VPC's Josh Sugarmann coined a term in the late 80s out of thin air: "assault weapon." An assault rifle was what the military used and was a 'machine gun' select fire type carbine rifle. Already controlled, since 1934 and 1986. So Josh needed something that would include semi-auto rifles that looked like assault rifles but didn't operate select fire. They looked like assault rifles, and scared people that would then assume they were the same thing. His intention was to muddy the waters with lower information voters using the new phrase assault weapon. And he then got his ban of same.
You all know that story, mostly. But most of you know guns.
Fast forward to today.
Well, the vast majority of voter still misuse the terms. But it's different now. All those years of us gunnies informing folks, then those folks inform other folks... it has started to stick. People are still confused with the exact granular difference between the terms assault rifle and assault weapon, but they are now confused in our favor. People are now conflating the term assault weapon with machine gun, and not including *not-automatic rifles in the grouping. At least from what I see in comments. And people seem to know it is expensive and difficult to get a machine gun, which are scary and not needed in their eyes, and that *not-automatic guns are what people have and those are much more ok.
I don't mind the confusion on terms if the fake term assault weapon now means machine guns only, and not the rifles most available to the public at gun stores, to the majority of voters. We win if regular folks are thinking that a ban on assault weapons is a buncha baloney.