Why do people that are so obviously not firearm enthusiasts, pretend that they are?

Why does everyone buck so hard against calling an AR-15 an assault rifle? Who cares? It's just nomenclature. It is 99% an assault rifle. The only difference being no full auto capability (which is of limited military value to the average rifleman). If you armed your nation's military with high quality AR-15s with decent optics would they really be poorly equipped (again just talking riflemen, I understand you would need some full auto small arms for some units)? Why do we have to deny so vociferously something that seems, to me at least, to be true: that AR-15s are essentially assault rifles?

Defining "Assault Rifle" here as having: pistol grip, large removable mags, chambered in intermediate cartridge, easily modifiable with a variety of "tactical" components and attachments, basically light/handy/durable/reliable etc...

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