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A request for a change in vocabulary.
By James Kaleda

Common Ground, Gun Control

Common Ground, Gun Control

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Morris Plains NJ --( The question of whether or not more gun control is needed to prevent violence is often posed and hotly debated.

Advocates both for and against are quick to debate, and defend their positions.

I suggest that the question can not be answered because the term “gun control” holds different definitions for both sides and because refers to a concept that strictly speaking does not exist.

Advocates for “gun control” say it will prevent violence. Those apposed say it will serve only to infringe on the rights and liberties of free citizens.

If we break down the term “Gun Control” into its two root words we see that no action accurately described by the term can do either. The term “gun control” suggests that the law being suggested would control guns, but guns are inanimate objects and don’t respond to laws.

When “gun-control” legislation is proposed to restrict the trade of firearms its proposed intent is to control violence. But the law does not prohibit or punish violence rather it only restricts the purchase and possession of a tool that can be miss-used. The proposal of these laws suggests that restricting or banning certain weapons will prevent criminals from obtaining them, but since criminals by definition do not follow laws, the laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining them.

If “gun control” laws don’t address violence or the actions of criminals, what do they do? The only thing left is the restriction of law abiding gun owners. So an accurate name for the restricting the sale and possession of fire arms is “Law Abiding Gun Owner Control”

If we stop using the term “gun control” and instead adopt the term “law abiding gun owner control” it would be easier to see why so many are apposed to a particular piece of legislation. Further if when we seek to use new laws to reduce violence and we used the term violence prevention laws, we make it easier to test the practicality of law, that is to make our own estimation of whether or not the measure will reduce violence.

If we make this subtle change in vocabulary we may be able to more easily see the outcome of proposed laws, close the gap between pro and anti gun advocates and most of all design rules that really do reduce violence without compromising freedom.

  • 3 User comments to “There Is No Such Thing As ‘Gun-Control’”

    1. Bob Moore on September 20, 2012 at 1:40 AM said:

      Excellent idea. Allowing the anti-gun advocates to continue using terminology which has lost its true meaning, only helps their cause. When someone uses the term “gun control”, we should ask him “Do you mean another law-abiding gun owner control law or a violence prevention law?” This would force them to speak honestly about their proposed gun control measure.

    2. The proposal is a good idea.

      The presentation is damaged by the continued misspelling of the word “opposed” as “apposed”.

      How about using a spell checker or an editor?



    3. David Johnson on September 21, 2012 at 6:46 AM said:

      How can “gun control” prevent violenc when a criminal doesn’t have to use a gun to commit violence. The oldest known deadly weapon still exists; it’s a rock.

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