NRA materials use the term firearm. That’s the correct term in the context of safety and marksmanship training. In the context of gun control, the correct term is weapon.
Gun control is all about items usable as weapons. If it wasn’t, then knives, sprays, even sticks wouldn’t be so heavily regulated. It takes more legal hoops to get a baton permit in many states than to get one for a firearm. The 1938 Nazi prohibition on Jewish weapon ownership specifically mentioned sticks and batons as prohibited items. Predators know that sticks and stones can break their bones. Exhibit one: Goliath.
The rifle in the picture above could be a single shot benchrest gun in 6mm PPC or a 4-shot .30-06 M70 of Carlos Hathcock fame or a 10-shot 50BMG from Serbu — to the foes of civilian gun ownership, all are anathema. They understand correctly that any one of these can send them to well-deserved hell. The only reason why we, the lawful gun owners, care about the details is that we value the defensive properties of small arms. An AR15 is much better for rebuffing determined close-range assaults by numerically superior foes than a single-shot Sharps. For sniping the enemies of individual freedom, almost any gun would do fine. That the gun owners of America haven’t focused on that fact speaks volumes of their patience and forbearance.
That the gun control pushers are focusing on the defensive firearms also speaks volumes of their intentions. Since Americans have no access to other short-range defensive tools, they have to rely more heavily on guns and any reduction in the availability of proper equipment becomes immediately detrimental to our safety. Not only the guns become less capable, but our training immediately becomes mismatched to the equipment and must be renewed at great cost in money, ammunition and time.