An old strategy of the gun prohibition movement is being identified with a new slang term—“camo-speak”—which translates to substituting terms like “gun safety” and “gun reform” for gun control, and the establishment press appears to have embraced that deceptive vocabulary so completely that it is misleading.
One organization, WaGuns.org, even has T-shirts emblazoned with the message “Gun Control is Not Gun Safety.”
Examples are found all over the place, and here are but a few:
Back on Sept. 27, the Iowa Press reported that Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett, a Democrat candidate for president, discussed gun control legislation by headline the story, “Bennett on gun safety legislation.”
Less than a week later, on Oct. 3, the Patch in Solon, Ohio headlined a report about State Rep. Phil Robinson’s own gun control effort by declaring “Solon State Rep Advocates For Gun Safety Legislation.” As if that weren’t good enough, the sub-head elaborated, “State Rep. Phil Robinson joined other Democrats in demanding the state legislature take action on ‘commonsense’ gun safety reforms.” What are “commonsense gun safety reforms?” Who defines “commonsense” in such cases?
On Oct. 12, the Daily Standard reported “Group not shy about gun safety legislation” when a Democrat party activist told a reporter she had talked to several people over the past few months to push a petition aimed at closing “state loopholes in background checks on gun sales.” She and a fellow activist maintained “that the push for common-sense gun background checks is not a solely partisan movement.”
On Thursday, however, the Indy Channel got it at least partly right when it reported that “Gun Safety is again in the spotlight after child dies in accidental shooting.” The story noted the tragic death of a 2-year-old who found an unsecured handgun. The firearm discharged. Three years ago, the story noted, a 5-year-old girl died when her 3-year-old brother accidentally shot her while playing with an unsecured gun.
This does deal with gun safety; leaving a loaded firearm where it is accessible to a child isn’t safe. However, when the story shifted to the state capitol, it noted, “Gun safety talks are also happening at the Statehouse as some say legislation requiring locks could be another step to keeping kids safe.”
When government mandates something regarding firearms, that’s gun control.
For the sake of argument, increasing numbers of gun owners are wondering if laws mandating locked gun storage might run afoul of the 2008 Heller ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In that ruling, the Court struck down a requirement in Washington, D.C. that firearms in the home be rendered inoperable or locked up. (Pages 63-64).
Also on Thursday, MyNorthwest.com reported on Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s proposed “safe gun storage bill.” The story quoted her statement: “Establishing reasonable, common sense standards for storing guns and gun locks in the home is just one simple part of the responsibility we have to keep children and families safe.” But that’s a proposed government mandate, and that is gun control.
Newsweek got it right when it reported the situation in California, noting the state “just passed a slate of new gun control measures” including an expansion of the state’s “red flag” laws.
If Second Amendment activists hope to get a “fair shake” from the media, they need to chide reporters who use the gun prohibition lobby’s vocabulary to describe what’s being discussed. So long as news agencies talk about gun control as “gun reform” or some other effort by carefully avoiding the word “control,” they’re essentially taking sides. Politically toxic as it might be, the term “gun control” is accurate, and it doesn’t camouflage (“camo-speak”) what’s actually being discussed.