Anti-Gunners Whine, Bitch And Moan: Uh Oh, Here Comes A Flock Of Wah Wah’s

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

The Verge:

In the days after the Parkland shooting, users flocked to Wikipedia to learn about guns. When users searched for “AR-15” — the style of gun used during the shooting — they were directed to the page for the “Colt AR-15.” The page was viewed more than 200,000 times on the day after Parkland, a hundred times its usual traffic. But those users didn’t find much information about mass shootings or political efforts. In fact, the Colt AR-15 page made no mention of gun control at all, instead spending over a thousand words describing the technical details of the gun’s various parts.

That focus on hardware was by design. For months, the “Colt AR-15” page has been largely edited by a group of gun enthusiast editors. They joined together under the name “Wikipedia Project: Firearms,” or “WP:Firearms” for short. Expertise groups are common on Wikipedia, and in some ways, WP:Firearms fits the mold perfectly: a collection of users with detailed knowledge of a specific topic, keeping a close eye on all the pages where that knowledge might be relevant. But on Wikipedia, as in the real world, the users with the deepest technical knowledge of firearms are also the most fervent gun owners and the most hostile to gun control. For critics, that’s led to a persistent pro-gun bias on the web’s leading source of neutral information at a time when the gun control debate is more heated than ever.

Much of the alleged bias comes from how the articles are structured. For months before Parkland, information on generic AR-15 models was relegated to the Modern Sporting Rifles entry, which detailed various models and after-market additions, but made no mention of mass shootings or other gun control efforts. When some editors tried to include those topics, the backlash from WP:Firearms was immediate.

“Mass-shootings already have their own articles, all relevant info is, or should be, in that page and not needlessly duplicated on other articles,” one editor wrote. “If we start adding info about just one shooting incident to one tenuously-connected article, we’ll be opening a literal Pandora’s box (figuratively speaking).”

Fighting a similarly proposed edit on the Smith & Wesson page, user Trekphiler went further. “There are millions of weapons in civilian hands, including thousands of AR-15s,” he wrote, “and none of them have harmed anyone. This is the usual gun confiscator garbage.”

When users tried to detail the gun control concerns in the Colt AR-15 page, where most “AR-15” searches were still being directed, they ran into another technicality. “Sorry, this is an article about Colt’s AR-15 ™ rifle,” one WP:Firearms editor responded. “This is not the correct article for information that is about AR-15’s in general. That section of the article should be edited to remove the references to crimes that were not committed with Colt AR-15 rifles.”

The fight over gun nomenclature goes far beyond Wikipedia. Gun enthusiasts see terms like “assault weapon” as imprecise, while concrete terms like “semi-automatic” are overly broad. Even the term “AR-15” is difficult to pin down: what was a once-specific trademark has metastasized into a trans-corporate branding tool. “Modern sporting rifle,” the term preferred by WP:Firearms, is seen by many as a public relations gambit by the gun industry to downplay how deadly the weapons really are. There’s no perfect term, but as long as the two sides are fighting over nomenclature, any proposed measures will get lost in a maze of conflicting terms. And on crowdsourced and managed Wikipedia, that means heated, arcane, and tautological debates, often driven by political and cultural biases.

The title of The Verge article is “How gun buffs took over Wikipedia’s AR-15 page.”  Adam Weinstein also bitches about the throw-down he is witnessing over guns.

The phenomenon isn’t new, but in the weeks since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., a lot of gun-skeptical liberals are getting a taste of it for the first time: While debating the merits of various gun control proposals, Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology. Perhaps someone tweets about “assault-style” weapons, only to be told that there’s no such thing. Maybe they’re reprimanded that an AR-15 is neither an assault rifle nor “high-powered.” Or they say something about “machine guns” when they really mean semiautomatic rifles. Or they get sucked into an hours-long Facebook exchange over the difference between the terms clip and magazine.

Has this happened to you? If so, you’ve been gunsplained: harangued with the pedantry of the more-credible-than-thou firearms owner, admonished that your inferior knowledge of guns and their nomenclature puts an asterisk next to your opinion on gun control.

It can feel infuriating, being forced to sweat the finest taxonomic distinctions between our nation’s unlimited variety of lethal weapons. I know this feeling acutely, having covered gun violence critically for the better part of a decade and having just buried an old mentor, killed in the Parkland massacre.

“Gunsplained and harangued.”  Ooo … if you think this is tough, just wait until you try to take them from us.  That’ll really be the bitchin’ day!

Just go cry me a river boys.  Grow a set, and stop griping over the fight you asked for on guns.  Uh oh, here comes a flock of wah wah’s.


