“Gun Violence” “Active Shooter” – Taking Back The Language

By Mark Walters
Editors Note: AmmoLand News welcomes Mark Walters to our growing list of the best and brightest gun rights commentators, who are watching out for your RKBA.

Taking Back The Language
Mark Walters
Mark Walters

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- By now you’re very well aware of the Ohio State University terror attack. Yes, that’s what it was, even though as of this writing the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the investigation into whether or not it was a terror attack, continues.

Of course, we know better; Somali Islamist rams his car into a crowd of people, gets out swinging a knife. He may as well have been carrying a binder titled, “My ISIS Playbook.” Um, yeah, it’s a terror attack.

You’re also aware that the media, and a boneheaded, failed Vice Presidential candidate instantly screamed “gun violence” as the story was unfolding on television screens around the world.

Gun violence,” “Active shooter,” huh? Actually, no, it wasn’t but who cares, right?

In a now infamous piece run by that phony outlet masquerading as a “news” organization, Yahoo News, readers saw this from an IBT story:

“While details of the alleged shooting remained scant early Monday, reports of a heavy police and fire department presence at OSU quickly turned the nation's interest toward Ohio's relaxed gun laws, which currently provide some of the most lenient restrictions in selling and distributing firearms throughout the nation.”

“There aren't any state requirements for permits or registration of rifles, shotguns or handguns in Ohio, and residents can carry concealed weapons with a permit. Background checks are not performed at Ohio gun shows, and the state does not restrict the limit of weapons one can purchase.”

“Since Ohio does not require criminal background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don’t need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members,” Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, said in a reported statement.

Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 147 into law last year, further relaxing the state's gun laws and further expanding gun rights throughout the states. The new legislation allows anyone in the state not barred from owning weapons to carry a gun, as well as forbids law enforcement from performing search and seizures on someone carrying a weapon.”

In reality, the “heavy police and fire department presence” did not turn “the nation’s interest toward Ohio’s relaxed gun laws” rather it exposed the deceitful reporting of the so-called, mainstream press, again.

As lefty news stories bustled with reports of an “active shooter” on the OSU campus, we would soon learn that there was no “shooter.” Rather the attempted murderer was a Somali Islamist refugee acting out the ISIS playbook on an American university campus. Now I could make the case that this guy should never have been here to begin with, or ask how a Somali refugee affords an OSU education or, for that matter, a car, insurance, etc., but that’s another column. In this instance, I want to remain focused on the term “active shooter.

Famed self-defense instructor, Rob Pincus made the case on Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense show Tuesday (player below) that the words themselves didn’t matter at that moment.


In other words, getting people to react and prepare using the “run, hide, fight” response right now is a good thing. During the ensuing conversation, Rob made the observation that many people seem to “confuse politics with tactics” when discussing the fact that it wasn’t an “active shooter.” He was making the case that faced with the “here and now, do or die” immediacy of a life or death, threat, it didn’t matter what term was used.

Rob is right. Under those immediate conditions, all that matters is that lives are saved.

Here’s the bigger picture though, words still mean things. We can not stand by (I refuse) and allow the wrong terminology to become the generic phrase used to describe any serious event. A lunatic running around on a campus with a firearm racking up a body count is not the same thing as a crazed Islamic radical mowing people down with a rental truck or a nutcase with a knife, etc. While the instant safety message may be the right one under any of those conditions (run, hide, fight), the description of the events does matter.

To many folks, it may sound like I’m playing semantics. “Come on Mark, we all know what they were saying. You’re mincing words here, bro.” Really? You feel the same way when the left-wing gun-grabbers call your AR15 an “assault rifle?” Maybe it’s ok for the media to paint the picture of you as a nut job for that “arsenal” you have in your safe? Maybe you’re the next “theater shooter” in the eyes of the media because you have a “stockpile” of whopping 1,000 rounds of ammo for your “weapons of war?”

We’re on offense now, and part of our responsibility on this side of the playing field is that we take back the hijacked language from a group of unAmerican, progressive, gun-grabbing, rights bigots.

My “arsenal” of AR15’s are “assault rifles” as much as a radical Islamic kook using a vehicle mowing down civilians on a sidewalk without a gun is an “active shooter.” Words mean things and when the left chooses to use the wrong terminology, on purpose, to make us look bad, we need to call BS immediately.

