Opinion | A Better Term Than ‘Gun Control’?

To the Editor:

Re “Stop It With ‘Gun Control.’ Enough Already” (column, March 28):

Frank Bruni is right that the phrase “gun control” is incendiary, unnecessarily getting in the way of the kind of common-sense gun policies that could attract broad bipartisan support. The phrase he is searching for is “responsible gun ownership.” This phrase recognizes that gun ownership will remain a feature of American life for the foreseeable future and emphasizes the necessity of responsibility, a key virtue in a republic.

Living in Vermont, a state where many people own guns and use them safely, I often say that we need gun regulations designed by Vermont hunters and sportsmen. With its positive assertion of the right to own guns, I am sure you could get a majority of them behind the phrase “responsible gun ownership.”

Al Zaccor
Bridport, Vt.

To the Editor:

The expression Frank Bruni is searching for is “weapon management.”

As a United Nations disarmament expert in Afghanistan, I learned that “gun control” proved unrealistic in that country, where, as the Afghans like to say, “Women wear jewelry, men wear guns.”

We moved from “disarmament” into “management,” which meant registration of legal firearms, verification of an owner’s good reputation, checks on safe ammunition storage, etc. “Weapon management” is something every American should be able to understand and approve.

Robin Edward Poulton
Pordic, France

To the Editor:

The anti-gun movement has tried to steer away from using the words “gun control” to saying “gun safety” for a while now. Oh, how I wish that would make a difference. But it’s naïve to believe that words in this case matter. They don’t.

How I wish that gun owners truly cared about public safety, rather than their determination to own these weapons. That gun manufacturers looked at the grieving faces of family members of those lost to gun violence and rethought their profit motive. That politicians heard the pleas, the cries, the panicked voices of Americans who have “had enough” and voted to stop the bloodshed.

Oh, how I wish that it were just a matter of semantics.

Doris Fenig
Boca Raton, Fla.

To the Editor:

“Gun safety.” I agree completely. Words matter, language matters. I’ve been saying “gun safety” for years. Responsible gun use certainly speaks to the hearts and minds of those citizens who use guns responsibly. “Gun control” is insulting to the vast majority of responsible gun owners.

I am not a gun owner and would like more safeguards over to whom guns are made available. The mass killings are horrible tragedies, yet the high number of suicides must also be spoken of, loud and clear.

Frank Bruni, thank you. Now let’s spread the word!

Ramsey Rose

To the Editor:

Frank Bruni is dead right. Those of us who want sane gun laws made the same mistake with “defund the police,” a phrase that handed opponents all the ammunition they needed to scare people into thinking the movement wanted to abolish the police altogether.

Personally, I prefer the idea of “gun sanity” over “gun safety” as the replacement for “gun control,” but I’d settle for either. We just can’t afford to let the country remain “gun crazy.”

Lee Russ
Bennington, Vt.

To the Editor:

If the ever-mounting body count of innocent Americans slaughtered for simply going about their everyday lives hasn’t had an impact on gun regulation, wording won’t do it. If the imploded reputation of the N.R.A., now facing fraud charges as well as bankruptcy, hasn’t altered the landscape, gentler terminology doesn’t stand a chance.

We need to go for the jugular: regulating the manufacturing and flow of ammunition. Ammunition factories could have a second life as engines for other industries, perhaps supporting the country’s much-needed infrastructure projects. As for the firearm fans, they get to keep their precious guns as collectors’ items and relics of a more dangerous era.

Barbara Holzer

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