Anti-Gunner Explains Difference Between Gun Control and Gun Safety

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

A lot of anti-gunners use the term “gun safety” instead of “gun control.” While most of us aren’t fooled, they still use it. It’s gaining a bit of ground in the media as well, though most still use “gun control” when referring to legislative proposals.


However, in a recent discussion, one anti-gun voice explained why he’s for “gun safety” and not “gun control.”

Advocating for stronger gun safety policies is one way to broaden political and community support to reduce gun violence in the United States, Yale School of Public Health Dean Sten H. Vermund said at a public forum Sunday.

Recognizing the deeply held beliefs of gun rights advocates and the polarizing nature of the gun control debate, Dean Vermund said he has begun to modulate his vocabulary in an attempt to have a more constructive dialogue.

“When I’m speaking to someone who doesn’t agree with me, I’ve started to use the term ‘gun safety’ because I believe gun safety is something a pediatrician and public health official has every right to talk about,” said Vermund, an epidemiologist and pediatrician. “I think gun safety might be a place where we can come together to have a conversation.”

Vermund was one of four panelists speaking at a seminar titled “Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis,” held Sunday afternoon at the Unitarian Society of New Haven (USNH) in Hamden.  About 100 people attended the discussion, which looked at the issue of gun violence in Connecticut and ways violence can be addressed through legislation and community action.

In other words, he’s admitting that it has nothing to do with a different set of policy proposals, it’s just about trying to use language into seeming more reasonable on the subject of guns.

It’s rhetorical trickery designed to put his proposals in the same light as things like, “Don’t point your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy.”


The worst part is that it may well work on many who aren’t as likely to follow the Second Amendment conversation. They may well hear it and take them at face value.

Vermund isn’t claiming to moderate his positions, only to use a different phrase to describe the exact same policy proposals.

The rest of the article is mostly Vermund and his buddies pretending to be intellectually and morally superior, even claiming the evidence is on their side while ignoring the statistics that show guns make people safer.

However, his public admission that “gun safety” is just “gun control” with a fancy new dress is important. It’s vital to understanding the way anti-gunners try to use manipulative language to try and change the conversation on guns and the Second Amendment. They can claim to be morally superior, but it’s worth noting that we don’t rephrase what we stand for just to put people off-guard in discussions. We tend to admit outright that we’re pro-gun.

Hell, many of us have embraced the phrase “gun nut,” for crying out loud. We’re not hiding who we are from anyone. We’re proud of our support for our gun rights and we’re not afraid to be precisely who we are.

Can Vermund say the same?

Join the conversation as a VIP Member