The Corner

Law & the Courts

‘Mandatory Buy-Back’ Means ‘Confiscation’

MSNBC’s Garrett Haake tweets:

One more time, with feeling: “Mandatory buy-back” is a cowardly and cynical euphemism, and members of the press should not be using it outside of quotation marks. What O’Rourke is proposing here is gun confiscation, coupled with limited compensation. Every time somebody in the media uses the term “buy-back,” they are laundering O’Rourke’s extremism.

Even on its own, “buy-back” makes no sense as a term: Were O’Rourke to get his way, the government would not be “buying back” the guns on his list because the government did not own, or sell, any of the guns on his list in the first instance. When coupled with the word “mandatory,” the pretense becomes farcical.

I do not expect Beto O’Rourke to respect the integrity of the English language, especially when that integrity makes his life difficult. But MSNBC is supposed to be a news organization. Would that it acted like one.


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