Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Suddenly, the NRA goes all politically correct on us. And don’t you ever – ever! – dare call a mass murderer who kills people with a firearm a “shooter.”

If an  NRA spokesman has his way,  
there will be a press gag on calling a 
shooter a shooter
The NRA can’t control the fact that, with unrelenting regularity in this country, somebody who thinks he has a grievance picks up a gun and blows away innocent women, men and children. So the NRA is trying to do the next best thing.
They want to make sure you don’t know that the shooter was a shooter. Maybe he slaughtered all those elementary school children…or wiped out a bunch of kids on or near a college campus…or offed a guy in a neighboring movie seat and put a bullet hole through the man’s wife’s hand…with a series of deft karate chops.
In a video on an NRA website, the, uh, commentator Dom Raso complains that those ‘biased” news media keep referring to people who shoot other people with firearms as “shooters.” Think how outrageous that is! Imagine calling a spade a spade! That, he says, is propaganda.
You don’t believe me? Go watch this person yourself.
He claims that calling a shooter a shooter exposes the “inaccuracy” of the media. Innacurate? How? Well, he says, calling them “shooters” makes us think of the “tool” they used rather than the nature of their crime, which was murder. “Evil is the problem. The tool is irrelevant,” he declares
Y’see, shooting somebody dead is just incidental. The “inaccurate” press ought to call those tool-wielding folks “murders,” he insists.
Well, then, if we can’t refer to the murderers’ tools, we’ll have to start rewriting history. Because, really, if a gun-wielding thug’s weaponry is subject to a cloak of anonymity, the same should apply to any murderer’s methods.
So the Boston Strangler? Sorry folks. He’s now “The Boston Murderer.” 
“Jack the Ripper?” I’m afraid that gets a bit to graphic about what he did to women’s bodies with his knife, taking our minds away from the crime. So he’s “Jack the Murderer,” from now on, too. 
Lizzie Borden, who took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks? Sorry, she’s no longer the “Axe murderer, Lizzie Borden.” She’s now merely the garden-variety “Lizzie the Murderer.”
The accused marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? He's now demoted to an accused marathon murderer.

What’s really getting murdered in Raso’s commentary is common sense.


Buce said...

Brings to mind an arbitration I was involved in that turned on a death, perhaps a murder, at a party. A lawyer asked the witness to describe what he knew about the particulars of the death. "I dunno," the witness said, "the dude come up dead, that's all."

As it must to all men...

Anonymous said...

The driver who hit and killed a pedestrian on 4th and Main, shall now be called a a Forder, or Forder Trucker because that's what he was driving.

The New York Crank said...

No you anonymous nincompoop. The driver is called a driver, just the way a shooter is called a shooter, not a Colt 45-er.

Stop taking those stupid pills. They're rotting whatever your excuse for a brain is.

Yours with extreme crankiness,
The New York Crank

Bryan said...

I happen to agree with them. In an incident where equal amounts of people were killed using a knife as using a gun it shows a purposeful slant to label the killer a "shooter" alone. If it was a shooting alone, then I'd say using "shooter" is completely justified...but this last one (the one being referred to) wasn't.

This is not an unprecedented concept. A murder/suicide is seldom simply referred to as simply "a suicide" when referring to the overall event. To call it such would be inaccurate via omission. And even if one did call the event solely a suicide, when someone said "excuse me, it actually was a murder/suicide" the proper reaction would be "oh yes, excuse me: the murder/suicide...blah blah etc". If your response was to start insisting "I can call it just a suicide if I want...a suicide did happen!" ... well ... people might think you had some sort of slant or agenda for leaving out the "murder" in your usage of the term. Same here. When someone kills equal amounts of people with knife and gun, and the event is then referred to as a "shooting" instead of the more accurate dual term "shooting/stabbing" or the equally accurate supersets of "killing" or "murder" then it implies you're purposefully leaving out the other parts for some agenda. When corrected and you still insist that you desire to use the less-accurate-via-omission term...then that kinda confirms it.

Call a spade a spade. And likewise...call a pile of 3 clubs and 3 spades a pile of "cards" or a pile of "clubs/spades" rather than just "a pile of spades".

Jus' sayin'...

The New York Crank said...

Brian, Brian, my eyes glaze over. At any rate, as I write this, CNN is reporting on yet another incident of gun violence, this time at a University in Seattle.

At any rate, this post was in reaction to an NRA stooge saying that no mass murder, even when committed solely with a gun, should be referred to as a shooting, nor the person who kills the people a shooter,

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

The New York Crank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

And that's why I mention that when it is accurate, and it was just a shooting, calling it just a shooting is justified. I think you're right on that.

