Tyranny, that’s what.
Joe has done a yeoman’s job in alerting our readers to the dangers of the corruption of our language, something that is pervasive on the left as they attempt through the misuse of terms to make the unpalatable palatable and to redefine actions to fit their agenda.
We’ve seen this with the term “racist”, a word that is applied to anything that is counter to any leftist/collectivist program or policy.
Stacy McCain notes another example, this time it is the word “rape” being used by potential Kentucky Senate candidate, the airhead hypocritical “star”, Ashley Judd:
Using graphic language in an opinion piece about “conflict minerals,” potential U.S. Senate candidate Ashley Judd in 2010 accused those who buy Apple products of “financing mass rape.”
“Apple is known for the clean lines of their products, the alluring simplicity of their designs,” Judd wrote in the article. “Dare I . . . go so far . . . as to suggest…this signature cleanness is stained by the shit and urine of raped women’s leaking fistulas?”
Again, as with racism, while the intent is to equate coal mining, iPhones or Nike shoes with “rape” in an attempt to lower legitimate activities to the level of a crime, the end effect of this practice is just the opposite – it devalues the use of the term to describe illegitimate conduct as people understand that the one thing is not like the other. It’s the “Cry Wolf” syndrome. People get so conditioned to hearing it that they can’t recognize the real named threat.
One thing that makes this process particularly dangerous is that when malleable terms are applied to legislation, populations are at a very high risk of tyranny and are vulnerable to the whims of politicans.
In California, some shortcuts are already meaning weapons are being removed from lawful owners. Bloomberg reports cite the example of 48-year-old Lynette Phillips, a California woman who was recently hospitalized for mental illness. When a team of agents went to collect her two registered firearms, they also walked out with one registered to her husband.
“The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.
Notice the use of the term “prohibited person” and the fact that the legally registered weapon of her husband was also confiscated.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon that controversial or egregious laws can be passed when seemingly harsh or unacceptable terms are softened to gain public acceptance. The danger is this: legislation requires majority support to be passed but definitions are almost always established or interpreted by two distinctly non-public entities, either through a judge or via regulations – i.e. administrative law. In the case above, the term “prohibited person” is subject to changes in definition and the gun-grabbing left will not hesitate to expand that definition as time goes by. We are already seeing this process at work when people are potentially excluded from ownership for being a veteran, for having ever participated in marriage counseling or even undergoing treatment for alcoholism…and not only is the effected individual is considered a “prohibited person” as demonstrated by the California case, anyone in the home is also subject to this litmus test.
You would be wrong if you thought that I am making any argument for mentally ill people to have access to a gun, I’m not. The key to my concern is found in this snippet from the Bloomberg News article referenced by the prior referenced RT.com piece (yeah, it is the Russia Times reporting on gun confiscation):
In an interview as agents inventoried the guns, Lynette Phillips said that while she’d been held involuntarily in a mental hospital in December, the nurse who admitted her had exaggerated the magnitude of her condition.
Todd Smith, chief executive officer of Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in Covina, where documents provided by Phillips show she was treated, didn’t respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment on the circumstances of the treatment.
So here you have the state acting on medical records that are supposed to be confidential, apparently only supported by the opinion of a nurse, to confiscate not only the weapons of the individual but also any that she “has access to” even if those are legally owned. This, in a society where there is new mental illness defined daily and where people are encouraged to seek psychiatric help for the debilitating trauma of a hangnail – and where anti-depressant pharmaceuticals are the most widely prescribed drugs.
They want us all to be beggars because beggars are easier to please and they want us all to be criminals because they are easier to control – and it is all going to be done, not with gunfire and violence – but with the soft turn of a phrase.