Semantics

The Social Justice Warrior Corps has taken notice of how gun rights activists have been using semantics more effectively to promote our point of view. They don’t like this and here’s why: using proper semantics influences people effectively. It really works.

To this, the UK Guardian published an opinion piece written by California social justice warrior and romance novelist S.E. Smith (pictured above) that claims gun ownership is not a fundamental human right.

As the vicious debate over gun control continues unabated in the United States and the NRA distinguishes itself by constantly coming up with new ways to be terrible, there’s an interesting trend cropping up here and there. I’m noting more and more rhetoric suggesting that gun ownership is a human right

It’s a creative new argument, and also one that’s very wrong. I can see why people are doing it: there’s a growing sensitivity to human rights, and suggesting that something is an inalienable entitlement makes it seem ironclad. It’s an example of how the right attempts to use the language and tools of the left against it, often highly effectively…

She’s upset that “the NRA” is using “a growing sensitivity to human rights” to “use the language and tools of the left against it, often highly effectively.” Indeed. Then she tries to bamboozle her readers.

A human right has to do with something intrinsic to who you are as a human being, and your most basic needs. Healthcare, food, housing, and water are human rights. They are all critical things that human beings need to stay alive. Access to reproductive health services is a human right. The ability to participate freely in society regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or disability status is a human right. These are things society is supposed to guarantee to us because we are part of society, and these things are integral to our very identities.

I’m hard-pressed to come up with any human right more intrinsic or fundamental than the right to live. Self-defense, or the right to defend your life from an unlawful attack, has everything to do with who you are and your most basic needs. If a person is dead, they don’t need to worry about reproductive health services, healthcare, housing or much of anything else.

Self-defense has been acknowledged as a basic human right for centuries in free nations. Firearms, of course, are the most effective means of self-defense for the common man. Most folks are aware of the old Colt marketing slogan: “God created man, Sam Colt made them Equal.” Most also understand that a gun gives even the weakest, frailest members of society a fighting chance against the biggest, strongest, baddest people with evil in their hearts.

Many non-People of the Gun are confident in the police coming to their aid in times of trouble. They see no need to provide for their own security when someone else will do it for them.

That begins to change when people see or experience civil unrest – especially if it’s “close” to them.  That formerly bedrock belief that “the police will protect me” those people carried with them?  Firearm ownership and its proven effectiveness at protecting families starts looking more like a sure thing.  People soon vote with their wallets, especially when confidence falters in the government’s ability to maintain law and order.

baltimore-riots-small

Every time the media publishes pictures of rioters dancing on police squad cars, we win. More people realize law enforcement won’t necessarily be there to save them. And while protection might be parked at the local doughnut shop, a gun in the hand can respond at 1000+ feet per second.

 

charlotte

Every time the thin veneer of civilization wears thin and anarchy peeks through, hundreds of thousands of non-gun owning Americans reconsider their earlier beliefs on guns. Some investigate even further and come to understanding that gun ownership is a net benefit to their family’s safety and security.

By using effective semantics like the left does routinely – “their” semantics – we help educate Americans on the proven benefits of gun ownership. We bring people around who might otherwise feel indifferent or lean against gun rights. And from the numbers, we’ve done just that. Just this past week, Gallup published this:

In U.S., Support for Assault Weapons Ban at Record Low

galluppoll

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The fewest Americans in 20 years favor making it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles. Thirty-six percent now want an assault weapons ban, down from 44% in 2012 and 57% when Gallup first asked the question in 1996.

In just twenty years, gun rights activists have reduced support for banning America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15, and other modern sporting rifles by nearly 50%. Looking deeper in the Gallup statistics, not even a majority of Democrats now support such a ban. We’ve used some the left’s semantic tactics to beat them at their own game. And the social justice warriors don’t like it one bit.