However, I don't think the timing of that video was coincidence. As that video was being released, we had fresh in our minds a killing of 3 people with a knife and 3 with a gun being almost universally referred to as "6 dead in shooting" in the news. Even if the NRA was incorrectly trying to apply the concept too broadly, the idea that that mass killings that aren't just a shooting should be referred to accurately, instead of as a mass shooting, is very much a correct one. Calling it a mass shooting alone simply makes inaccurate implications. I think we should hold our media to that standard.

The NRA, like usual, tried to take a correct concept but apply it so broadly that it becomes incorrect. But that does not mean that the concept should be thrown out even where it does correctly apply.

Similar happened with the idea of officers in schools. The NRA hit the "good guy with a gun" ticket so many times and applied it to so many things that even some the most ardent gun rights supporters were starting to roll their eyes a bit. But that doesn't mean that the concept applies nowhere at all. Many schools now have liaison officers and are better off for it. They were right on that one point...we do use men with guns for protection. We do call them to come running when these things happen. So why wouldn't it be prudent to have one of the very same guys at the school already? Well...it is! Simply because it was: (a) the NRA that said it, and (b) a concept the NRA later applied way too much to way to many situations...does not mean the lesser scale concept of officers in schools an incorrect one. Same here. They went too far and tried to make it some universal law that applies to everything...but on the 1 issue that most likely spurred the conversation...they're actually right.

The New York Crank said...

Look, Brian, we have a mass shooting an average of once every two weeks in this country. See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/18/mass-killings-common/1778303/

So if once, one effin' time, the shooter only kills some of the people with a firearm and the rest with a knife, the fact that the press calls him a "shooter" instead of a "shooter/knifer" isn't going to change the general fact if this nation;s insane gun laws and their results one way or another.

Nor is it going to bring the hundreds of people who got killed by bullets back to life. I think the public concern should belong with them, rather than with whether failure to say "shooter/knifer" in one rare case is a big issue.

The problem is we have shooters shooting people. And now we have all the gun people wailing that they're the martyrs because in one case somebody failed to mention there was also a knife.Come off it. I'm starting to get pissed off with this self-serving nitpicking.

Yours with extremely choleric crankiness,
The New York Crank

Bryan said...

Um...I'm talking about intellectual honesty, holding journalists to standards of unbiased behavior, and of looking at ideas with a fair mindset for what they might accomplish regardless of whether or not an organization we don't like has latched onto them and tried to push them beyond their effective scope.

Are you implying that we somehow need to disavow those concepts of logical thought and honesty in order to stop mass murder, or are you simply blowing straw men into the wind as rebukes to things I've never even said for the sake of winning a completely different argument than I'm actually having with you?

The New York Crank said...

I love your either/or proposition. Either I'm disavowing honesty or I'm blowing straw men into the wind.

And the dead are all still just as dead while you try to force me to debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I rest my case.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Bryan said...

My either/or lies in the fact that I'm not arguing anything for or against gun control laws, and haven't this entire time.

Therefore when you respond with arguments that basically say I'm wrong because we need gun control...you are:

(1) either insinuating a need for gun control is why my arguments about intellectual honesty and media accuracy are wrong...which would beg my question about why a need for gun control somehow means I'm wrong about needing to uphold standards for intellectual honesty and media accuracy,

(2) or you are not talking about my actual points and argument at all and simply arguing another argument, acting like it's something I was arguing against...which would be pretty much be the definition of a straw argument.

The New York Crank said...

The actual point is, you are getting in here and trying to change the subject with an argument that is both sophistic and soporific.

Begone! This forum is now closed to you.

The New York Crank

Bryan said...

I understand. You're here to provide politically based entertainment, not rational discussion (which I admit, can be a bit boring). So I completely get why you'd call me soporific. I like to analyze without bias. I can admit the NRA's talking points are mostly moronic while still being willing to point out that sometimes the original ideas that the NRA grows its wild legends out of can have validity when applied on a reasonable scale and without the rhetoric. That's not particularly fun or entertaining. Nor does it take a side on the far end of either side issue, so it's not particularly glorious. But I do resent the implication that it's fallacious. It is not. None of the things I've said even conflict with the gun control sentiments you have said, and are simply trying to keep the little bits of reason and truth from being thrown away with the rest of the junk the NRA says. But, like you say...that's boring. Much more fun to vilify people than to analyze concepts. Guess everyone has their part to play.