Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” – Yehuda Berg
Words are weapons, but we don’t often see them that way. We seldom feel the impact of words because of their ubiquity; unless we’re aware of their importance beforehand, we often only feel the most casual of connections to words.
Before we listen to something as monumental as MLK’s “Dream” speech, we understand its transformational importance, and are fully prepared to allow the words to take root inside our minds. However, when we listen to the deluge of political language coming from the mouths of presidential candidates, or from celebrities, or from the media, we don’t realize how much of an impact those words have on our perspective, and therefore our behavior.
Recently, Hillary Clinton answered a question during a town hall about Australia’s gun restrictions. She mentioned Australia banning automatic weapons. This was eerily similar to the language she used in June, 2014, when she said:
“And I don’t think any parent–any person–should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone, for whatever reason–psychological, emotional, political, [ideological], whatever it means–could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.”
Notice anything unusual about what she said? Read it again. “…could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.”
The sale and purchase of automatic weapons has been banned in the United States since 1986. According to the Justice Department, an amendment to the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA):
“…banned the manufacture of machine guns for civilian use and made it unlawful for anyone, not just licensees, to sell firearms to prohibited persons.”
Dictionary.com defines a “machine gun” as “a small arm operated by a mechanism, able to deliver a rapid and continuous fire of bullets as long as the trigger is pressed.” This is an automatic weapon.
The difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon is that while an automatic weapon releases a continuous stream of bullets as long as the trigger is squeezed, a semi-automatic weapon requires a trigger pull for the release of each bullet. This is a staggering difference–and an incredibly important one.
Because the sale of automatic weapons has been banned in the United States since 1986, Hillary’s remarks are misleading. Listening to Hillary’s answer during the town hall leads one to believe that automatic weapons are available to the general public when they are not.
If one believes that automatic weapons are available to the general public, then they also believe that Hillary, as well as the left in general, is fighting to ban those automatic weapons, and conversely, conservatives are trying to keep them on the market. Moreover, if one believes Hillary, they likely believe that mass-shootings are being committed with automatic weapons, which they are not.
Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Aurora shooter James Holmes, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, and Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza were all armed with semi-automatic handguns and rifles, not automatic firearms. This is an important distinction because saying the phrase “automatic weapon” makes people believe a falsity.
This warped belief can be used to further an agenda. If the left continues to use phrases like “automatic weapons” and “assault rifles,” which are literally no different than regular rifles (google it), they can gin up enough enthusiasm to get the public behind gun bans they wouldn’t otherwise favor. They can also use this tactic to foster animosity and outright hatred toward conservatives. It’s a win-win for the left.
This is the language war.
It’s like when CNN writes “anti-immigrant” instead of “anti-illegal immigrant.” It’s a simple word omission that changes the political position of conservatives from something rational into something irrational, thus making conservatives appear nasty. Oh, by the way, CNN did this recently. Here’s the screenshot:
Language can so easily be used to manipulate. Hillary Clinton and those like her are experts at using words to make people believe things that simply are not true. Don’t fall for it.