Want to learn more on how to help hoplophobes like S.E. Smith have a bad day? John Ross wrote a fabulous piece, “Why Are You Losing Your Freedoms?  The Semantics of Manipulation” some years ago. Here are some highlights on how to better use semantics to promote gun rights:

1)  Do not unwittingly repeat inappropriate labels that the other side has floated.
In the game of persuasion, you give weight to the other side’s argument when you use the labels they chose. …And how do you anchor the left’s labels to a bad (or good depending on the word and your purposes) feeling or connotation? By immediately countering deceptive labels with labels of your own.  Every time they say “assault weapon”, you say “defense device” or “freedom stick” or “child-protection tool”. Whatever you do, DO NOT REPEAT THE LABELS THEY FLOAT.

2) Understand the impact of the words you use on the electorate…not just the impact that those words have on you.

3) Use already established associations…only later attempt to change those associations.

Psychologists know that a would-be persuader has two choices. 1) attempt to change the associations a person has to certain words or ideas or 2) use already established words and associations to your advantage. Get the order wrong, and you are in big trouble…

EXAMPLE: “Gun control is classist, racist, and sexist. I don’t support those things.”

…“The liberal thing to do would be to support liberty by opposing gun-laws and other government control schemes. We need to progress toward a future of freedom not a system that reenacts past tyrannies.”

4) Length matters.
A) Short, to-the-point assertions should always be countered with short, to-the-point responses.

…Leftist: “Guns are dangerous.”  …[P]olitely respond with a counter-phrase; try to make it just as short and to the point as the propaganda that requires your response. “Guns are tools.” or “Guns protect children.”

B) A simplification (even a dumb one) that requires a long response will win in the game of influence.

Here’s a classic: “We license and register cars…why shouldn’t we license and register guns?”

…Here’s a response that works in a lot of situations: “Why are leftists so anti-freedom?”

5) A few shared labels that are mediocre are better than hundreds of words and labels that are great but aren’t shared.
In the mind of a conservative, a hundred good reasons is better than just one or two reasons. Logically, this makes sense. As far as persuasion, however, a hundred different people pushing a hundred different phrases just insures that no one’s message gets through to the electorate.  Have you ever noticed that those on the left repeat the same things over and over?  “Benefiting the rich and hurting the poor.” “That’s racism.” “I don’t support hate and intolerance.” It seems that no matter what the situation or issue, whether simple or complex, leftists manage to funnel everything into the frames of class-warfare rhetoric and hackneyed socialistic cliches. AND IT WORKS. Why? Because the message gets through.

6) Do not counter a leftist idea in such a way that you support a different leftist idea.
During the Clinton Administration, the NRA (love ‘em or curse ‘em…I can never decide which) fell for this one. When the leftists in Congress attempted to push through a whole batch of new gun laws, the NRA responded with, “We need to support the gun laws that are on the books…this administration won’t even prosecute those criminals who are already breaking the laws we have.” …A better response would have been, “Gun laws are classist, racist, and sexist. Why are leftists such hateful control-freaks?”

NOTE: for an entire list of inappropriate responses to avoid, look on the internet for the article “Give It to Them Straight” by John Ross (pdf here), Author of Unintended Consequences.

7) Seek to influence not convert.
Does all this talk about propaganda, influence, and manipulation make you feel uncomfortable? “I hate it when those on the left simplify things to the point of stupidity…I don’t ever want to be that way.” “I don’t want to manipulate anyone…I want people to understand the truth so we will all be better, smarter citizens.”

…Conservatives far too often try to convince people through logic and reasoning without realizing that only emotion will push them to engage in the study of the issues long enough to be touched by greater truths.

8.  You must stand for something…not just be against change.
…In politics, a defensive position is a losing position.

…“What changes do I want to make to more fully take advantage of the ideals voiced in the Constitution and Bill of Rights?”

 

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79 Responses to Social Justice Warrior Princess Objects To Pro-Gun Semantics

  1. Read the Guardian article two days ago. It boils down to identity politics being above all, and personal/property rights being null and void because of TEH FEELZ.

