Debate Magazine

"Gun Control" Has Become a Dirty Word

Posted on the 02 May 2012 by Mikeb302000
via The Huffington Post article by Margie Omero
 Gun "Control" is an anachronism. Look at the exact wording of the Pew question: "What do you think is more important -- to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership?" This question uses the language of the gun lobby (rights), not the language of those working for stronger gun laws (safety). And it pits a right versus simply "control" for its own sake.
I don't assume nefarious motives on Pew's part. When this question was first written, "control" was indeed part of the gun debate vernacular. But it is no longer. Using the word "control" is a poor description of that side's position. (While the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was once called Handgun Control, Inc., the group hasn't had` "control" in its name in over ten years.)
What if there was decades of tracking of something like "what do you think is more important -- to protect the rights of gun owners, or to protect the safety of everyone from gun violence?" Results would, to be sure, be different from the current question.
She makes an interesting point. The wording of surveys and polls needs to be changed to reflect the changed understanding of the word "control." To gun owners and many non-gun owners, the word has become synonymous with gun bans. Thanks to the gun-rights folks, the words "gun control" are associated with anti-rights and other un-American ideas that no one likes. This has been a planned and purposeful effort and it has achieved some success.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog