Like most articles, this one will just be a flash in the pan, however that is not to mean that it is going to be a squib. Language matters. Words matter. Rhetoric matters. What also matters is the continual assault on anything “gun” related. This may seem as if it’s going off half-cocked, but take for example a recent low caliber letter sent to The Los Angeles Times (English is ‘riddled’ with gun metaphors. Let’s stop using them). In the letter, the author goes on a rant about the very thing being discussed here, language. The quite-triggered hoplophobic writer chastises people for using gun related “metaphors” (idioms, specifically) when trying to get on target with our communications.
Our culture fetishizes guns. Our very use of the English language is “riddled” with gun-related phrases that are so ubiquitous we hardly notice anymore. Columnist Harry Litman even wrote that better background checks and smart guns “are our best shot for a substantial reduction in America’s scandalous rate of gun violence” (the italics are mine).
That’s very interesting. “Fetishizes” over guns? The English language is a rich language with about 170,000 words in common use. With these words we are able to describe a situation in many different ways. Not to trip this individual’s trigger, but essentially they are anti-literature/anti-literacy. The use of idioms, metaphors, or any other figure of speech adds to both our American culture and is arguably the foundation of great literature. Besides being wordist, the writer is quixotically anti-civil rights, being a self proclaimed anti-gunner since the 60’s.
The writer does note something else that might be a bit of a non-sequitur in this piece, but it’s important, perhaps a smoking gun:
Litman is correct that we must start with small, incremental gun-control measures and keep going. Perhaps we could also become more aware of our own unconscious acceptance of gun-related expressions that have numbed our thinking and attitudes.
Thank you for pointing out that the anti-gun/anti-civil rights crowd is playing the long game. This is not shocking or surprising. They are keeping their powder dry. Yes, the author and their ilk are taking our rights the way one would boil a frog in a pot. If you slowly turn up the heat, the frog will not know it’s being boiled… though in light of tweets earlier this year from PETA, maybe we should not use the frog boiling analogy here because it may be promoting “speciesism”.
It’s hard to get a bead on the situation given the obstructions that are being placed in front of us (society). Perhaps the salami analogy is better? No offense to the delicatessen community intended, of course, but the anti-freedom crowd aims to strip us of our rights as if the rights are a salami, one small slice at a time, until it’s all gone. If you tell someone “Hey! Gimmie your salami!” they may tell you to go pound sand. But if you ask nicely and say “C’mon man, just a few slices. You have plenty.” That is how “they” take our rights.
Short-fused attitudes like the one presented are exactly what feeds the cancel culture. To be frank, we do have a language issue. Why don’t we conjure up our own “to the editor letter” taking a crack at what words “matter”.
I’m writing this in recent light of cancel culture. One of the biggest things that we have to deal with today in the firearm community is that those that want to remove the Second Amendment do so by making up their own words. Most of the words are fanciful made up words or phrases to incite an emotional response in those that simply are unaware of the facts. Here is a list of made up terms and words that have no statutory meaning or real relevance that the gun-grabbers use and make laws with:
Assault Rifle/Weapon – Scary black gun.
High Capacity Magazine – A magazine that can hold any number of rounds of ammunition. Generally attached to a full-semi-automatic firearm. If the magazine holds one or more rounds, it would be “high capacity”.
Ghost Gun – A mythical firearm that haunts anti-gunners in the night.
Magazine-Clip – You know man, the thing. The thing that holds the bullets.
Full-Semi-Automatic Firearm – A stand in to use instead of “assault weapon” when “assault weapon” has been used too many times.
Cop Killer Bullets – Bullets that only will kill cops.
Saturday Night Special – Gun that “those people” would use back in the 60’s.
Incendiary Rounds – Used to cook a deer while shooting it.
Gun Control – A law to control people, not guns. Will limit civil rights, ignoring underlying issues and real root causes. Read “people control”.
Gun Safety – A measure that teaches nothing about guns or safety. A complete abstinence only approach to firearms.
Common Sense Gun Legislation – A law to erode the 2nd Amendment. Generally is nonsensical.
Gun Show Loophole – Provisions in the law that practically has gun dealers just giving away firearms to everyone without a background check, in particular to felons.
Smart Gun – A firearm that will be as or less trustworthy than the security features on your cellphone. Most likely will be able to be controlled and tracked by the government. Prone to failure when needed and will not be adopted by the police and military.
Gun Violence – A violent act that occurs when a gun leaps off a table and hurts/kills someone via its own volition/locomotion.
I thank you for your time. I know that you are well aware of these terms, I just HAD to get this off my chest. It hurts my feelings when I hear these terms.
Your Biggest Fan
P.S. – If you need to reach me, I will be in my safe space with my binky and stuffies.
That might be an exaggeration, but not really. No, this is what we are dealing with. Legislators and anti-gun zealots that are playing the long game and appealing to just the sensibilities of people. The congresscritters and talking heads throw around their own made up terms, trying to get zanier and zanier with the introduction of each one. A literal jumping of the shark, like when “ghost gun” first hit the streets.
We too can play the long game and fight fire with fire. Bite the bullet and keep yourself fully loaded. Keep it in the cross hairs; we are dealing with a real powder keg out there with people bringing a knife to a gun fight. Just be careful to not shoot yourself in the foot. This may seem like a long shot, but we can win. Certainly it won’t be like shooting fish in a barrel.