The Truth About The Term “Gun Safety”


I read dozens of articles about civilian disarmament every day. Not one of them uses the term “civilian disarmament.” Why would they? Any journalist who described gun control as what it is – civilian disarmament – would stand accused of pro-gun rights bias. (Heaven forfend.) The correct term of art is “gun control.” Well, it was. Thanks to the well-paid efforts of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s spinmeisters and their mainstream media camp followers, journalists now report on “gun safety” legislation. This despite the obvious fact that . . .

American gun owners’ guns are safe; both safely stored and completely incapable of perpetrating “gun violence” on their own. (Yeah, I know, “gun violence.” As opposed to “knife violence” or “fist violence” or “vehicular violence.”) While the term “gun safety” hasn’t completely replaced “gun control” in the press, there’s not a Democrat politician in these here United States who talks about “gun control” anymore.

That’s because there’s political safety in talking about gun safety rather than gun control. Well, some. The chart above hails from a Washington Post article entitled Does the phrase ‘gun control’ hurt the push for new gun laws? The answer is yes. Yes it does. Interestingly, in the case cited, not much. An eight percent swing isn’t enormous in the world of political polling.

I suspect we’d see a similar disparity if Americans were asked about “gun control laws” vs. “gun safety laws.” Which would explain why gun control advocates are now promoting the term “gun reform”: they’re hoping the new term will move the needle towards greater support for the unsupportable. This despite the fact that Americans’ firearms are in no need of reformation – political, religious or practical.

Clearly, civilian disarmament proponents are playing silly buggers with words to try to sell gun control laws to less-than-entirely-motivated pro-gun rights voters. (Pro-gun control voters don’t require sneaky semantics.) And it’s not working. Saying that, the Post‘s Amber Phillips and other jobbing journos have drunk the anti-gun Kool-Aid. They believe you can use words to be pro-gun control without being pro-gun control. Like this:

As the National Journal was reminded in a tweet Tuesday about Republican businessman and former Colorado congressional candidate Ryan Frazier, being among the 80 percent to 90 percent of Americans who support background checks doesn’t mean you’re in favor of “gun control.”


When you lump these popular policies together or ask about stricter gun laws in general, support for new measures goes down — most notably among Republicans and independents.

So clearly, how you talk about these things can matter — in a big way. Much bigger, in fact, than saying “gun control” vs. “new gun laws.”

That’s some serious journalistic jiu jitsu. It also explains why presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton keeps talking about “universal background checks” when she hawks her position on “gun safety.” The majority of Americans support them!

Yes but – do the majority of Americans know what “universal background checks” means? If they could connect the dots between UBC’s and federal firearms registration and the likelihood of government firearms confiscation, I reckon support for UBC’s would wilt like a daisy in a blizzard. As Another Robert comments below, respondents probably think “universal background checks” refers to the current background check system.

Here’s a question. Do you believe all Americans should have to register their guns with the federal government? I’d like to think that the majority of Americans would reject that notion. But really, the crucial question is this: do Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms without government infringement (a term that would also require explanation, sad to say)?

As our friend Bruce Krafft points out, so what? The right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. As such, it’s subject neither to the democratic process nor arguments about social utility. No matter what you call it, no matter how many people support it, civilian disarmament is a clear and present danger to our gun rights. Word.


  1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You can always tell who’s on the wrong side of an argument by their use of euphemisms.

  2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    I figure that if UBC’s passed in Washington State with 59.3% of the vote (with 4% of the voting population voting “Yes” for both i594 and i591) and the pro-gun side being thoroughly outspent by Bloomberg, Allen, Gates et al by at least 8 to 1, then at the very least the “90% of people support UBC’s” is a bald-faced lie (as if we all here didn’t know that).

    In essence, the anti-gun side had to buy 6% of the voting population of a left-leaning group of California transplants in the Seattle-Tacoma area. In the end we lost and they get to stick a victory feather in their cap, but the wording and presentation of UBC’s isn’t really that appealing to the overwhelming majority of voters as Capo Bloomberg and friends would like us to believe.

    1. avatar bjorn skis says:

      the I594 vote was pretty much decided by one city and one county Seattle and King county like pretty much everything in Wa state

  3. avatar racer88 says:

    This is the M.O. of liberals. They have done the same thing with… “global warming”… no… “climate change”… no, wait… “global climate disruption.” Yeah… that’s the ticket… That her… my wife… Mooooorgan Fairchild… Yeah… that’s it.