  2. I wondered when the SJWs would turn their heads to other civil rights, they seem to be riding on their momentum of ridding the world of free speech. Attacking gun owners would be the next logical step.

  3. Since when do we have the right to food, shelter, healthcare (reproductive or otherwise), and water? Life is a competition and we have NO “right” to any of those things. If you want them you’d better work hard and purchase them. Also, nobody has the “right” to the private sector personal services of another. Of course in “Imagine”world you’d get all those things, I’m sure.

  4. She’s conflating wants and (to some, usually leftists) “nice-to-haves” with rights. A “right” that requires another to forgo their own rights is not a right but tyranny: she claims people have a right to a house, etc. No. People can exchange their goods or services for capital with which they might choose to procure a house, but no one else can be compelled or forced to expend his or her own labor for the benefit of another without due compensation.

  5. “What changes do I want to make to more fully take advantage of the ideals voiced in the Constitution and Bill of Rights?”
    A good start would be to repeal every gun control law ever written. Every single one.

    • She has no worries about needing reproductive services unless there’s some random DNA floating in a hot tub she falls into. Impossible to get that drunk unless you go blind and lose your sense of smell.

  6. A human right has to do with something intrinsic to who you are as a human being, and your most basic needs. Healthcare, food, housing, and water are human rights. They are all critical things that human beings need to stay alive. Access to reproductive health services is a human right. The ability to participate freely in society regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or disability status is a human right. These are things society is supposed to guarantee to us because we are part of society, and these things are integral to our very identities.

    None of these are actually basic human rights.

    • Bingo!

      They’re all invented by the progressive left, within the last few generations. And they love to use the word “deserve.”

      “You DESERVE food, water, housing, clothing, health care (paid for by someone else).”
      The entire leftist ideology is built upon a foundation that is an epic failure of logic.

      A hundred years ago, any politician uttering those words would’ve been laughed off the podium. Today’s entitled society feels different.

    • In the Lockian formulation, human rights start with the things a person may do when all alone out in the wilderness, in which state politics and rank are without meaning. Then you start adding other people to the mix, and rights as we understand them become those things that each may do without impairing the equal ability of others to do the same. Thus we can all have a right to self-defense, but not a right to kill another unprovoked because that would deprive the latter of all his other rights unilaterally.

      Similarly, each can have the right to engage in economic activity aimed at securing his own food supply, but we cannot say that it is a human right to be supplied with food regardless of one’s own activity, because that is a condition that all cannot possibly enjoy equally, if none choose to produce.

    • I think what she is describing here is the bottom rung Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – i.e. self preservation. I can’t think of a beter tool for survival than firearm.

  7. Well, on the plus-side, I figure that even the most ignorant or villainous anti-liberty dweeb is likely just one unprovoked attack away from a gun-rights epiphany.

    Godspeed.

    • I think most of them have already had their epiphany — it comes along the lines of realizing that they’re just one small episode of unprovoked violence away from shooting people themselves, and they’re deathly afraid of the idea that people just like them might be able to get a gun.

      • Yes. That is also likely true for some of them. They assume that everyone is as morally weak as they are.

  8. Oh, and I almost forgot,
    “Access to reproductive health services is a human right.”

    Translation: YOU should have to pay for my abortions, no matter how many times I get knocked up!

    Truly, if abortion wasn’t a terrible thing, they wouldn’t need euphemisms to describe it.

  9. I’ll give little snowflake one part of that which is correct. Food, water, and shelter, should be basic humans rights, to a degree. Healthcare? No. You should take care of yourself, which is partly why I said the first three are to a degree, basic human necessities. Defending yourself, is the human right in which we speak. The gun just happens to be the easiest and most effective, which is why IT is single item most often spoken for and pushed.

    The rest of this is just SJW/hippy liberal douche bag bullshit that is always spouted.

