Loaded Words from the Gun Violence Debate 14 words

Ever wonder why word choice matters? Check out the loaded language pervading the gun violence debate. Drawn from: In Gun Debate, Even Language Can Be Loaded from The New York Times, Jan 15, 2013.
  1. point-blank
    close enough to go straight to the target
    The Brady Campaign found itself in the awkward position of using a firm called Point Blank when it needed help last month. —New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  2. shoot
    fire a shot
    When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. promised ideas for responding to the massacre, he said he was “shooting for Tuesday.” —New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  3. silver bullet
    a simple guaranteed solution for a difficult problem
    “We know that there is no silver bullet,” Mr. Biden said last week about stemming gun violence.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  4. target
    a reference point to shoot at
    Candidates “target” their opponents, lawmakers “stick to their guns,” advocacy groups “take aim” at hostile legislation and reporters write about a White House “under fire.” —New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  5. take aim
    point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards
    Candidates “target” their opponents, lawmakers “stick to their guns,” advocacy groups “take aim” at hostile legislation and reporters write about a White House “under fire.”
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  6. flintlock
    an obsolete gunlock that has flint embedded in the hammer; the flint makes a spark that ignites the charge
    “All of that ties into the frontier tradition, rugged individualism, a single American with a flintlock or a gun of some kind holding off the Indians or fighting off the British,” said Robert Spitzer, a scholar of gun control at the State University of New York at Cortland.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  7. gun control
    efforts to regulate or control sales of guns
    Gun control advocates these days generally do not use the term gun control; instead, they talk about curbing gun violence, recognizing that “control” stirs opposition among legal gun owners who fear their rights being trampled.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  8. misfire
    fail to fire or detonate
    “My opening line was, his speech was a misfire; he missed the target,” Mr. Spitzer recalled. “I liked using the gun metaphor because I think it’s doubly appropriate for him.”
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  9. aim
    point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards
    For an editorial last week criticizing Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, for his past solidarity with the N.R.A., The New York Times used the headline, “Senator Reid Takes Fresh Aim.”
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  10. point man
    someone who is the forefront of an important enterprise
    Candy Crowley, the CNN anchor, introduced an interview by highlighting “our conversation with N.R.A. point man Asa Hutchinson.”
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  11. ballistic
    relating to or characteristic of the motion of objects moving under their own momentum and the force of gravity
    As of Tuesday, the phrase “Alex Jones goes ballistic” drew 357,000 hits on Google.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  12. curb
    the act of restraining power or action or limiting excess
    They talk about curbing gun violence, recognizing that “control” stirs opposition among legal gun owners who fear their rights being trampled.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  13. cross hair
    either of two fine mutually perpendicular lines that cross in the focus plane of an optical instrument and are use for sighting or calibration
    Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential nominee, for using cross hairs on her Web site to identify Democrats like Ms. Giffords who she said should be defeated for re-election.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)
  14. firearm
    a portable gun
    But during a discussion on fiscal talks, he [Obama] too used the terminology of firearms. “What I will not do is have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people,” he said.
    New York Times (Jan 15, 2013)