Question for NRA instructors about the "W" word

ochmude

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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.
 

PATRON

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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 

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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.
 

TWtommers

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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.
 

7.62x39

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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
 

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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.
 

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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
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.
 
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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
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 :)
 
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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.
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.
 

MisterHappy

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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.
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.
 

ochmude

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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.
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.
 

Picton

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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.
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."
 

MisterHappy

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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.
Perhaps there's a SW version of NES?

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."
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]
 

jasons

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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.
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.
 

jasons

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The gun's primary purpose is to kill.
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.
 
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Squire

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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).
 

W.E.C

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I guess you could term it pistol or rifle and avoid the pc crap...

this comes to mind


 
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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.
 

TWtommers

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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.
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.
 
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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

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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.
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.
 

jasons

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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.
The NRA takes my money every time I send it.
 

M1911

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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.
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.
 
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