(FiveNation.com)- In a brief flash of sanity, the Associated Press has updated its Stylebook to reflect reality when it comes to guns.
Recently, the AP Stylebook updated its guidelines on weapons, suggesting journalists drop the politically-charged language and focus instead on the function of the gun.
In addition to noting that using “Gun” is acceptable when writing about any firearm, the Stylebook delves into more specific language as well.
Journalists are encouraged to use the term “semi-automatic rifle” when describing a rifle that fires only one bullet with each trigger press, then automatically reloads the next bullet from the magazine for the next trigger pull.
In short, the Stylebook is encouraging journalists to be honest.
Journalists are encouraged to use the term “automatic rifle” only when writing about a weapon that fires bullets continuously so long as the trigger is depressed.
The terms the Stylebook encourages journalists to avoid are the non-specific, politically-charged terms “assault rifle” and “assault weapon.”
The Stylebook explains that both terms are “highly politicized” and “convey little meaning about the actual functions of the weapon.
The Associated Press also suggests journalists avoid terms like “military-style rifles” or “modern sporting rifles” as these are framing terms concocted by gun control advocates and pro-gun advocates.
The Stylebook suggests that journalists avoid automatically repeating whatever term is used by authorities, witnesses, or others. It suggests that, when possible, describe the “functionality of the gun rather than the politicization of the issue.”
These changes were welcome news to pro-Second Amendment advocates who have long criticized the media’s willingness to parrot the politically-charged language of the anti-gun activists.
And while the Associated Press Stylebook is considered the gold standard for journalists, it is not a requirement that reporters stick to the Stylebook.
Its guidance is just that, guidance.
So it is likely that pro-gun control reporters will continue using politicized terms like “assault weapon” or “military-style rifle” because it serves their interest.