Update: The AP Stylebook reported the following back to One Pulse for America: “We have received many, many requests about that gun violence language [“accidental shooting”] since [September 21]. Sending more doesn’t have any effect! We consider every request we receive, whether we get it once or hundreds of times … We have the proposal, many times over, and will consider it at length … The Stylebook team will consider it between now and late January along with many other proposals for our 2018 edition …The 2018 edition will be published in late May; some changes are announced before then and others are released at the time of publication.”
Thanks to One Pulser Gale Morrison for coming up with the idea for this campaign and communicating with AP Stylebook for updates (and to everyone who has taken this action!). We will check back in May 2017 to see if the AP Stylebook recommends new language.
For decades, journalists have used the term “accidental shooting” to describe tragedies that are the direct result of negligent behavior by gun owners. For example, shootings that occur when a gun owner leaves a loaded, unsecured firearm in reach of a child, or suicidal adult. Or cases where a gun owner is behaving in a cavalier and reckless fashion with his firearm and discharges it unintentionally.
By labeling such shootings “accidental,” the media implies they could not have been prevented—when nothing is further from the truth. The term also absolves gun owners of responsibility for the injuries and deaths caused by their negligence.
In the interest of changing this practice, please take the following two steps:
1) Click on the following link to access the Suggestions page for the Associated Press Stylebook. The Stylebook is a highly influential English grammar style and usage guide created by AP journalists to standardize mass communications:
2) Fill out the form at the link above and leave the following suggestion:
I would like to request that the Associated Press (and media in general) stop using the term “accidental” when referring to shootings that are directly caused by the negligence of a gun owner. For example, shootings that occur when a gun owner leaves a loaded , unsecured firearm in reach of a child, or suicidal adult. Or cases where a gun owner is behaving in a cavalier and reckless fashion with his firearm and discharges it unintentionally. “Accidental” implies that nothing can be done to prevent such shootings, when nothing is further from the truth. It also absolves gun owners of responsibility for negligent behaviors that are leading to injury and death in America on a daily basis. Thank you for your attention to this request.
Once you have submitted your suggestion to the Associated Press Stylebook, click the orange I TOOK ACTION TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE button below.
Target Goal: 75 Suggestions
Thank you for taking action to change America’s gun culture in a way that will encourage accountability and save lives!