Helen of Marlowe's Blog

The Language of Gun Control

Posted in "North Carolina", Language by helenofmarlowe on April 10, 2013

Language matters.

The Associated Press has decided to remove from its guidebook the term “illegal immigrant” to refer to people residing in a country without permission.  Because language influences thought.

Other political issues could also benefit from thoughtful use of language. Perhaps “gun regulations” would be less onerous than “gun control.”

As I’ve written before, such as here (Hospitality Customers), I do think language matters.

I’d like to see the term “gun control” replaced by the term “gun regulation” – because many (most? All?) products are regulated, so why should guns not be as well? Perhaps if the news writers, newscasters and commentators, editorial writers and bloggers spoke, not of President Obama’s actions regarding “gun control” but spoke rather of “gun regulations” – then perhaps fewer heels would dig in.

Today’s headline reads Obama Seeks Compromise on Gun Control. What if the headline read Obama Seeks Compromise on Gun Regulations  instead?

From Bloomberg Businessweek: “On Tuesday, Washington again will echo with calls for tougher gun control … ”  Wow! Gun Control! We can’t have that!

But what about gun regulations? You know, like seat belts and windshields and kerosene heaters are regulated? Just as toothpaste labels and highway speeds and electrical outlets are regulated? Can we speak of gun regulation, instead of gun control?

Would it help?  Since language matters?

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