Monday, August 24, 2009

Words Have Meanings

I've become increasingly annoyed at the constant, erroneous use of the term "brandishing" with regards to open carry at political events. I know that we can't expect the media to have any objectivity when "reporting" on firearms-related stories, but I'm seeing that word thrown about wantonly and generally being grossly misused.

I'm not going to quote the dictionary definition of "Brandish," because I see that Breda beat me to it. Even assuming you were ignorant of the definition, common-sense should tell you that Open Carry is not brandishing. Let me clear things up for the "journalists" and folks I've seen using the "brandish" term on liberal sites, since they seem to be having trouble.

I know it's been reported by a myriad of news agencies that those who are open carrying are doing so legally. That much is obvious. It should also be obvious that "brandishing" is a criminal offense in many states. In Delaware for example, there is no specific brandishing law, however we have both menacing and terroristic threatening statutes under which you could be convicted if you flashed your gun or otherwise indicated you were carrying for the purpose of threatening or intimidating another person.

My simple question for those throwing the term "brandishing" around is this. How can an activity be both lawful and Constitutionally protected yet simultaneously a criminal offense? It defies all logic. If open carry is a lawful activity, then absent some further aggravating behavior on the part of the carrier the offense of "brandishing" (or its equivalent) cannot occur. Whether or not some hoplophobe feels threatened or intimidated by a lawful act is irrelevant.

I suppose expecting the media and anti-gun bloggers to employ logic is asking a bit too much. We certainly shouldn't expect either to look up a word in the dictionary. That might require a minute or two of research, which would take away precious time for writing / broadcasting propaganda pieces.

It's things like this that make me so glad we have the internet to counteract the message pushed by traditional media.


NotClauswitz said...

It's a Media World, with PSH all the time on every channel.

Glenn B said...

Well said.

Unknown said...

You're absolutely right. The use of "brandishing" in this context is probably purposeful exaggerating. I don't like it.

Anonymous said...

There is no "probably" about it. It is intentionally, blatantly, and malciously misusing a word in order to emotionally frame the argument in the reader's head according to the writer's particular discriminatory bias.

Honestly, I am somewhat surprised you are not 100% in favor of that kind of thing, MikeB, considering how often you do it yourself...