Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gun Violence Is In Our Everyday Language

No one seemed to notice the irony in the news headline: "Donald Trump Under Fire for suggesting Second Amendment people could stop Hillary Clinton." That was the headline in the Washington Times. I saw a similar tag on MSNBC cable news programming. The outrage, of course was that Trump's language was hinting at gun violence toward his political opponent. The further tragedy is that the very phrase "under fire" itself calls forth an image of gun violence, yet it is so commonplace that we do not even notice its use.

We see it in our every day language: we've got someone "in our crosshairs," somebody is on someone's "hit list," "I presented my plan to the committee and they shot it down," or "I could just shoot him!" Our ordinary verbiage belies an underlying acceptance of gun violence metaphors. It is no wonder we as a nation and as a people see far too much gun violence on a daily basis.

This is a theme I may develop more at a later date, but for now, just let that everyday language thing sink in. Why was no one taken aback by the "Trump Under Fire" headline? Why is "gun violent language" second nature to us? You could probably finish writing this essay yourself drawing from your own experiences.


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