  4. avatar Another Robert says:

    Just saying you “support background checks” doesn’t mean much, considering they are already in place. It could well be that you are saying no more than “leave well enough alone”. Just read an article that referenced NJ’s “smart gun” law, which the article said would be triggered if smart guns “became widely available” in the US. The law, of course, said nothing of the kind, merely requiring that such a gun become “commercially available”, ie for sale somewhere. The author completely made up that “widely” part out of whole cloth. And they probably do the same thing when they add “universal” to the “background checks” people allegedly support. Lefties lie; gun-grabbing lefties, if possible, lie even more.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      They’re not asking the “right” questions. Let’s run a poll on this one:

      “Given the fact that all licensed firearm dealers already are required to do background checks, even if they are selling at a gun show, and given the fact that background checks often are useless because straw buyers are used to bypass the process, and given the fact that the majority of mass/school shooters passed or bypassed a background check to get the gun they used to commit their crimes, and given the fact that background checks are often used as money makers for dealers and a “process is the punishment” penalty for law-abiding buyers who have committed no crimes, and given the fact that some politicians think making folks show an ID to vote is some horrible infringement on voting rights but ‘carding’/fingerprinting/photographing and video-recording Second-amendment-exercising gun buyers is just fine, do you support the waste of time, money, and valuable law enforcement time and resources that would be required to expand these useless background checks into other areas and wider use?”

      Acceptable answers:


      Hell no.

      WTF? Are you on drugs? Do I look stupid? Get out of my face, you useless oxygen thief! And NO!!!

  5. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    The right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. As such, it’s subject neither to the democratic process nor arguments about social utility.

    I really wonder how many supposedly 2A people actually believe this and/or understand what it truly means?

    1. avatar JD says:

      I take a very literal meaning of the 2nd as unarguable fact. Its not open to voting on how much control is infringement. Its not open to interpretation. It means what it says just like any of the other protected rights. No infringing is permitted, period. No permits, no licensing, no taxes, no bullet buttons, magazine limits, no “assault” feature list, no anything. We can keep, buy, sell, carry, dispose of, acquire, what we want when we want as long as we don’t infringe on others with that right.
      That is as far as I’m willing to go in reguards to having a conversation about it with any anti.

      1. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

        *high fives jd* My man. Gimme some skin

      2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        What about age restrictions? At what age should someone be allowed to purchase a firearm? Whatever age limit, or none, that you pick, should that same person be allowed to exercise every other right, including voting for whomever they choose, and consenting to sexual relations?

        What about mental faculties restrictions? Up to what blood alcohol content percentage should someone be allowed to purchase or even carry a firearm? Is there any threshold of bizarre, erratic behavior on a potential buyer’s part that a reasonable layman should interpret as flat out crazy and be barred from selling such a person a firearm?

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          ” Is there any threshold of bizarre, erratic behavior on a potential buyer’s part that a reasonable layman should interpret as flat out crazy and be barred from selling such a person a firearm?”

          An irrational fear of inanimate objects shall be considered grounds for disqualification of holding any elected public office.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          “Whatever age limit, or none, that you pick, should that same person be allowed to exercise every other right, including voting for whomever they choose, and consenting to sexual relations?”

          Boy, talk about a “Straw Man” argument! Voting qualifications are covered in the body of the Constitution where the document outlines what the federal government is ALLOWED TO DO. Consenting sexual relations are not discussed in the Constitution at all, last time I read it. Maybe SCOTUS has a different, super-secret version that the rest of us are not privy to.

          The Bill of Rights specifically outlines, on the other hand, some important things that the federal government MAY NOT DO. That is a big distinction.

          As for the Second Amendment specifically, I challenge you to show me where in those 27 words it makes any mention of an age restriction or gives the government the authority to establish ANY other standards as to who may or may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

          If you believe that any government agency has the authority to establish, maintain and enforce a list of persons who, in the opinion of the government, may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, how will you keep your name off of that list?

    2. avatar Andrew Lewis says:

      Well i like to think i do.

      Gun Control: Any limit on who can buy, any limit on what they can buy, or any limit on how or when they may possess their purchase.
      These are unconstitutional and must be repealed.

      Not Gun Control: Any limit on how, when, and where the gun may be used.
      These laws are nessessary to maintaining a just a stable society. They must be strickly enforced.