    End Scene.

  10. Confusing rights with non-rights in the way she does actually impairs the discussion of social responsibility. There is, of course, no right to food, but there well may be a societal obligation to make sure no one go hungry, at least if we want to call ourselves a people and not a mob — but by calling food a “right”, people can avoid entirely thinking about any obligations they may have. It is a very, very selfish view of things that encourages an extreme selfishness that in the end is the enemy of all rights.

    Rights are, yes, intrinsic to who we are — and that ends where we end. If someone else has to be involved to make it happen, it isn’t a right. Obligations are what come in when there are multiple individuals, and they depend on what relationship defines those individuals. If she could think clearly she would see this — and then might actually be able to make a case for the things she thinks people ought to have, instead of getting laughed at for being mentally/logically challenged.

  11. There is no more fundamental or essential human right than to be armed. Humans have been carrying weapons for at least 2 million years. If we hadn’t we’d have gone extinct long ago.

    Every animal and organism on the planet has natural defenses. Even plants and bacteria. Otherwise, they’d go extinct. And most have. More than 99% of all the organisms that have existed are now gone. Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.

    We have no natural defenses in the sense of most other animals. We have no claws. We have no shells or armor. Our teeth are not useful for defense. We walk on two feet, so we can’t flee from larger predators and we can’t run fast enough to catch smaller prey. We’re just pathetic bags of meat.

    But we have two things: Big brains and manual dexterity. Attributes that uniquely allow us to create and use tools. And there is no tool more essential to survival than a weapon. It’s virtually certain that the very first use of a technology in human history is the use of a weapon, whether it was a rock or a stick used as a bludgeon or lance.

    To deny a person the natural human right to be armed is like cutting off their fingers and thumbs or lobotomizing them and removing free thought or the desire for free will.

    • Well said. I was going to say pretty much the same thing, but you beat me to it. Our ability to think critically and make and use tools for both self defense and growing/gathering/hunting food, as well as enriching our lives in various other areas, is what makes us innately human. Therefore, I can think of no more human a right.

  12. Right to keep and bear arms; mentioned in Bill of rights, but apparently is not a right. The word “abortion” is not in the Bill of rights, yet it is a right? Odd how this works.

    • Showed her rainbow. No lawful self protection with armaments but will suck babies arms off to keep and bare those reproductive rights.

    • Derived “rights”, being as they are made-up ad hoc, always triumph over enumerated “rights”, because those are more likely to irritate government.

  13. “Here’s a classic: “We license and register cars…why shouldn’t we license and register guns?”

    …Here’s a response that works in a lot of situations: “Why are leftists so anti-freedom?”

    What a horrible response. It’s only a shallow pivot. How about, “Have licensing and registering cars stopped car theft or drunk driving?”

    • I more or less think bush damaged using freedom like that by claiming everyone who dislikes us hates freedom. But others may disagree

      I do think self defense is a natural right, this advice on using language like that is good no matter the source, and even if some of this advice sounds like it was meant as a teach in on propaganda, it’s not propaganda if it is a simple truth

      • In several “discussions” on the subject of gun rights as human rights, both in person and on the FaceTwits, I have never once had anyone respond, in any manner, to the question of if there is any more basic human right than the right to defend ones own life.
        There could not possibly be a more fundamental right. Nobody has ever been able to refute that argument in my experience.

      • I’m not a fan of either Bush 41 or 43. That being said, the “if you’re not with us, you’re with (insert whoever is the most evil group/person/entity I can think of here)” line of arguing has been around for much longer than Bush 43.

        Just to clarify, I think the “anti-freedom” line is a pivot from addressing the actual idea that somehow licensing and registering firearms will do anything to reduce homicide/aggravated assault/suicide/accidental death. Licensing and registering vehicles do not stop drunk drivers, motor vehicle thefts, distracted driving, red light running, et al. Further, the revocation of said licenses don’t stop these practices either as 14 – 20 percent of all vehicular fatality crashes in the US involve and unlicensed driver.

