Letter to the editor | Don’t be fooled by changes in language

Language can be a powerful but cunning tool. Change words slightly and presto, the context changes beneath one’s feet.

For example, have you noticed how the language regarding guns has evolved recently? It’s no longer “gun control”; instead it’s “gun safety.” What a clever shift. No one can object to gun safety, right? It’s just plain reasonable. If you criticize it, you must be one of those crazy gun nuts.

The latest language shift is the characterization of “open carry” of firearms as a “loophole.” Obviously, if the Founding Fathers had any idea that citizens might run around carrying firearms openly, they would have forbidden it. It’s perfectly clear to “reasonable” people that “open carry” is a loophole they forgot to close. But never fear, we can make this minor fix to the Second Amendment for the “safety” of all.

Of course, the open carrying of firearms is not a loophole in the Constitution. At the time, virtually all firearms were carried openly. It wasn’t possible to carry them any other way. It wasn’t until firearms became compact enough to conceal that concealed carry became an issue. Consequently, laws were drafted to require permits to ensure that the scary person next to you couldn’t be carrying a hidden firearm unless properly screened and trained. (We can debate the constitutionality of such regulations another time.)

My point is, we need to read between the lines to avoid the snares set by clever shifts in language.

Mark Sherbine- Portage