Popehat has a very good post about how we can all (present company included) talk more respectfully on this issue with other people. I know that I can certainly do better. I recommend the whole thing to you if you ever talk to people about gun control from either side of the issue. However, one part of the piece perfectly captures why people like me go on all the time about using the right terminology.
Me: I don't want to take away dog owners' rights. But we need to do something about Rottweilers.Exactly.
You: So what do you propose?
Me: I just think that there should be some sort of training or restrictions on owning an attack dog.
You: Wait. What's an "attack dog?"
Me: You know what I mean. Like military dogs.
You: Huh? Rottweilers aren't military dogs. In fact "military dogs" isn't a thing. You mean like German Shepherds?
Me: Don't be ridiculous. Nobody's trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn't own fighting dogs.
You: I have no idea what dogs you're talking about now.
Me: You're being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds.
You: What the fuck.
Me: OK, maybe not actually ::air quotes:: hounds ::air quotes::. Maybe I have the terminology wrong. I'm not obsessed with vicious dogs like you. But we can identify kinds of dogs that civilians just don't need to own.
You: Can we?