What is wrong with the concept 'gun violence'?
"Gun violence" is a concept used widely today by politicians and media pundits. But is it a valid concept? I think it could be in a proper context. Perhaps if one is talking about various kinds of violence like say weapons violence which could then be subdivided into club violence, sword violence, knife violence, gun violence, bomb violence and so on. But these terms are not in widespread use and that's because they are all redundancies. A redundancy is an unnecessary repetition.
And so it is with 'gun violence.' Like the other weapons, guns are violent things. They are intended to be. Because of its redundancy 'gun violence' has been criticized as an unnecessary, nonsensical concept. But as my favorite novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand once wrote: "But there's always a purpose in nonsense. Don't bother to examine a folly--ask yourself only what it accomplishes."* Let's do that.
If a savage gang is throwing stones or spears or arrows or bombs at you, you properly would want to have some of these to throw back at the attackers. Defensively hunkering down will only delay your demise. To defeat your enemy you'll need weapons to retaliate.
What I'm leading up to here is the principle that if life is a value to humans, then defending that life is a natural and morally right thing to do. We can see then that all weapons have two possible uses: they can be used to attack and destroy life or to defend and preserve life.
But what if one wanted to blur this distinction in the minds of the public? One would have to put together a smear campaign. This is usually done with an anti-concept which is one where the valid meaning of a concept is replaced or smeared with an invalid meaning. This blurring I contend, is what the concept 'gun violence' is designed to accomplish.
The goal of the 'gun violence' concept is to obliterate the distinction between destroying life and defending life by packaging them together and condemning both as undesirable, unwanted even evil by the new designation of 'gun violence.' Violence is something that a civilized people don't want. Since people want to live in a peaceful society, 'violence' carries with it a negative connotation. It is this negative connotation that is to be elevated as the distinguishing characteristic of 'gun violence.'
The method used to pull this off is as follows: the word 'violence' in 'gun violence' is not aimed at the listener's reasoning mind. It is aimed at his feelings. It is designed to evoke an emotional response on the order of "ewe" or "ugh" or "no" or "no I don't want violence in my life."
The hope is that these emotional responses will translate into an action favorable to the gun grabbers such as support for gun control laws and candidates. The tactic is to package a noun with a potentially evil or dangerous attribute of the noun while ignoring any life preserving attribute. With the designation of violence as a negative, unwanted attribute of guns, the positive attribute of guns--self defense--is removed from public
discussion. Another concept that serves the same purpose is 'assault weapon' (next post).
It is quite probable that the public having never been taught to examine their feelings, will never discover that it is their right of self defense that is being attacked. How can a person have a right to life if he is not allowed to defend it? He can't and won't. And that is the ultimate goal.
*(Ayn Rand quote from The Fountainhead pg 636 paperback)