Gun control advocates don’t call themselves gun control advocates. And for good reason. The word “control” doesn’t test well among most Americans; citizens who view government control — of anything — as something to be avoided. Resisted even. So to fool most of the people most of the time, gun control advocates have tried to rebrand their crusade for civilian disarmament. Like this . . .
1. Gun Safety
Gun control advocates have taken to calling gun control “gun safety.” They use the term to mislead folks into believing that restricting civilian access to firearms makes society (and YOU!) safer. While the champagne socialists at the New York Times and MSNBC dutifully adopted the “gun safety” moniker for their gun control
advocacy reportage, most of the rest of the mainstream media isn’t buying it.
Why would they? Gun safety means being safe with a gun; what you learn at NRA and other introductory firearms ownership classes. Duh. On occasion, gun control advocates claim that actual gun safety is one of their goals, but it isn’t (when was the last time you saw the Brady Campaign hand out gun locks or teach shooter the four rules?).Truth be told, the only gun safety they want is safety from civilians who own guns. And their votes, of course.
2. Gun Reform
Gun Reformers Try to Engineer a Win in New Mexico blares Michael Bloomberg’s pet propagandists at The Trace. Yeah, that’s not gonna work. The word “reform” is old-fashioned and vague. Those who know what it means are smart enough to know “gun reform” is the only term more maddeningly misleading than “gun safety.” Hello? You can’t reform an inanimate object.
Equally, tens of millions of Americans know that guns aren’t in and of themselves a problem. If they don’t, this confusing and misleading term doesn’t help convince them. An excellent reason the antis should use it more often.
3. Gun Violence Prevention
Hillary Clinton’s campaign website [still] exploits and riffs on the name of the former leading lights of the gun control industry: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. And why not? “Gun violence prevention” doesn’t focus on guns per se. We’re working to prevent bloodshed, not trying to take your guns away!
Gun violence prevention is almost perfectly misleading. The term “gun violence” puts the focus on guns rather than perpetrators; when did you last hear about an example of “knife violence”? I say “almost” because GVP opens the door to non-firearms-related causes of “gun violence”: poverty, a failed education system, revolving door justice, the lack of a traditional family structure, drug addiction and criminal predation.
GVP is the antis’ best branding effort yet. It hasn’t found favor . . . yet. But it’s not for lack of trying. “Privately, advocates for gun violence prevention concede that the chances of substantial reform efforts succeeding elsewhere are dismal,” the aforementioned Trace story opines. Clunky much? One can only hope.