        The cars to guns comparison is super weak on the pro regulation side of the argument. Actually, I feel it is much easier to present a guns to cars argument for deregulation by applying 9th Amendment protections to the most efficient and widely available method of free movement in this country.

  14. Its simple.

    Everything has the right to live and to fight for its existence. Nature, being a bitch, does not innately provide living beings with the same sets of tools and chances in that fight. It is also one of the distinguishing features of human beings that we craft and use sophisticated tools to alleviate natures discrepancies with regards to our species. As of this moment in time, the firearm is the single best tool for making each of our chances of survival even approach even.

    It follows then that any acknowledgement of the Right to life and the defense of self, is therefore and acknowledgment of the Right to keed and bear arms, up to and including firearms.

  15. 1. Every time morons jump on police cars we win… just as we win every time the cops body slam a James Blake or shoot a Charles Kinsey. The foetal alcohol syndrome left has created mutually exclusive narratives, which mutually annihilate like matter and anti-matter. a) Only the police can be trusted with guns OR b) The police are violent, corrupt, racist sociopaths. Pick ONE.

    2. People are waking up to the reality that even NON-racist, NON-corrupt cops simply aren’t going to be there to “protect” them as individuals. That leaves two options: a) Allow yourself to be robbed, beaten, raped or murdered. b) Protect YOURSELF. Every day, more and more people choose b).

    3. I didn’t know Gert Frobe was still alive. And when did he start wearing women’s clothing? That picture was of him, wasn’t it?

    • Every time morons jump on police cars we win… just as we win every time the cops body slam a James Blake or shoot a Charles Kinsey. The foetal alcohol syndrome left has created mutually exclusive narratives, which mutually annihilate like matter and anti-matter. a) Only the police can be trusted with guns OR b) The police are violent, corrupt, racist sociopaths. Pick ONE.

      I have made this same point.

      In reply to Jack marshall

      Democrats are cheering Colin Kaepernick for saying that police departments are “oppressing blacks” by not suspending police involved in shootings without pay! It’s racist to employ due process—that the BLM position, and Hillary is seeking those votes too. You really think it’s the slightest stretch to conclude that this speech was also aimed at that bloc and their own bigotry?

      I wonder what these Democrats would say about California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

      http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_25243849/concealed-carry-gun-law-california-appealed-kamala-harris

      “Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon”- Kamala Harris

      So either:

      – systemic racism magically disappears when the police determine which among us can carry a concealed weapon.
      – the near-inevitably that the police will “use their discretion” in a racially discriminatory manner is a worthy price to pay make lawful gun ownership more difficult.
      – These Democrats are wrong
      – Attorney General Harris is wrong
      – They are both wrong

      I have asked this question, and never got an answer.

      By the way, are you excited that the Cubs will be in Game 7 of the World Series?

  16. When I see that 60% of Americans are against a so called AWB it leads me to believe people are starting to see these modern sporting rifles are just semiauto rifles just like semiauto hunting rifles just wearing black plastic instead of wood. The left had ignorance on their side, but now people are starting to see an AR15 might look like a military M4, but it isn’t and doesn’t function the same way. All life matters, but 250 deaths isn’t a reason to ban the most popular rifle in America when 300 people drown in swimming pools.

  17. Fine, if you want to restrict / regulate the second amendment, let’s start with restricting and regulating the first amendment and see how fast you backpedal.

  18. If someone does not believe in the right & responsibility to defend themselves they should loose the right to call someone else (aka, police) to defend their sorry ass–people who are very frail & infirm are in a different category, they need help

  19. “Every time the thin veneer of civilization wears thin and anarchy peeks through…”

    Slight quibble: what’s peeking through is chaos, not anarchy. Anarchism is a specific political philosophy. Looters and rioters are not anarchists, they’re just violent, opportunistic scumbags.

