A week ago I argued that all of Obama’s comments on guns and gun control reveal him to be an “automatic semi-automatic prevaricator” — semi-automatic because “they happen only one at a time ever time he opens his mouth.”
Of course it’s possible I’m giving him too much credit. He may not be lying. He may really, truly not know the difference between and automatic and a semi-automatic weapon. He may really, truly believe that what the anti-gun crowd calls “assault weapons” sold to the public are identical to what he said were “weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters … automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers.”
The more charitable view — that He doesn’t really know enough about guns to lie about them — was just reinforced, ironically enough, in his Meet The Press interview with David Gregory in which he reiterated his support for “banning these high capacity clips,” including the one that Gregory himself illegally possessed, demonstrated on TV, and thus subjected himself to arrest. (The law banning them in D.C. does not require any evil intent; it is illegal merely to possess them.) My point here, however, is not further ridicule of scofflaw Gregory; it is to point out that, like many anti-gun zealots, the president doesn’t even know what he wants to ban: high capacity magazines, not clips.
Good definitions showing the distinction are easy to find for anyone who cares, such as this one from a widely read firearms expert who points out that a magazine has as spring that pushes cartridges into a position to be loaded into the chamber; a clip does not, and in fact usually inserts the cartridges inside as magazine as on the Garand M-1.
A clip is different from a magazine and the terms are by no means interchangeable. Using “clip” when one means “magazine” is akin to saying “tires” when one actually means “wheels.” If it does get the speaker immediately corrected, often unkindly, in newsgroups and on Forums, then such a malaprop marks the user as a hopeless newbie.
Or as a very liberal president of the United States.