Nancy Pelosi Using Term ‘Small’ Assault Weapons Interchangably with ‘Gun’ During Press Conference

Pelosi was announcing a House vote to ban “assault weapons.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seemed to be using the terms “gun” and “assault weapon” interchangeably on Friday when announcing the House vote on an “assault weapon” ban.
  • The aging Democrat announced that they would be voting to reinstate a ban that was originally passed in the 90s saying, “it was hard but it happened and it saved lives,” before going on to talk about how she planned to pass the upcoming measure.
  • “When I talk about it on the floor this afternoon I’m going to show a presentation of what some totally irresponsible people are putting out there about little children, toddlers, learning how to use an assault weapon,” Pelosi said.
  • “Smaller assault weapons, but a gun like mommy and daddy. Smaller assault weapons but getting their muscles ready to use it,” Pelosi said before asking, “Is that sick?”
DEBATE OVER THE MEANING OF “ASSAULT WEAPON”:
  • The debate about the definition of “assault weapon” has been a contentious one with some gun control backers saying it includes guns like AR-15s and others used in mass shootings, while industry professionals say that there is no real definition
  • Even the mainstream media calls it an “ambiguous term invented by the anti-gun lobby in the 1980s,” as CNBC pointed out, saying there’s a language issue with the fact that guns don’t actually “assault” people.
  • Some say “assault rifles” are those used in military operations or that have higher capacities, such as the ability to switch to automatic mode. However, the frequently castigated AR-15 don’t have automatic abilities.
  • The National Shooting Sports Foundation is clear on its website that “AR-15-style rifles are NOT ‘assault weapons’ or ‘assault rifles.'”
  • In 2018 The Regulatory Review stated that “attempts to regulate ‘assault weapons’ will be futile as long as the term lacks a clear definition.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Conservatives’ concern about the assault weapons ban has continued to grow as the definition seems to grow in ambiguity.
  • Included in the concern about a political statement on guns is the frustration that large rifles make up a relatively small percentage of all gun-related deaths in the United States, versus potentially depriving citizens of a constitutional right.