Manipulation by vocabulary: the gun-control lobby

Many of the terms used by the gun-control lobby are incorrect, loaded, abusive, or proffered in bad faith. Efforts to ban rifles like the AR-15 make broad use of manipulative terminology, ignoring the usefulness of these rifles for home defense as well as recreation and hunting.

The choice of the terms used in a policy debate or political issue can have a large, even determining effect on the outcome. For example, the sudden flip in public attitudes towards marriage of homosexuals has, I believe, much to do with the terminology used, such as the near universal “gay marriage ban.” The word “ban’ suggests that somehow state and Federal law singled out homosexuals by not recognizing their marriages. Singling them out would be discriminatory, which then brings the issue under the argument-closing umbrella of civil rights. But of course there was no “gay marriage ban.” Marriage was understood and legally defined as between a man and a woman. If the issue had been framed as expanding marriage beyond what it had been for millennia and not restricted to homosexual couples, as opposed to triads of different kinds or other arrangements, the issue might well have been viewed differently. The same could be said for the phrase, “marriage equality.” All marriages were and are equal. By assuming the existence of the goal to be attained, the terminology universally and reflexively used by the media and politicians helped frame the debate in ways that promoted their goals.

The term “gun control” is itself a bit of a misnomer, as if there are no controls whatsoever or something is so out of control that government needs somehow to “do something” to clamp down on firearms. In fact over the decades there have been increasing restrictions (controls) on the type of firearm permitted and on the number of people eligible. When I was younger, purchasing a rifle was simple and did not involve getting government permission. Now buying even a single-shot .22 rifle is restricted by Federal law.

But the cake has to go to the term “assault rifle.” A true assault rifle is select fire, meaning it is capable of firing a single round with one trigger pull or many rounds automatically with that pull. Assault rifles are already illegal and have been for a very long time. The gun control lobby abetted by Big Media claims that AR-15 style rifles are assault rifles, suggesting that the AR in AR-15 stands for Assault Rifle. In fact AR stands for ArmaLite, the U.S. manufacturer that started the style in 1954. ARs cannot be converted to select fire. The first or original assault rifle was used by Nazi troops in the latter years of World War II. It was called Sturmgewehr 44, meaning Sturm, storm as in storming the enemy and Gewehr, rifle. In automatic mode it could fire at the rate of 500 rounds/minute. Similar versions were called Machinenpistolen, machine pistols. The Soviet version is the AK-47. These weapons had the now familiar and distinctive curved magazines holding up to 30 rounds. They were deadly combat weapons. But the only commonality of the AR rifles sold today with true assault rifles is the appearance. To use visual similarity and the AR letters to confuse the public to get ARs banned is of course dishonest, though effective. Thus the ineffective Federal “Assault Weapons ban” of 1994-2004 was based on appearance, cosmetics, not on functionality.

Are AR-15s weapons of war as claimed? Contemporary combat troops use the many varieties of true assault rifles, nothing like the semi-auto ARs except appearance. No self-respecting terrorist would want anything less than an AK. That so many started talking about banning “weapons of war” right after the Parkland Florida shooting suggests school indoctrination or coordination (collusion.). As a teenager I had a reworked German Mauser rifle, prized because of its high-quality steel. It had a bolt-action and a small magazine, so that rapid multi-round fire was not possible. I believe it was very similar to the Spanish Mauser used quite effectively against our troops in the Spanish-American War. So as a teenager did I have a true “weapon of war” in my bedroom?   

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)