One argument from anti-2nd Amendment advocates is that the “jargon” they use to explain gun’s various demerits is often diminished or outright dismissed when imprecise firearm terminology is used.
But as senior editor David Harsanyi of The Federalist points out, much of gun-control policy is driven by the mechanics of a firearm and “failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you’re either dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate.” If you are advocating banning or confiscating, for example, an AR-15, shouldn’t you at least make the effort to learn what the AR stands for?
In a debate imbued with emotion, gun-control advocates rely on this ignorance. When Barack Obama tells a crowd that a mass shooter used a “fully automatic weapon,” he’s not concerned with the finest taxonomic distinctions of a gun, he’s depending on the yawning obliviousness of a cheering crowd. When CNN featured an alleged gun expert explaining that the AR-15 he’s about to fire is “full semi-automatic,” he’s making the functionality of firearm sound scarier to those who are ignorant about guns.
“Jargon” are words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than use jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-y sounding words in efforts to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with “high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines” or “jumbo clips” you’re trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise you don’t possess. When you claim that we need to ban “gas-assisted, receiver firearms” you’re trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.
It’s not always the mechanics, either. When Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision, he’s preying on policy ignorance that has little to do with gun culture. When Steve Schmidt goes on television and passionately tells an audience that it’s more difficult to buy cough medicine than an “AK-47 – or 50 of them,” he’s either lying or he has absolutely no grasp of how gun policy works. Either way, he shouldn’t be talking to grownups about firearms.
To read more from D.H. in The Federalist, click here.