We’ve been talking for a few days on this blog about the Harrisburg show’s cancellation.
After spending some time at the Virginia Huntfest on Friday I felt the show’s cancellation was worth my writing about for my Sunday column in The Roanoke Times, which you can read HERE, with the added context of having talked about the development with some vendors who planned to be there.
I did get an email from a guy who took exception to the use of the term “assault weapon” in the headline. I am with him. Writers can suggest headlines, but we don’t write them. (Paper designers are better at it, generally, and also have to work with certain length requirements.)
In an email discussion with my editor and the copy editor who wrote the “hed,” the copy editor pulled up links to a bunch of other news stories that also included “assault weapon” in the headlines. This wasn’t an argument, just a case of someone using a term they assumed to be appropriate because, well, everyone else is using it, too.
I don’t dispute that the term is ubiquitous. What I do believe is that it is misused. It might not be technically incorrect. But it’s not technically correct, either. As we have discussed here, just what is an assault rifle? It is the camo gun pictured here, right? Well, the other gun and the camo gun function exactly the same way.
I actually am starting work on something like a Firearms FAQ. My goal won’t be to try to shape opinions, but rather simply to educate readers (who have an open mind and want to know) about the functions of and differences among various types of hunting, sporting and military firearms and accessories.