One of the tricks the media and activists like to use is in word choice. Some words mean roughly the same thing but convey a different feel to that meaning. For example, “plan” and “scheme” might roughly mean the same thing, but some folks feel “scheme” feels shadier, more underhanded. After all, if someone plans well, we think of it as a positive, but if they’re scheming, it’s something different.
Sometimes, though, they just use a completely wrong word because it makes the emotional impact they want it to make.
That’s precisely what happened in this piece.
New data revealed that Americans have bought an estimated 21 million guns so far in 2020 as an unprecedented political and social climate sends gun retail rocketing.
ABC News reports the figures from an FBI background check by The Trace, noting they mark a 73 per cent increase on the same period last year.
The surge comes as the nation faced a year of unprecedented social and political unrest in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, economic recession, civil unrest, and a divisive presidential election.
Robyn Thomas, executive director of the Giffords Law Center, described the reaction as an illustration of “panic” which he said is being fuelled by the gun industry, and the National Rifle Association, and the Trump administration.
Panic. What a choice of words.
Of course, it’s complete and utter male bovine excrement, but what a choice of words.
See, what Thomas is doing is trying to equate these gun buyers as irrational. The term “panic” conveys fear-driven motivations completely devoid of any rationality. People didn’t reach a decision to buy a gun this year because there was a pandemic, a potential economic meltdown, riots, or skyrocketing crime. No, they did it because they had an irrational reaction to events.
That’s right, folks, Giffords is calling millions of new gun buyers irrational.
In reality, though, buying a gun this year was anything but irrational. It wasn’t driven by panic, but by concern. Yes, fear might have played a factor, but not at the expense of rationality.
See, Giffords and their crowd don’t get to crow about how dangerous our streets have become with soaring violent crime and then complain that the law-abiding gun buyers panicking. You’re basically contradicting yourself.
Then again, it’s not like was an unbiased report, either. In addition to Thomas, they spoke with an activist at March For Our Lives and quoted the Gun Violence Archive. On the pro-gun side, they didn’t really speak with anyone. I assume the gun store owner they spoke with about sales was pro-gun, but they didn’t seem to ask him about anything other than sales.
In other words, this was shaped to be a biased report from the start, which is hardly surprising in this day and age.
Then again, the media wants people to believe that all those new gun buyers were people who panicked. They want them to believe the decision to purchase a firearm for the first time was driven by irrationality.
This is why they probably won’t talk about those first-time gun buyers saving their lives or someone else’s life by using that gun. Heaven forbid peole realize that maybe it wasn’t an irrational purchase after all.