In the wake of the alarming frequency of mass shootings plaguing the United States, attorney and writer Michael Coblenz has put forward an unconventional proposal to tackle the issue: rebranding.
Coblenz suggests renaming “mass shootings” as “Second Amendment Celebrations,” arguing that this shift in terminology would emphasize the exercise of the constitutional right to bear arms and foster a more positive perception of these tragic events.
Coblenz draws attention to America’s historical tendency to rebrand and change the language surrounding contentious issues.
He cites examples such as the euphemistic term “Manifest Destiny,” which was used to justify the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous peoples, and the rebranding of slavery as “The Peculiar Institution” by slave owners seeking to downplay its horrific nature.
Similarly, Coblenz highlights how the term “The Lost Cause” was employed by Southerners after the Civil War to recast their fight to preserve slavery as a more innocuous enterprise.
He also references the rebranding of systemic racism as “States’ Rights” during the 1950s and the recent use of “Parental Rights” to frame discriminatory policies aimed at transgender youth as a safeguarding measure.
Under Coblenz’s proposed rebranding, the term “mass shooting” would be replaced with “Second Amendment Celebration,” a phrase intended to shift the tone from fear and tragedy to one of pride and constitutional reverence.
Coblenz believes that associating these events with the Second Amendment would make people view them as expressions of cherished liberty rather than as heinous acts.
The author suggests that this rebranding would transform victims into patriotic figures, highlighting their sacrifice in defense of a fundamental right enshrined in the revered Constitution.
By reframing the narrative, Coblenz contends that the term “Second Amendment Celebration” would generate positive sentiments among the public, invoking a sense of nationalistic pride rather than fear or sadness.
While Coblenz’s proposal is certainly thought-provoking, it has sparked a considerable amount of debate. Critics argue that such a rebranding effort could trivialize the severity of mass shootings and undermine efforts to address the root causes of gun violence. They maintain that a focus on gun control measures and preventive strategies, rather than euphemisms, is necessary to address the alarming increase in mass shootings.
As discussions surrounding gun violence continue, it remains to be seen whether Coblenz’s proposal will gain traction or fade away as an unconventional suggestion. In any case, it underscores the power of language in shaping public perception and the ongoing search for effective strategies to address the pressing issue of mass shootings in the United States.
Michael Coblenz is an attorney and writer based in Lexington, Kentucky, with a focus on American politics and the impact of culture wars, who has recently completed a book exploring the detrimental consequences of these conflicts.