“The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. …Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
–Col. Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle
Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins was recently a guest on Piers Morgan Live to discuss gun control when Morgan made an astounding claim that Virginia has the highest murder rate in the United States. Morgan thought Virginia’s murder rate is highest, but in reality it is below 23 other states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. While Morgan apologized via Twitter, his claim will be remembered by like-minded viewers as fact.
The Left’s falsification of evidence and emotional rhetoric is a common tactic used to turn the gun debate in their favor. When circumstances and facts do not align with their ideology, they make up statistics or data to support their conclusions. It is as if Piers was a modern day Don Quixote, intent on preserving and defending a world that never existed, making a mockery of himself through his fantastic claims.
This rhetoric is a prominent theme amongst the mainstream media. As someone who works in the firearms industry, I can tell within a few sentences if the author or commentator knows guns. For many in media, the concept of manipulating, shooting, or carrying a firearm for defense is foreign. Most major news networks, based in large cities like Los Angeles or New York, portray gun culture as bent on mayhem and destruction, where guns are owned only by those with nefarious purposes. This narrative is so engrained within the media that it ignores the 100 million plus law-abiding gun owners. This tainted perspective leads the ignorant viewer to fear guns and believe them capable of impossible feats. Instead of a healthy respect for firearms, fear is propagated and affirmed.
Arguably the most common phrase used to propagate fear is “assault rifle”. Assault weapons, by definition, are fully automatic; thus largely unavailable to civilians and require outrageously expensive permitting and invasive government oversight. Furthermore, the use of the phrase “assault weapons” has the implied act of assaulting someone or something. Yet, in 2011, all types of rifles were used in a fraction of firearms homicides, accounting for less than 3% (this is for all types of rifles) of the totals. A blunt object was more likely to be used in a murder than a rifle of any kind.
The phrase “high capacity magazine” is also a frequent misnomer. It promotes the myth a magazine was modified to hold more rounds when, in reality, it’s still in its OEM configuration. These magazines are standard capacity. The arbitrary magazine limits of 10 and 7 rounds demanded by the gun control crowd are, ipso facto, restricted capacity magazines.
This is how gun control advocates control the conversation; they twist reality to conform to their ideology when they know they are arguing a logical fallacy. To them, it is a world where the gun, the ammunition, and the magazine have a moral conscience that can be legislated. As AWR Hawkins explained to Piers Morgan, banning firearms still left the UK with a major crime problem. It is the failure of gun control advocates to link correlation with causation. Ultimately, they have neither and do not recognize crime is cultural and not the result of some tool (e.g. guns, knives, etc).
The pro-gun movement can change the language to our advantage. We must take the focus off of the tool and redirect it to the act being committed. As pro-gun advocates, we advocate for the right to defend ourselves from a lethal threat. In effect, our lobby is “pro self-defense”. So what is the catch-all phrase for those against our ideology? Well, the creation of vast gun control involves mass disarmament. Mass disarmament ensures the miscreants of society can prey upon the weakest of our population with absolute impunity. It is and should be defined as a pro-victim mentality.
The next time the discussion of gun control arises, refer to gun control advocates for what they are: Pro-Victim. Let them fight on our terms and using our language to win the debate. Those of us on the pro-gun side have a distinct advantage: we know the topic extensively because we know the tool. Most people would not argue with an automotive engineer if they knew nothing about cars. Yet that is exactly what the Left does with guns. Control the language, know the terms, and become the expert; we control the future of the gun debate.
Good luck next time, Piers. You are going to need it.