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Reply #34: I think we may be seeing semantic development in action [View All]

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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-16-09 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
34. I think we may be seeing semantic development in action
The term "assault weapon" was originally coined to attach a stigma to military-looking semi-automatic firearms, the term implying that the primary (or the only) purpose of such weapons was to commit assault. But the term has gotten so overused, not to mention misapplied (the Chicago Tribune once referred to Mauser 98-type rifle as a "bolt-action assault rifle") that maybe it's just started to lose the meaning it was originally meant to convey.

Evidently, the woman quoted in the article doesn't attack any particular stigma to the term, simply because she's heard to too often. To her, the "assault" part in "assault weapon" no longer means "to physically attack" but just means "has a pistol grip and a banana-shaped clip thingy." If this is more widespread, the saturation of media reports with the term "assault weapon" will have come round to bite the anti-gun movement in the ass.
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