To do otherwise hands them the ball back and I don’t feel like doing that anytime soon, do you?
About Mark Walters

Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)

  • 15 thoughts on ““Gun Violence” “Active Shooter” – Taking Back The Language

    1. Gun violence is just a term the Marxist media came up with to keep painting guns as bad. I’ve watched enough news programs on the local lame stream Marxist media to see that the networks are not after people who can think ; only after anyone who can and will read the propaganda reports word for word !

    2. Sorry for the length of this, but the final article hasn’t come out yet on the iPatriot website:
      There are 2 simple, but important, elements that lead to attacks like the one at OSU, and they are often overlooked in our search for the roots of what we may misperceive as political “Radicalization.”
      1) Some cultures, including most gangs and some of the Arabic-Muslim cultures, are taught that it is natural and appropriate to respond to being “disrespected” (or just disagreed with), by using violence (a “beatdown,” in gang parlance) rather than verbal arguments. In this kind of culture, violent aggression is the normal and expected “teaching method” for responding to the perception that one has been “offended.” College professors and “Snowflakes” don’t live in such a culture, and often just don’t “get it.” Thus, they typically remain unaware of how their beliefs, which they may see as just “standing up for the underdog,” may lead to public violence like Artan’s.
      2) There is no need to politically “radicalize” a member of such a culture in order to inspire him to violence. It is often enough merely to make him believe that he, or a group with which he identifies, has been “offended” in some way.
      THAT may be the greatest danger presented by the liberal-progressive movement’s current creation of invented offenses like “micro-aggressions,” PC language, etc. and the development of our current national “hypersensitivity to offense.” They are promulgating a belief that, as a member of some group, you are entitled in some way to be treated as special, and, if your expectations (no matter how childish or ridiculous) are NOT met, then you have truly been “Offended.”
      When these 2 elements are combined, they can produce an explosive recipe for individual violence, justified in the perpetrator’s mind by his having been “offended,” and requiring, or at least justifying, a violent “lesson” (seen clearly in Artan’s “I am warning (or teaching) you, Oh America,” rant). While often misunderstood as a primarily political action (the so-called “lone wolf” attack), it is actually a very personal act of violence, although it may arise from one’s identification as a member of a group (such as Muslims, or “Crips”). When it is only directed towards a specific individual, it is essentially the same response, but isn’t considered “terrorism,” just murder. “Honor killings” fall into this category too.
      So, for Muslims raised in violent societies, it probably is not necessary to be politically “radicalized” in order to act violently, it is only necessary to believe you have been “offended,” something liberal-progressives have been teaching them for years now.
      I believe that events like the OSU attack are fundamentally different in their nature and motivation, not just their body count, from events like the 9/11 terror attacks, even if ISIS later claims responsibility for them. I’m not sure what is an appropriate label for them, but calling them ISIS terror attacks is probably giving ISIS far too much credit.

      1. poppycock. Do you maintain that the three individuals firing upon IDF forces in Golan last week, operating from a gunmount atop a pickup (likely one of the hundreds supplied ti ISIS by OUR government) were operating out of the mindset you describe? If so, then so were Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Kim, Pol Pot, Castro….. and you are the one with a language issue.

        From what I’ve read, this somali in Ohio, made his moves calculated to destroy lives in his quest to further his own idealogy and values… by the definition above, a terrorist attack. nIn the scenaria you give, violence is always a DIRECT response to a perceived offense in a carefully targeted move to “educate” in a way as to modify behaviour of the target of violence. Schoolyard bully roughs up a little kid each day, to “teach” then to “respect” him, After a couple weeks of this, then lieelt kids get their heads together, form a plan, set one of them up as a sacrificial bait, let the buly engage that one… when twenty more coume round the corner and beat him to a pulp. Thus the miscreant is “educated” in a way that leads directly to his modifying his unacceptable behaviour, and the poundings all stopo.

        THIS is something completely different, and you are selling out to the mozzies in refusing to recognise this. Their media continually promulgate the meme of “making a difference” by perpetrating precisely the sort of juhadi violance this perp committed. The truck massacre in Israel is highly praised, and held up as a model to imitate. Apparently LE have found some trafic to websites promitung such idiocy on his seized laptop. Most such perps here in the US have connexions with a local mosque that actively promotes such conduct.. the two clowns that left Arizona to head to Garland Texas to do a shootemup at that cartoon convention fit this pattern exactly.

