Controlling the language of the debate

Yesterday I posted a comment from Paul Helmke, who said “We’ve lost the battle on what the Second Amendment means. Seventy-five percent of the public thinks it’s an individual right. Why are we arguing a theory anymore? We are concerned about what we can do practically.”

Brady Campaign Attorney Dennis Henigan also said “Universal background checks don’t affect the right of self-defense in the home. Banning a super dangerous class of weapons, like assault weapons, also would not adversely affect the right of self-defense in the home. Curbing large volume sales doesn’t affect self-defense in the home.”

number of other bloggers have touched on the implications of the statement, and Call Me Ahab touches on what might be the most important aspect of these statements, that of the language of the debate. The side of a debate that controls the language often controls the debate, or at least has a sizable advantage. This is why so the anti-gun people use terms like “assault weapons” and “undetectable plastic guns.” It is much harder to argue in defense of an “assault weapon” than to defend “the most popular target rifle”, or “the fastest growing segment in hunting rifles.”

The concession on individual rights, and the number of times Mr Henigan references “self-defense in the home,” signifies a shift in the language of debate in our direction. The debate is shifting to how they can infringe on a right they acknowledge, instead of a right they claim does not exist, and from allowing for weapons for “sporting purposes” to also include self defense, which they have refused to acknowledge for quite a while. These are important shifts, but for the Brady Campaign, et al. they are only shifts in how they work, not what they are trying to do. We need to continue to fight, and even intensify the fight. We have the momentum, and we need to keep it, and use it.


Controlling the language of the debate — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Snowflakes in Hell » Insights on Brady Concession

  2. As part of the “controlling the language of the debate” when the Brady Bunch talks about “universal background checks” lets just take them at their WORD:

    Universal background checks for ALL PEOPLE; issue everyone an ID card that says amoung other things: “CRIMINAL FELON” or “LAW ABIDING CITIZEN” or “LAW ABIDING RESIDENT ALIEN”.

    Then no background checks for buying firearms as you can just “Show your papers please”.

    Stuff the whole concept of “universal background checks” — as distasteful as the idea sounds to those who favor liberty, this will NEVER make it past the liberals and ACLU types.

  3. Given the numerous Defeats that the Brady Bunch has had in the last few years, Via the number of States adopting Concealed carry, and the Castle Doc., They are attempting to put a spin on the language used.

    Brady Campaign Attorney Dennis Henigan’s attempt to Re-write the Second Amendment, by forgetting the words “The People” when on Video in DC show’s their Dis-belief that they can win Solely on the Facts, How on earth, can one targeting the Second Amendment, eliminate the Most Targeted words of the Amendment?

    Throwing Hunting and Sport Shooting and anything they wish in the Debate is nothing but clouding the issue. The Security of a Free State, and The People—Those are the words that one must keep reminding the Brady Bunch about. Their desire to change their Approach assures one thing—If supporters of The Second Amendment keep the pressure on them, sooner or later, They’ll have no other direction to turn.

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