Group's effort off target at solving gun violence

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The issue of gun-related crimes is a hot topic these days. Because of the daily drumbeat of some thug using a gun to commit a crime, the national dialogue has brought the Second Amendment into glaring focus.

The president has made stronger gun control part of his routine stump speech and uses every instance of gun violence as an excuse to call for stricter laws and greater restrictions on gun ownership.

The two Democratic wannabes pledge to impose gun ownership and registration restrictions if elected and, predictably, the GOP candidates oppose additional restrictions in defense of the Second Amendment.

Liberals and conservative alike know the real problem is not legal gun ownership but illegal guns in the hands of criminals who will never have regard for gun laws.

In search of a solution for this massive problem, the two political camps swing to the extremes in addressing the issue. And yet today we find more illegal guns in the hands of criminals than anyone can imagine or estimate.

I am an advocate for any solutions to the problem without tampering with our Constitutional right to bear arms.

But some solutions have me scratching my head.

Judy Sherry of Kansas City is the president of Missouri and Kansas Grandparents Against Gun Violence. She and her group should be commended for their stance and efforts to control the proliferation of gun violence.

But the group's solution to the problem is both naive and humorous.

The antigun violence group says it's our language that's the problem.

We use terms like "under the gun" and "magic bullet."

We casually say we are "shooting from the hip" or we "shoot ourselves in the foot," and these terms, the group believes, are part of the gun culture that we should avoid.

In fact the group has assembled a list of 70 similar examples that they believe contribute to the culture of gun violence.

"Being aware of those common words and phrases and replacing them with more benign language just might make a slight change in that culture," Ms. Sherry opines.

The group believes that our "violence-tinged language" is just one of the factors in the gun debate.

I would support any effort that is successful in removing guns from the hands of the bad guys.

But when we somehow think our language is part of the problem, it simply reminds me that the solution is so elusive that some are searching in all the wrong places.

Maybe I'm half-cocked and shooting myself in the foot, but I don't think our common language is the problem. Nor removing these phrases is the solution.

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