Media's New Message on Guns: 'Gun Control' to 'Gun Reform'

Media's New Message on Guns: 'Gun Control' to 'Gun Reform'

A review of media coverage by the Media Research Center shows that “gun reform” as opposed to “gun control” is fast becoming the media’s go-to descriptive for gun control issues.

MRC’s Kristine Marsh writes:

The term ‘gun reform’ was mentioned just 25 times in print in three top newspapers–The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post–from 1986- April 14, 2012. From April to December 2012, the term did not make an appearance at all until the Newtown tragedy December 14. After that, the three papers have aggressively used the term at a rate faster than ever before. In just the past eight months since Newtown, these three papers have used ‘gun reform’ 23 times, nearly as many times as they had used it in the 26 years prior.

Marsh found that the new terminology is showing up all across the media. Not just the newspapers but MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNBC have all been using the term with increasing frequency.

And it is not just the media. Anti-gun advocacy groups are also admitting that the term “gun control” has gained a negative connotation and they feel the need to change their rhetoric.

“Moms Demand Action publicly admitted to The Washington Post in February that it would not use the term ‘gun control’ anymore and preferred to use phrases like ‘common-sense gun regulations’ or ‘common-sense reforms’ instead,” Marsh says.

Even President Obama is using the new term, Marsh found.