Those opposed to gun rights frequently misuse seemingly simple words, in an effort to advance their agenda. Some of these terms, along with an explanation of how they are misused by anti gun rights groups and individuals, are listed below:
Accidental shooting – This term is often used to describe shootings that are not accidents, but are instead the result of a person negligently misusing a gun. Had the person in question safely stored and/or safely handled the gun, then the shooting almost certainly wouldn’t have happened. Calling such completely preventable shootings “accidents” is just as unreasonable as calling a high-speed drunk-driving fatality an “accident,” and incorrectly leads non gun owners to believe that guns are dangerous items that will invariably harm their owners. For a more in-depth discussion of why such shootings are not accidents, see this article, along with this real life example and this other real life example.
Assault weapon – This is a rather nebulous term that is applied to a great many firearms which are no more dangerous or suitable for criminal use than any other firearms. In fact, the features that make a gun an “assault weapon” are primarily cosmetic and safety features. Assault weapons are not machine guns (which have been strictly regulated for decades). Such “assault weapons” are used in fewer than 1% of gun related crimes, and there is no rational relationship between banning these guns and reducing crime. More information on so-called “assault weapons” can be seen in this article and this article.
Children – Proponents of gun control often use emotion, rather than reason, to advance their agenda. This is especially true when it comes to guns and children. When providing statistics on gun-related deaths of children, anti gun rights groups often define individuals up to the age of 19 to be “children.” In some cases, those up to 24 years old have been classified as “children.” Using this definition boosts the number of “children” who are shot, however it is quite misleading: An 18 year old gang member who is shot at 3AM during a drug deal is not a “child.” As far as unintentional shooting deaths of children, often the gun used in that shooting is illegally owned, further proving that gun control laws don’t keep guns out of the hands of those who are willing to break the law (and who are most likely to misuse guns in the first place). Finally, looking at the statistics, children are at much greater risk from dying from burns, drowning, falling, and car accidents than from gun-related causes.
Common sense – This terms is frequently used by anti gun groups and individuals as part of an attempt to lend credence to their anti gun position. The ideas billed as “common sense” are often technologically unworkable, and are a far cry from true “common sense.”
Gun violence – This term attributes the blame for violence to guns, which are inanimate objects that can be used for good or ill. Whether a criminal uses a gun, a car, a knife, rubbing alcohol, or any other tool, it is the criminal who is at fault – not the object. Additionally, it is not uncommon to see lawful self defense and lawful shooting of criminals by police lumped together with illegal shootings perpetrated by criminals, in order to inflate those “gun crime” numbers.
Mainstream – This term is a favorite of the AHSA, which is a fake gun rights group that was founded by the gun control lobby. The AHSA frequently uses the term “mainstream” to refer to itself when trying to portray the NRA as a fringe group. The fact of the matter is that the AHSA does not represent America’s mainstream gun owners, and has very few members, while the NRA has millions of members and is much more representative of America’s law abiding gun owners.
Reasonable – The word “reasonable” is often used in an attempt to make incredibly restrictive gun laws appear less draconian.
Sensible – See “Common sense”. This term is frequently employed by the Brady Campaign and its affiliate the Million Mom March.
Victim – This term is often incorrectly used to refer to a criminal who is shot in self defense by the law abiding citizen whom they attacked. This is an attempt to vilify the law abiding citizen who defended themselves, and portray the shot criminal as a victim of “gun violence.” See also “gun violence” for a discussion of how such criminals are reported as victims of gun-related crime, in an attempt to inflate those numbers.
The above list is a work in progress, and is by no means comprehensive. If there is a term you would like to suggest, please leave a comment below.