A lot of gun rights folks despise the term “gun violence.” They rightly take issue with the fact that it seemingly pretends the gun is the problem and is somehow different from other forms of violence.
It’s a fair criticism of the term.
Unfortunately, it’s used often enough and by enough different people that I believe that particular ship has set sail.
Especially since there appears to be a “Gun Violence Prevention Day of Action” that the press in some places treats like a real thing. For example, this story out of Wisconsin:
The 2023 Gun Violence Prevention Day of Action on September 21 brought groups of people to Madison from across the state, so legislators could hear directly from their constituents about the need for stronger gun laws essential for the safety of Wisconsin families and communities.
A coalition of community organizations and Democratic lawmakers gathered at the Wisconsin State Capitol Building to demand that Republican leaders address gun violence, a public health crisis they have continued to ignore.
WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) Educational Fund, Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Giffords, 80% Coalition, March for Our Lives, Forward Latino, and residents from every part of Wisconsin joined together to promote some lifesaving solutions.
“Gun violence is preventable, and yet we as a society have failed to prevent it. As a consequence, more than 45,000 Americans die every year. And more hauntingly, gunshot injuries are the leading cause of death for our children, and our teenagers,” said Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director of the WAVE Educational Fund. “Our children are being shot everywhere. Our children aren’t safe anywhere. In daycares and preschools, our youngest children are being taught to hide under desks, or in bathrooms. They are being taught to be really really quiet, so that the bad guys can’t find them.”
Despite the fact that Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support gun reform, the legislature has resisted any attempt to pass common sense gun laws. Bonavia said that her young grandson’s generation was being taught in schools to tie a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, while still learning to tie their shoes.
In fairness to the legislature, though, the solution to so-called gun violence isn’t gun control. After all, we’ve seen violent crime be an issue in plenty of other nations, including those with extensive gun control laws.
Further, we also know that our non-gun homicide rate here in the US is higher than many other developed nations’ total homicide rates.
If it was just the guns that were the problem, that wouldn’t be the case. That’s why the term “gun violence” is such a problem for many of us. It ignores the overall problem to focus on a subset and then pretends one particular proposal is the only sensible thing to do.
Then we have the press pretending that this given day is an official thing or whatever when, at best, it’s just a day for activists to mobilize and try to pressure lawmakers into infringing on our rights.
Look, no one is saying that violent crime isn’t an issue. It most definitely is and will continue to be. The only acceptable number of violent crimes is zero, after all, so I have no problem trying to reduce the numbers, which is where I agree with these activists.
Where I diverge is in the fact that I’ve seen too many cases where gun control doesn’t stop the bad guys, just the law-abiding, responsible citizens.
There are a lot of other ways to address so-called gun violence, ways that help a lot of people and don’t infringe on our rights as law-abiding Americans. That could have been the topic in Wisconsin. That’s what people could have discussed and maybe figured a few things out.
That was never going to happen, though.
Wisconsin activists want gun control. They couch it in terms like “gun reform” or “gun safety” or “gun violence prevention,” but those are all just euphemisms for gun control, a term that doesn’t poll nearly as well.
They won’t admit that they want to infringe on your rights and that they don’t really care if it results in your death at the hands of a criminal. That would require them to be too honest about their goals.