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On media coverage

Ramesh Ponnuru:

The press has not shown any general reluctance to adopt politically contested phrases. When Congress banned “assault weapons,” the NRA bitterly protested that the phrase had been made up and referred to no distinct class of firearms. Yet the press adopted it without resorting to locutions such as “a class of guns called ‘assault weapons’ by advocates of gun control” or “Congress Bans Type of Gun.”

9 Responses to “On media coverage”

  1. Manish Says:

    ha ha ha. Ponnuru complains about how the press frames “partial-birth” abortion without acknowledging that the term “partial birth” is not a medical term but something that pro-lifers came up with.

  2. Xrlq Says:

    Manish: laugh all you want, but it’s one thing to call a non-assault rifle an “assault weapons” soley because it looks mean and nasty, and quite another to call an abortion procedure “partial birth abortion” because the procedure involves partial birth. It’s the difference between lying and not-lying.

  3. Manish Says:

    X..if you read the article, its entirely about PBA with AWB thrown in as an example. And again “partial-birth” isn’t a medical term, its a pro-life term. There is no difference between “partial birth” and “assault weapon”. They are both terms created to deceive people, period.

  4. Addison Says:


    You missed the point. The point of Ponnuru’s comparison was that the press took GREAT efforts to make SURE you knew the “pro-lifers” came up with that term.

    But they didn’t have any concerns when the Brady/Joyce controllers decided that “assault weapon” (which is a completely made up term) were distasteful enough, and capable of splitting and dividing and “common sensical” gun outlawry.

    (For anybody not keeping score “assault rifle” is a term in use, coined by the Germans in WWII, to denote a “medium” rifle, designed to be deadly to ~300-400 meters, capable of firing full-automatic in close-range battles, and with a large magazine. A M1 Garand isn’t an “assault rifle”, it’s firing a full-power rifle cartridge deadly to past 1000 meters. Same for the German semiauto rifle firing the 8mm Mauser round, the GEW 43, if memory serves. The MP-44, firing the 8mm Kurtz (Short), is. Arguably, the M2 and M3 Carbines are. Also arguably, the M-16s. (all three “arguably” because of the lack of power of the round, but in general practice, there’s no argument about the M-16 family).

    However, “assault weapon” is undefined (on purpose), to mean whatever Brady/Joyce point to at this moment.)

  5. AughtSix Says:

    I’d say the M2/3 carbines are not assault rifles. They shoot what is basically a pistol cartridge. But they’re close. And the 5.56 round is definitely an “intermediate” cartridge. It’s definitely a rifle cartridge, and it’s not a full-power cartridge. That means intermediate cartridge (between pistol and full rifle). So, I’m not so sure about the “arguably” part of the M16. But, if you consider the .30 carbine to be intermediate (which is a bit of a stretch, says I.), then, okay, the M2/3 is. So, I guess that one’s arguable. Sort of.

    Otherwise, good point. Mea culpa on the off-topic comment. Agree with X on the description partial birth abortion… baby/fetus is partially born then aborted whereas any weapon (and many not-normally-a-weapon common objects) can be used for “assault.”

    Heck, in California, a single shot rifle becomes an “assault weapon” if it happens to be chambered in .50BMG. Something’s screwy when a single shot rifle is an “assault weapon.”


  6. Xrlq Says:

    There is no difference between “partial birth” and “assault weapon”. They are both terms created to deceive people, period.

    Nonsense. Both phrases are created to piss people off, sure, but only one accomplishes this by means of deception. The other does so in the opposite manner, by being brutally frank.

  7. Xrlq Says:

    And BTW, get over yourself with this “it’s not a medical term” nonsense. Last time I checked, “choice” wasn’t a medical term, either, nor are more than a handful of the labels the MSM uses to describe anything else. We’re talking about newspapers, not medical journals.

  8. Manish Says:

    X…..ha ha ha..only the other side deceives, my side is completely honest.

    Last time I checked, “choice” wasn’t a medical term,

    huh? whenever I go to the doctor, I seem to have lots of choice on how to address any given issue. “partial birth” is a creation of the pro-life crowd, yet it seems to be how that particular procedure is referred to. Why not be honest and call is D and X?

    Addison..Ponnuru spends most of the article talking about deception about this fact and that fact about PBA that comes from the choice side. He may have mentioned that “partial birth” is a pro-life term, but I didn’t see it (which is not to say it isn’t there, but that in my quick read I didn’t notice it).

  9. Xrlq Says:

    Ha ha ha yourself. Despite all your hand-waving you have yet to offer a shred of evidence that partial birth abortion (1) isn’t really an abortion or (2) doesn’t really involve partial birth. Until and unless you can do that, all your crap about the term being deceptive is just that, crap.