Does it bother anyone else when the government talks about “recovering” guns from citizens? An example:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ New York Division traced 9,673 guns in 2009, more than half were recovered in New York City. Handguns outnumbered long guns in New York by two and a half percent, and in New York City that number increased to four to one.

Or, more directly, on page three here:

The Statistics used in this report were gathered and prepared in February of 2010 from a data set that was created as of February 15, 2010 and includes crime gun recovery information with a recovery date between January 1, 2009 to December 31st, 2009. The statistics from this report are taken from data submitted to be traced by all law enforcement within the jurisdiction of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New York Field Division and ATF National Tracing Center (NTC). If the recovery date is blank then the date that the trace was entered into the Firearms Tracing System was used. This yearly report was created to show firearm patterns and trends for certain geographic areas within New York State. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy and completeness of the statistics. The statistics may change due to the finalization of traces and/or recovery information. All data excludes traces with a completion code of XX or DT which correspond to Duplicate Traces. Additionally Gun Buy Backs and Firearms Not Recovered are excluded. The data was gathered by the following criteria: Recovery State = NY, if the Recovery State is blank, then Requestor OA_State= NY, if blank, then SA_State= NY Recovery County = ______________, based upon the counties for each geographic. Successful traces are those traces where a final purchaser was found as deemed by the NTC, Martinsburg West Virginia. “In Progress” traces are those that are still being researched by the NTC For traces involving New York State Police with more than one Originating Number (ORI #), all of these traces were grouped as one ORI number even though they have separate ORI numbers.

What they really mean is “confiscated“. “Recovered” has an entirely different meaning which is totally inappropriate for what is going on.

I don’t have a problem with the government confiscating things, even guns, under certain situations. And sometimes “recovered” is in fact what is going on. If some criminal stole my guns I would be pleased if the police confiscated them from the bad guy and recovered them for me. But to talk about all confiscated guns as “recovered” is Orwellian and I don’t like it.