There’s a concerted effort these days to broaden out definitions and semantically overload terms in order to seize political power. The latest example of this comes from the coronavirus cowboy himself, Andrew Cuomo. His sights are now set on the “gun violence epidemic” within his city’s limits.

Instead of targeting nursing homes, Cuomo will be lending his epidemiological brilliance (and taxpayer funds) to areas of New York City that are hotspots of “gun violence.” As a responsible American with common sense, you understand “gun violence” has very little to do with an epidemic. So why is the effort being made to stretch the meaning of these words? I think you already know, but let’s proceed.

Those new to the war on words may be trying to figure out how we’ve gotten to the point of categorizing “gun violence” as an epidemic. The progression can be broken into two main parts: A focus on guns instead of individuals and more recently, the broadening of language.

A Focus on Guns Instead of Individuals

Anyone who’s been paying attention over the past 30 years has witnessed outsized media and political coverage of certain types of violence. As you’ve guessed, “gun violence” is one of them. Instead of placing the blame at the feet of individuals who commit violent acts with a gun, the blame has been shifted solely to the gun itself. Decades of denigrating guns and gun owners have led politicians to believe the court of public opinion as it relates to guns has shifted and is now in their anti-2A camp. However misguided that may be, an effective defense of the Second Amendment has not yet been mounted by everyday Americans against these primarily emotionally based arguments.

Broadening of Language

What we’ve seen lately, especially in 2020, when confronted with many unknown variables related to coronavirus is an overwhelming willingness by the public to grant elected officials nearly unlimited power to enact policy that may or may not be based on data, science or reality. Throughout the pandemic, some state and local governments obviously took note of the ease at which they could exercise unmitigated power and are now transferring the strategy into post-pandemic times. Knowing the opportunity that an emergency creates, it was only a matter of time until every policy preference an elected official has will start to become an “emergency.”

Cuomo said, claiming his order was the first of its kind nationwide, “We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence.”

So, how exactly does this broadening of definitions and semantically overloading terms affect your rights? Well, when terms can be redefined and given additional meaning, justifications can be made to exercise outsized power as an elected official to address issues not originally under your purview in an effort to solve the problem (or “epidemic”). Once the definition has been broadened, the original powers granted to elected officials are now applicable — not requiring any additional power to be seized in order to go after the problem (or “epidemic”). If you think magazine restrictions are an infringement on your rights, you can imagine what’s coming down the pike once the public accepts the categorization of guns as an epidemic.

Epidemic:

Rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time.

Violence is not a communicable disease. You can’t be sneezed on by a violent person and simply become violent. It’s a conscious decision — by an individual — whether or not to be violent. Adding a gun to the equation doesn’t change the math since a gun can’t act without an operator.

Your Call-to-Action as a 2A Defender

So, how do we, as responsible Americans and Second Amendment defenders ward off the neverending attacks on our rights? First, we must never cede ground when it comes to language! All words have much more significance than you may realize. The goal of legacy media and elected officials is to dilute the meaning of words we all agree upon, making them ambiguous and thus, malleable.

Second, place blame where it belongs. If you’re having these types of conversations in your personal life, don’t shy away from driving home the point that individuals are responsible for their choices and actions. Spoons don’t make people overweight, cars don’t force you to go 15 mph over the speed limit, and guns don’t target innocent victims. There’s always someone making a choice of how to use the tool.

Lastly, Ben Shapiro famously coined the phrase, “facts don’t care about your feelings.” Avoid falling into the trap of an emotionally charged argument by studying the stats and facts surrounding “gun violence.” It’s extremely difficult to refute data that counters a narrative. Arming yourself with the facts will be much more effective when taking on these issues.