As our Orwellian political gurus are well aware, words matter. That’s why nobody is pro-abortion, they are “pro-choice.” Conversely, nobody is anti-choice, they are “pro-life.”
The first step toward winning hearts and minds is often to change the language. During the last decade, “liberals” became “progressives” and “gay marriage” became “marriage equality” (who could oppose that?)
So we probably shouldn’t be surprised that this trend has continued into the recent gun control debate.
As the great Molly Ball observes: ” When President Obama and Vice President Biden announced the administration’s new gun proposals Wednesday, they didn’t use the words ‘gun control’ a single time. Instead, they spoke over and over about ‘gun violence,’ ‘reducing gun violence,’ and “gun-violence legislation.’
People don’t like gun control? Fine, just call it something else!
This, of course, is smart marketing. And business does it all the time. As the late comedian George Carlin wryly observed, “Some time during my life, toilet paper became bathroom tissue. I wasn’t notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It just happened.”
“We have no more old people in this country,” he continued. “We shipped them all away, and we brought in these ‘senior citizens.'”
It would be funny if it weren’t so serious.