        Such snakepits NEED investigating… and busted where apppropriate. Seems LE can raid “militia” after infiltrating them and promoting certain activities, then busting and charging members for their “consipracies”…… thankfuly justice has been served in acquittals… FBI seems a bit incompetent at instigating such “conspiracies” and lacks substance to their accusations. If FBI can go after groups of yankees playing prepper and training in the woods of Michigan, why cnat they go after KNOWN mosques busying themse;ves aobut training terrorists?

    3. Back to DJ, I can remember very clearly while in basic training of the U.S. Air Force many years ago our weapons instructor told us many times “this is your weapon (pointing to a fire arm), this is your gun (pointing to his zipper). This is for shooting (pointing at the fire arm) this is for fun (pointing at his zipper).
      I’m sure if you were in the military you would have heard a firearm referenced as a weapon. It’s not easy to be politically correct all the time.

    4. Stop it all of you! You are so misdirected! Now we must immediately ban the use of cars to college students and on university and college grounds. And those damn knives–and the many mass killings and attacks in Communist China with knives (it is true) means no butcher knives on U.S. college grounds will make them safe. If we can just ban these two non-Constitution and non-Bill Of Rights protected items these lone “pig” terrorists will not be able to operate. Long live der fatherland!

    5. The term “gun violence” is not politically correct, not PC. It is also not accurate. We should complain every time we read or hear it. Careless journalists and sensationalists use it instead of more correct terms, such as terrorist violence, drug violence, gang violence, etc. I have never seen a violent gun.

      1. I can imagine one exception to that claim: if someone were on, say, the twelfth floor of an apartnent building, and dropped an unloaded handgun over the rail, and that handgun was instantly grabbed by that mean ol phenomonon gravity and accelerated rapidly as it made its way to the ground, whereupon some poor hapless schmuck happened to be standing, and that handgun then clunked him on his noggin with sifficient force as to make a hole in said aforementioined cranium, thus lead proximally to the demise of said schmuck, I beleive it would be safe to refer to that handgun as a “violent” one. However, the instant said handgun fall to the concrete and lay still, it would no longer be considered “violent”.

        But such occurrences are vanishngly rare. Thus the tossing about of that foul and misleading term is unwarranted.

        Yes, words have meaning, and meanings have consequences.

    6. What a profound article! And way past due! Thank You, Mark. Words do surely slant a conversation and public perception.
      With the foresight to purchase 5 NFA registered machine guns in the 1980s, I DO NOT allow anyone to stroke their cavemans ego calling them “automatic weapons”. EVER. Instant correction.They are just rare guns that are really expensive now that are ” automatic firearms” which the 2nd Amendment was expressly designed to protect as a counterpart in any government inventory. It’s STILL the same with any firearm out there. You have the inalienable God endowed Civil Right to ” keep and bear arms”. NOT “weapons” which don’t even qualify or fit into its specific definition in the dictionary. Really. Look up the “w” word in your Websters. A “weapon(s) is NOT a firearm. But you can unintentionally insult and smear them all calling them as such. The next time you read a gun related article, make a mental note how many times the uninformed author verbally shot themselves in the foot calling a rifle, shotgun, pistol or revolver the “w” word. Or your range instructor calling it the “w” word out of habit. But not mine. Same as” gun control” which is a major insult to all firearms as to a car without a steering wheel that should translate into their long term goal of “gun confiscation”, instead. Control no – confiscation,Yes! Surely, HiLIARy and Shannun Wutts would approve. Even Dinglebarry. Why use their language??? As long as we do, we are at a strategic disadvantage NEVER taking the high ground in public debate regaining our lost Civil Rights to own any firearm “without infringements”. Knee jerk public perception is their narrative. We have to change that using the RIGHT verbage. Don’t use their slanted terms. After that, the useful idiot/mums that demand unarmed victims loses traction and action. Blaming any firearm for “gun violence” is the same as blaming any car for drunk driving or “vehicle violence” as at OSU. With the Right words, Doomburgs billions will buy them NOthing when their emotional arguments cannot withstand logic,rationale and reasoning with public scruitny.
      The majority of articles that are out there today use the “w” word willy nilly without regard to the subtle consequences that color the conversation and ultimately public perseption. Sure, keep calling your ARs “assault weapons. And insulting that every day carry sweetie Kimber a “concealed weapon”. The enemy is Us!
      So,hopefully, the use of the “w” word is NOT allowed and the uninformed reaction turns into I never thought of it that way. No more unintentional firearms insults no mater how subtle. And then our inalienable God given Civil Rights ” to keep and bear arms” that ” shall not be infringed” returns! So,with this once in a lifetime opportunity, make it count!!!
      Take back the language!!!
      This article by Mark is Spot on!