  1. On March 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm, Don said:

    They hate it when they can’t manipulate and control the language. A word is only supposed to mean what they want it to mean. Until tomorrow when they want it to mean something else.

  2. On March 7, 2018 at 7:12 am, Jayne Cobb, the Hero of Canton said:

    “it can feel infuriating, actually having to know the most basic facts about a subject. it can feel infuriating, being batted around by my opponents like a kitten with a ball of string”

  3. On March 7, 2018 at 7:19 am, ragman said:

    So Weinstein has been covering guns for ten years and doesn’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine or a machine gun and an auto loader? Sounds like he either has a comprehension problem or is just plain stupid. Insisting on accuracy in language and terminology is an excellent idea. In addition to “gunsplaining” they need to be schooled on exactly what “shall not be infringed “ means. Great post!

  4. On March 7, 2018 at 9:44 am, Ned said:

    In sum – facts don’t matter. Feelz matter. And there’s how the MSM operates in a nutshell.

  5. On March 7, 2018 at 10:26 am, Fred said:

    Shouldn’t the AR-15 page be about the gun? And the gun control page be about Hitlerians, Stalinists, and Maoists? And the mass shooting page be about all the times government, even the government of the US, has committed mass murder?

    So he’s whining because he can’t spread Hitlerian propaganda? And he’s a leftist?
    That’s just funny, plain old funny.

    I will say that I’m strongly against educating the left about firearm types, forms, and functions. If they figure this stuff out their going to screw up and ban the wrong (right) weapon(s) and start a war. It’s best, for their own safety, that they remain ignorant.

    On the other hand, telling them that a laser aiming device could put somebodies eye out is pretty fun, I must admit.

  6. On March 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm, Jim Wiseman said:

    Gun prohibitionists (and the left in general) don’t live in the real world. To them, they are reasonable; all other opionions are lumped together into, at best, a curious assortment of arcane and unacceptable thoughts, to be changed by elightened ones such as themselves. That’s why those not on the left are referred to as “conservative” or “controversial,” and those on the left are just referred to as a normal part of society

  7. On March 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm, moe mensale said:

    When you control the narrative and/or the terminology, you control the debate and its potential outcome. The progressives are very astute at this and that’s why they keep winning and we don’t. They control what the great mass of uninformed and low information people get to read. Of course they’ll bitch when they hit a roadblock.

  8. On March 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm, Jack Crabb said:

    Hmmm, imagine that, a leftist doesn’t realize that words actually mean things. These turds really have a difficult time in the real world what with logic and reason and everything they entail.

  9. On March 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm, scott s. said:

    So let me get this straight — it’s OK to be ignorant, as long as you are earnest in your ignorance?

  10. On March 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm, Jeffersonian said:

    The same people who can go for hours explaining the differences between a dozen “genders” and their idea of the proper use of pronouns?

  11. On March 9, 2018 at 6:47 am, Bad Big Dog said:

    “When you control the narrative and/or the terminology, you control the debate and its potential outcome. The progressives are very astute at this and that’s why they keep winning and we don’t.”

    So why do we let them get away with this? And worse — enable it? Why do so many of us use the term, “gun control” (without the quotes) as a euphemism for depriving individuals of their right to defend their lives? “Gun control” sounds so much nicer than abolishing your right to bear arms. The term gun control should be limited to grip, trigger pull, and the like.

  12. On March 9, 2018 at 4:52 pm, moe mensale said:

    “So why do we let them get away with this? And worse — enable it?”


    Basically because we are stupid. And we have very little of the media on our side.

  13. On March 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm, moe mensale said:

    Take “modern sporting rifle” for example. That’s one our side came up with, the NSSF I believe. All in an effort to make AR-15 pattern rifles sound less scary to the populace. Really? They’re damn semi-auto rifles just like every other damn semi-auto rifle. We attempt to appease and we still lose.

  14. On March 11, 2018 at 7:19 pm, Scott said:

    They can’t have it both ways. I have heard in the past in pro-life arguments “you don’t have a uterus, so you have no say in what a woman can do with her body”. Well then, by that mentality we are perfectly just in telling them to sit down and shut up; “you don’t own or know jack about firearms, so you have no say in these 2nd Amendment arguments”. Just venting here guys. They are very two-faced in the heads I win tails you lose department, and it needs to be called out (probably a little more tactfully among the “neutrals” in our lives).

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You are currently reading "Anti-Gunners Whine, Bitch And Moan: Uh Oh, Here Comes A Flock Of Wah Wah’s", entry #18777 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published March 6th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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