  20. Seen in an outdoors magazine:

    Q: What’s the most unusual thing you have seen in the outdoors?

    A: Californians.

    Charlie

  21. Gun control laws , like drug prohibition, disproportionately affect African Americans.

    Women and the disabled are more likely to need a fire arm to protect themselves against an assault.

  22. With a gun you can take somebody elses food housing and water. Dont these freaks who look like Walking Dead love that show?

  23. I was talking to my wife the other day about human rights and she doesn’t seem to “get” property rights. Which explains a lot of leftist thinking. We don’t have a right to own things. No one does. But she doesn’t think you can just walk around taking things that don’t belong to you.(facepalm)

    Anyway. She totally DOES get the right to self-defense. Here’s how I explained it:

    If you saw a guy attacking a dog, and the dog killed the man, would you blame the dog? Would you have the dog killed? The answer for most people is no. The dog has a right to defend itself. If you think a dog can defend itself how can you reasonably say a human cannot? From there it’s not so hard to get to gun rights, though I garuntee most people will take some time to get there.

  24. Framing gun control as “left” vs “right” is not effective. You disregard roughly 50% of the population by simply claiming that anyone with “leftist” views cannot be reasoned with. The reality is there are many liberal gun owners who see right through the BS spread by many of those rallying to calls for many gun control measures. We need to make more Democrats pro-gun or at least pro-self-defense. That is a lot easy than changing anyone’s entire world view and can be done by sticking to facts rather than the overt personal and political attacks on left leaning individuals.

    I myself am a pro-gun liberal. I am pro-gun for the same reasons I am pro-equal rights on other issues. The right to live and live how one sees fit so long as it does not affect others is at the core of the ideals our country was founded on. “LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” includes the right to live and defend your life, your loved ones, your neighbors, and your property. That ideal was of course further enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and the broad ideal in our country correctly remains that individuals get to control their own lives so long as they are not negatively affecting others. That includes freedom of religion and freedom from being restricted by those that do not understand or accept who you are or your personal decisions that do not directly affect others. You can piss in whatever restroom you like, marry and sleep with whoever you like (consensually of course), smoke whatever you want as long as the source isn’t funding some massive criminal or terrorist organization, etc.

    However, you cannot restrict others’ rights because you find something “icky” or uncomfortable or because it conflicts with your religion. That is the same BS motivation anti-gun people pull and the religious extremists killing people around use to justify their actions. They say legally owned and concealed guns on campuses make them uncomfortable. Well sorry, my right to defend my life trumps your anxiety. They are uncomfortable with scary looking “assault rifles” because they frighten them, but since they aren’t even widely used in crimes let alone necessarily more dangerous than many other firearms, they don’t have a strong argument to restrict my access to a popular means of self-defense.

    Here in Illinois we owe a great deal of the restoration of our 2nd Amendment rights to Democrats from rural parts of the state. Without them the mostly Chicago based anti-gun politicians would have continued to undermine the rights of those of us from throughout the state. We need to win over more Democrats not just continually attack all of them. Most Democrats I know that are anti-gun are simply misinformed and very few actually feel strongly anti-gun since they simply don’t know enough about the issue. Winning those people over is as simple as outlined above. Point out that self-defense is a core human right. Point out that it helps people like the LGBTQ community, people of color, and women defend themselves from the assholes that have been harassing, raping, and killing them for generations. We don’t live in a perfectly safe world and never will, but we can work towards one with equal rights for all including the right to defend ourselves.

  25. Don’t waste your time TELLING these people facts, ask them questions. A series of questions such I asked an Amish woman a few years ago for example.

    Is murder a sin in your religion?
    Followed by, Is suicide a sin?

    Then the payoff question; If you are not prepared to defend your life, aren’t you assisting a murder and accepting a de facto suicide?

    It will make them think which might be a new experience.

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