Gun control vs gun violence: Which words might have saved them?

Gun control vs gun violence: Which words might have saved them?

Commenting on America’s recent deadly mass shootings, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., warned we are under siege by two deadly viruses. One is COVID-19, for which, fortunately, several vaccines were swiftly developed and administered to millions. The other plague he said is destroying our nation is the indelible stain of gun violence, which he labeled a public health crisis of such duration that it cannot be solved by prosecutions after funerals, but rather by prevention before such shootings occur. We all know we need to come together as a nation and heal that scourge. But how? Maybe it is not so much a lack of will as it is a misinterpretation of how we assign meaning to the words we speak and how others hear them. Take the words "gun control legislation." In a recent column, New York Times writer Frank Bruni wrote that the phrase is still used by newspapers, both online and in other media, and called it an example of loaded language that plays a role in opinion-making — adding that gun control legislation is really not about control but about violence prevention. Regardless of personal perspectives or affiliations, we share some viewpoints more than we may think. Even as our beloved country feels so pulled apart and alienated, when a recent PBS News Hour poll asked, “How should the U.S. respond to gun violence?” results showed 89% of Americans are in favor of increased mental health funding; 83% support background checks for weapons purchased at gun […]

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