Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, claim not to be “gun control” advocates, despite their aggressive lobbying for most of the gun control movement’s favorite infringements on that which shall not be infringed.

From banning 11-round and larger magazines, to outlawing gun commerce over the Internet, to outlawing private sales of firearms—none of those are “gun control,” they tell us. Instead, they say, they advocate “gun responsibility.”

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / larryhw

The Super PAC that Giffords and Kelly started, in fact, has neither the words “gun” nor “control” in its name, calling itself “Americans for Responsible Solutions.” When interviewed by the West Orange Chronicle last August, Kelly stated that, “Nobody likes to be controlled” (a perhaps dubious assertion, judging from the way many people vote), and that the many gun owners who are responsible do not need to be regulated by the government.

Well, great—but none of the legislation he and Giffords are pushing contains exemptions for the “responsible” gun owners. Kelly, in other words, has just admitted that he and his ideological allies are advocating the government regulation of people who need no such regulation.

Kelly and Giffords are, of course, far from the first to try to rebrand “gun control” as “responsibility.” Mike Beard, president of the very proudly rabid forcible citizen disarmament advocacy group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), once wrote a piece titled “Freedom vs. Responsibility,” in which he equated “responsibility” with restrictions on gun ownership and use.

He also characterized freedom and responsibility as opposites, saying that we as a nation “must maintain a very delicate balance between these two poles.” This is without even getting into how overwhelmingly his idea of a “very delicate balance” is weighted toward his definition of “responsibility.”

And there lies the heart of the fiction these people are hoping to pass as reality. Beard—and apparently Giffords and Kelly—would have us believe that freedom and responsibility are competing interests, and that the strengthening of one must come at the cost of the weakening of the other.

This, of course, is utterly false.

Responsibility cannot exist without freedom. One cannot be responsible for one’s actions if those actions are dictated from above. Without the freedom to make choices, and to reap the rewards of those choices that are good (responsible), and to suffer the consequences of those that are bad (irresponsible), people are robbed of both freedom and responsibility.

And this is exactly how those who favor governments over people like it. They refuse to trust their fellow man with either freedom or responsibility, and would instead harness the power of an unchecked government as a substitute for personal responsibility. New restrictions on gun ownership would do nothing to increase anyone’s responsibility. In fact, they would do exactly the opposite, as people are forced to surrender the most effective means of meeting their responsibility to defend their lives, families, and liberty.

Americans are now to abdicate that responsibility and leave it in the hands of the government—except that as the courts have ruled over and over again, the police cannot be held responsible for failing to protect anyone’s life.

The gun-ban zealots have long known the value of changing their terminology to better fall in line with changing public attitudes and perceptions. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence once called itself Handgun Control, Inc. (and at the time made no secret of their eventual agenda of an outright ban of private ownership of handguns).

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence at one time proudly bore the name National Coalition to Ban Handguns. Mike Beard, by the way, was the group’s president then as well. Are we to believe that banning handguns is not still at the top of the group’s most sacred wish list?

But as their perversion of the word “responsibility” shows, changing the terminology is no longer enough for them. Now they insist on changing the very meaning of words as it suits their agenda. This is because their problem is not one of “messaging.”

Gun rights advocates don’t resist their efforts because of the wording used by the gun-ban groups, but because what they are trying to do, no matter what they call it, is a threat to Americans’ ability to fulfill their responsibility as that which is necessary to the security of a free state.

Ironically, even the now falling-outof- favor term “gun control” has always been a less-than-honest sugarcoating of the reality of what these groups want. Their goal is, and always has been, forcible citizen disarmament. If “gun control” is no longer an easy sell, though, the more honest version has never been tolerable except to those who desire, like CSGV, a government monopoly on force.

They can refer to forcible citizen disarmament as “gun control,” despite the fact that what they are really demanding is for American citizens to surrender the control over one’s own life that comes with being armed against assailants.

When that term falls out of favor, they can switch to “gun safety,” despite the fact that defenselessness is anything but safe. They can call it “gun responsibility,” despite the fact that responsibility is exactly what they are taking away from the people. But they can do nothing to change the fact that to give in to their demands would be neither safe nor responsible.

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