    3. avatar Bob R says:

      That piece of paper has done such a great job protecting that right…

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    ” Do you believe all Americans should have to register their guns with the federal government?”
    Nope. Never. Ever.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      The simple and logical counter to that is that Canada tried a comprehensive gun registration ‘scheme’ that was brutally expensive and proved to be nearly worthless in crime investigation.

      In other words, ‘Even Ray Charles could see that’.

      Thank you, our Canadian Brothers and Sisters of the Gun…


      1. avatar JSJ says:

        “nearly worthless” appears to be optimistic. They can’t point to a single murder the registry helped to solve.

  7. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    I often wonder if accurate polling is even possible anymore. How do you get a representative sample?

    Once upon a time, there was no Internet and just about everyone watched ABC, NBC or CBS. Nearly every household had a telephone, and they were all land lines. Reaching a fairly broad population was not terribly difficult, and polling may have made sense.

    Now there are no easy ways to reach a broad cross section of Americans. Many people have abandoned land lines. I ditched TV years ago, because I was sick of all the commercials. I’m surprised by how many others I talk to who have done the same. There are now dozens of major and minor news outlets, and that doesn’t even begin to touch blogs.

    I don’t doubt that if you poll certain audiences, at certain times, with favorable worded questions you can generate results that indicate near universal support for background checks. But I do doubt that those results would represent the true feelings of America. They’ll certainly never collect my opinion, because I’ve gone out of my way to eliminate solicitations of all form from my life.

    1. avatar JSJ says:

      Gallup exited the presidential horse race last October, citing the inability to generate an accurate poll.

  8. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Nope-I don’t do polls. Call screening,careful on the interwebz. Or answer questions at my door. Like a 400 person poll deciding who’s gonna’ win for president…it’s all BS.

  9. avatar Greg rice says:

    Since the 1960’s the Supreme Court has made many Unconstitutional rulings concerning the public display of biblical moral values. One of these values is “Thou shall not murder”. Since then we have replaced these values with the public display of “No guns allowed”. The states have not done their Constitutional duty to resist the tyranny from the federal government in the trashing of the First and Second Amendments. The oppressive federal government caused the violence problem by trashing the First Amendment and now wants to solve it by trashing the Second Amendment. My guns do not cause violence and by God’s grace I will not give them up.

  10. avatar DerryM says:

    All this mincing and spinning of words only obfuscates the simple fact that the Progressive Socialists must disarm the People in order to attempt to control us and Rule us as they would like. The only “Gun Safety” the Political Ruling Class is concerned about is keeping themselves safe from our Guns while they ignore, nullify and eventually destroy the Constitution. reducing us to Government controlled, dependent Serfs.
    Insofar as Polls of Public Opinion, the only Poll that counts is the one voted on at the Ballot Box next November.

  11. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Most people, including some guns owners, are too ignorant about guns and laws know to really be able see anything of this for what it is.

    The same reason people get fooled buying in too much house with ridiculous ARM loans. And the reason people buy brand new, over priced POS cars which lose over half their value in 3 years. And the same reason people take out 150K in student loans for a profession which averages 40K a year…

    Most people are knee jerk, overly emotional, and don’t know their a$& from a hole in the ground.

  12. avatar Nedd Ludd says:

    Opinion Polling explained:

    Leading Questions – Yes Prime Minister – YouTube

  13. avatar LarryinTX says:

    “Do you believe all Americans should have to register their guns with the federal government?”

    Not only no, but I have never heard a single legitimate justification for the intrusion and the expense such a program would entail, other than the obvious, to facilitate forced confiscation or death.

    Why don’t we have an invitational thread, where people can attempt to think up some way a national (or state!) registry could accomplish ANYTHING else, either positive or negative! We’re talking about a cost of billions every year, and increased bureaucracy, more expenses, taxes, and debt, so what is the end result supposed to be? Welcome, antis, for once we want to hear it! I did that once upon a time, and got answers like we would instantly know who shot someone, simply by checking the registry to see who owned the gun! That is really simple, if you are really simple. When I responded that the only guy who would leave the gun behind in such a situation would be somebody who stole it, thus the registry would be worthless. No further discussion from that guy. Kinda fun!

  14. avatar Wee Liam says:

    “Heaven forfend”!

    Beautiful phrase! +100′

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