Correcting People About Magazines vs. Clips

With all the hubbub regarding “gun control” lately, there has been an abundance of people discussing firearms, many of whom really aren’t familiar with them. This leads to their inevitable use of “clips” or even “magazine clips” when the word “magazine” would be more appropriate. This leads to another inevitable occurrence – a “gun person” correcting them on nomenclature.

Don’t get me wrong, using the right nomenclature and understanding the facts are important. Otherwise you end up with people like this (and frankly, this Congresswoman’s ignorance of the topic should be appalling to people on all sides of the debate). But at a certain point, that firearm owner making the correction can’t see the forest for the trees. I know what some news anchor means when they say “high capacity banana clip.” I know what they want to accomplish when they say “high capacity clips should be banned.” I don’t see the point of saying “it’s a magazine, not a clip!”

Low capacity banana clip.

I think it’s more important that I focus on the facts of why they should not be banned than to eagerly point out the ignorance of a person who doesn’t know the technical difference between a magazine and a clip. Yeah, we’ll score a few points by making them look bad. But we won’t win over the undecided members of the populace who really don’t care what it’s called. All they know is that it’s characterized as something so dangerous that it shouldn’t ever be in civilian hands. It’s this characterization which should be addressed, not the name attached to the characterization.

So if you take anything away from this article, which I have tried to keep very brief and simple… just consider the level of derisiveness you attach to your statements towards someone who says “clip” instead of “magazine.”

13 thoughts on “Correcting People About Magazines vs. Clips”

  1. I use to go to the fire range on weekends and just use my gun for one two hours then clean the gun and I use to hear a few persons talking about guns and I use to smile to my self of the things I was hearing about the way you should do standing positions like TV Series STRIKE BACK, like the games BLACK OPS. , OTHER crazy things . Your comments are correct theres a lot of persons who read magasines and TV programs and in the real life it does not work that way.I don’t carry weapons any more but I did use them for combat for many years only to defend my self . People need to take siriosly weapons and take the best trayning you can get a gun is a instrument invented and refine for one purpose to harm or kill people and for some sports too.

  2. I agree that it is good not to be petty and so miss the greater objective. But pointing out that the other side is careless of technical facts can set a useful precedent for objecting later on to greater matters, for example when they say AR-15’s are machine guns.

  3. What really gets me is the term ‘high capacity’ and what does this mean to both sides. If you can’t define your terms you can’t have a real debate. For me ‘high capacity magazine’ is a magazine that holds more rounds than a normal capacity magazine-for that gun. And since this changes from gun to gun many of the antis can’t seem to get their heads around it. This is the problem, not whether a magazine is a clip or not.

  4. I have always agreed with your statements, as they are logical. This one is, also. However, there is always more than one consideration – a fact that a balance individual as yourself has offered in the past.

    For me, I think it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say.

    And yes, I think it is more important to start off a newbie or even and oldie who is mistaken, on the right footing. That way, in the future, when it comes to possibly more important things, they aren’t lackadaisical with their syntax, leading to bigger issues.

    Some small considerations are just… small. Others are depended upon by bigger wheels, and can cause damage down the production line.


  5. First off, I love your humor, the low capacity banana clip is being sent to all my shooting friends 😀
    Secondly, you’re hitting the nail on the head with this one. But really, and this is a point I hammer home with all the people who come in and try to tell me how ignorant I am of the dangers of firearms, we can’t have a discussion about this until everyone understands the function and use and real capabilities of the weapons in question. Too many Americans have never fired, or even held, a firearm, let alone a semi-auto magazine-fed rifle like an AR or AK. They have no concept of what a weapon like that is and isn’t capable of. They don’t understand the basic physics of using a gun, and really can’t conceptualize the capabilities of such a device in a mass shooting or any other use. It kinda screws the pooch on the whole debate, the utter lack of knowledge so many “gun control experts” demonstrate.
    It’s a common ailment of government and government-related subjects, of course. The activists for/against the cause can never see the other side. Gun owners can see, quite visibly, the other side of the coin: death is a human concept and one we embrace and understand and feel just like non-gun-owners. But non-gun-owners often don’t have a concept of where we’re coming from on the idealistic, technical and pragmatic aspects of our argument. The core of gun control arguments is emotion and fear. We must demonstrate how we can operate on a more logical, legitimate and comprehensible basis.
    You and people like you (Mr. Colion Noir, perhaps?) do a really good job of that.
    You rock.

  6. If someone is genuinely ignorant then I agree with you. Although, I still think you can politely educate them without sounding like you’re trying to make look stupid.

    However, if someone is being willfully ignorant or using those terms for the purpose of vilifying the object and it’s users, then I’m going to say something. Language does matter. That’s why they say “high capacity” and made up “assault weapon.” That’s why they call their legislation “Common Sense Legislation to End Gun Violence.”

    It’s important to let the “undecided’s” know exactly what this language is – Not just that it is inaccurate, but that it is specifically designed to fool them.

  7. I rarely correct people unless they are claiming to be gun-enthusiasts, I simply always use the correct terminology when speaking to others. If they make a comment about how “high-capacity clips” should be banned, then I simply explain how banning “standard-capacity magazines” wouldn’t do anything worthy of merit.

  8. I watched a video of David Tubb explaining shooting technique today, and HE called his magazine a clip! So I think you can forgive an ignoramus newscaster.

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