      1. I completely Agree with you and the author of this editorial. It is past time Americans stop using the Confiscator crowd’s use of inappropriate language. WORDS HAVE MEANINGS and should be used accordingly.

    7. I agree that the term active shooter was misused in this case, and that words matter and that we have to be careful, but aren’t you being a little hypocritical here? When you say “Um, yeah, it’s a terror attack.” I haven’t followed this story closely, so don’t know what facts (if any) have been revealed lately about motive, but in the opening moments of the investigation, without any other info, just because he is Somali does not mean its a terror attack. He could have been disgruntled due to a break up and was going after a group his ex hung out with. It probably is a self-radicalized situation, but my point us that until you have some facts, jumping to a conclusion about it being a terror attach is the same thing as someone jumping to conclusion that there was an active shooter (my understanding is that term was used based in there hearing of a shot, which turned out to be the police officers shot).

      So yes, we need to be careful with terms because words do matter, and once it was discovered that the ‘active shooter’ statement was wrong, it should have been corrected. It annoyed me a great deal to see headlines of active shooter when the body of the story acknowledged there wasn’t a shooting. It just showed they were putting it in the headlines to draw eyes. But I will play devil’s advocate a little here: all this concern about ‘words’, isn’t this promoting being “PC”? I only point that out because I think the whole railing against being “PC” is overblown and hypocritical. Yes we need to be able to be open in conversion (which is why everyone is against PC), but we also need to be aware that words DO matter. Its a complicated world out there.

      1. You state that you “haven’t followed the story closely” and in the same breath say we shouldn’t speculate, just because he’s Somali, that his motives are terroristic. Phew, that first part’s a contradiction if ever there was one. You should have followed the news and the facts. I’ll let you catch up on your own but here’s the definition of a terrorist attack: Type of: act of terrorism, terrorism, terrorist act. the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear. coup de main, surprise attack.

        I believe this “gentleman” has met all the qualifications of a terrorist who committed an act of terrorism and the speculation, based on facts, not rumor or innuendo, (and provided very quickly after the fact) was justified. This duck walked like one, talked like one and, when plucked, turned out to be one!

        1. I should have been more clear, I was referring to the reporting Monday where some were assuming it was a terrorist attack before any other evidence other than he was Somali. I wasn’t saying it wasn’t one but that we need actual info that points to it. If the facebook posts show he was radicalized as you state then it’s safe to say it was an act of terror. But my point was that some were saying that before they had the info to back it up. The author also did not reference that evidence. All he stated was Somali Islamist. He did not say radical or reference anything else. Yes, words do matter.

      2. Here is the nut bag in his own words from Facebook. You decide if it was terror, think real hard:

        The post reads:

        In the name of Allah, the most merciful and the most gracious.

        My brothers and sisters, I am sick and tired of seeing my Muslim Brothers and Sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped and killed in Burma led to a boiling point. I can’t take it anymore.

        America stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah (community). We are not weak, We are [not] weak, remember that.

        If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace with “Dawla in al sham.” Make a pact or a treaty with them where you promise to leave them alone, you and your fellow apostate allies.

        By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.

        Stop the killing of Muslims in Burma.

        Btw, every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America.

        And, a message to the Muslims, don’t listen to celebrity scholars who sold their deen. I am talking about the likes of Yasir Oaphi. Omar Sulieman, Nouman Mufti and the list goes on. Beware of the Al Maghreb institute listen instead to our hero Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki.

        Let me ask you this question if the Muhammad peace and blessings upon him and his Sanaba were here today wouldn’t the western media call them terrorists?

        To conclude by Allah, I am willing to use a billion infidels in retribution.

    8. Dont you mean 30 thousand rounds of ammunition , or are me and my friends 3 percenters owning half of all arms.

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