Yahia El-Shalll & the importance of words

Words are important. Choosing the right words to express a message on consequential subject matter is even more important, where any one word or phrase, if not chosen wisely, can unintentionally change the message of the sender.

This preface leads into the main subject of the post.

The choice words today are: shot and killed. The word shot is the emphasis of the sentence.

A person can be killed in different ways. However, in the United States,  the words “shot and killed” are particularly loaded (no pun intended).  When a tragedy occurs in the U.S. involving firearms, a great polarization occurs around the second amendment. Pro-gun and Pro-gun restriction legislation camps trot out their arguments for their respective positions. The pro-gun camp focuses on the word “kill” by endorsing their famous claim: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

I’ll come back to this assertion in a moment.  A gun is a powerful killing machine. When you fire a gun (its intended purpose), a bullet speeds out at 1400 feet per second. A gun can be fired many times in the span of seconds. A bullet wound can be fatal anywhere on the body. It is  beyond obvious to say that a gun is the most powerful killing tool on the market.

The pro-gun camp is right: people do kill people. They always will. They will do it with knives, cars, baseball bats, poison, bare hands, pillows, you name it. But the addition of guns into the equation has lowered the degree of difficulty of killing by magnitudes of order. Multiply that by the ease of access to EVERYONE to obtain a gun and you have a formula for disaster that is televised almost daily.

I don’t have one answer to solve the problem of gun violence. But putting more guns in more hands isn’t it.



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