers Instructor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,610
    Likes Received:
    429
    Location:
    South Central MA
    I agree but would point out that a Home Firearm Safety or Basic Pistol class, at least in MA, isn't strictly about defense. Some students are certainly there with that thought but many are not. Using the word weapon can alienate those who are apprehensive about guns but using other words like gun or firearm won't alienate those thinking about defense. It's a lowest common denominator issue to me. For me, its not a fear of the word but an appropriate use of words in a given situation.
     
  27. crazymjb

    crazymjb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    9,740
    Likes Received:
    2,913
    Location:
    Green Eggs and...
    I call weapons weapons. Anything for defensive ourposes or hunting is a weapon. Calling it something else is childish. Guns designed around military and law enforcement purposes are weapons. They may be weapons used for sport, but they are still weapons.

    Mike

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
     
    2 people like this.
  28. bostonasphalt2

    bostonasphalt2

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,988
    Likes Received:
    1,222
    Then I would suggest getting certified to teach a course that allows you to call them weapons (or rather, does not restrict you from calling them weapons) because with the NRA course, it is simple: their course, their rules.
     
  29. jasons

    jasons Moderator Moderator NES Life Member NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    15,784
    Likes Received:
    3,380
    The NRA takes my money every time I send it.
     
  30. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    38,868
    Likes Received:
    6,632
    Location:
    Near Framingham
    I don't use the W-word when teaching. However, if the state referred to their license as a "Concealed Weapons Permit", I would refer to the permit using the state's term. I would still refer to the gun as "gun", "handgun", "firearm", etc.

    I was at Harvard Sportsmen's Club yesterday helping out at a Women on Target event. I was on the pistol range and most of the other instructors on the pistol range were retired Army guys who work at Natick Labs. If I had put out a coffee can and told them to drop in $1 each time they used the "W" word, I could have paid for a very, very nice dinner with Mrs. M1911. [laugh] After 20+ years in the military, they are genetically wired to use the "W" word.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page