The Associated Press Advises Against Using “Assault Rifle” and “Assault Weapon” in News Reports

Image of the AP Stylebook entry defining assault weaponAfter years of incorporating the terms “assault rifle” and “assault weapons” into news reports involving firearms—especially when used in crimes—journalists are now advised by The Associated Press to avoid these “highly politicized terms,” and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) says it’s a “smart gun change.”

“It’s about time the media realized the terms ‘assault rifle’ and ‘assault weapon’ are inflammatory and meaningless,” says SAF founder and executive vice president Alan M. Gottlieb. “Those terms have become part of the gun prohibition lobby’s lexicon, and unfortunately, journalists across the country have been all-too-willing to adopt their vocabulary and repeatedly use it in their reports.

According to an AP Style Tip, “The preferred term for a rifle that fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, and automatically reloads for a subsequent shot, is a semi-automatic rifle. An automatic rifle continuously fires rounds if the trigger is depressed and until its ammunition is exhausted.

“Avoid assault rifle and assault weapon,” the AP adds, “which are highly politicized terms that generally refer to AR- or AK-style rifles designed for the civilian market, but convey little meaning about the actual functions of the weapon.”

“I’m glad to see the AP Stylebook now recognizes that these firearms only fire one round each time a trigger is pulled,” he continued, “and really function no differently than any other semi-auto rifle, pistol, or shotgun, all of which have been in common use in this country for more than a century.”

US Supreme Court Affirms Right to Carry Arms in Public for Self-Defense

Basing its decision on detailed textual and historical analysis of the US Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the US Constitution explicitly protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The court says the “normal and ordinary” meaning of the Second Amendment’s operative clause—“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”—guarantees the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation whether inside or outside the home.

The justices’ June 23, 2022 decision strikes down a New York state law that required gun owners to demonstrate a particular personal need before they could possibly qualify for a license allowing them to carry firearms in public.

It is now the third ruling, after the cases of Heller and McDonald, in which the high court is directly instructing lower courts that “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right.”

In his concurring statement, Justice Samuel Alito says, “Today, unfortunately, many Americans have good reason to fear that they will be victimized if they are unable to protect themselves. And today, no less than in 1791, the Second Amendment guarantees their right to do so.”

The Court’s ruling means that, while states may require carry permits, they must issue them to ordinary law-abiding, mentally-sound people. Ordinary people must be able to carry a personal firearm in ordinary places where people congregate. And licensing cannot be excessively delayed or expensive.

For a detailed explanation of the ruling’s legal language, see the video by attorney Andrew Branca on Law of Self Defense. Also read The Scramble on American Handgunner and Supreme Court Upholds Gun Rights Outside of the Home, Let’s Break It Down on Ammoland.

Self-Defense Tactical Driving Tips

Image of two hands on a car steering wheelSince the early 1960s the phrase “Drive Defensively” has been taught in driver education courses across America. It means the skill to drive a vehicle safely despite any conditions you encounter and the actions of others. In a typical defensive driving course, students learn crucial crash prevention techniques that include:

  • Scanning the roadway ahead and adapting accordingly to your surroundings
  • Expecting the unexpected
  • Being alert and distraction free
  • Employing the two-second rule for following distances
  • Knowing your vehicle’s stopping distance
  • Being aware of reaction distance
  • Looking through a turn to know what you’ll encounter
  • Preparing for environment hazards and vehicle emergencies
  • Driving with the commitment to be the safest driver on the road

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness ]

Self-defense tactical driving takes the concept further, putting a motor behind the everyday proficiency of situational awareness. As always, distance is your self-defense friend. The greater the distance from a threat, the more time you have to avoid or prepare for it. Here are a few practical ways to defend yourself in your vehicle:

Ammo Price Trends: Cost Per Round Chart

Chart of ammunition prices per round by month
Source: Visualizing Ammo Cost Trends Across Nine Popular Calibers on The Firearm Blog.

Ammunition Search Engines:

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Matters to Consider When Deciding on a Handgun ]

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