Are you a gunman?


Mat, not doormat
July 27, 2007, 03:57 PM
Would you be comfortable being identified as a "gunman?"

Here's a little blurb from an opinion column called "Plain Talk by Al Neuharth, USA TODAY founder." It appears in both print and online editions of the paper for 7/27-29/07, and referring to the goof ball on the YouTube debates last week.

There were also some sillies. Like a talking snowman speculating about global warming. A gunman asking whether his "baby" — an automatic weapon — was safe.

When I read that, I got a little irked that the fellow from Michigan (although I think he's a goof, as I said earlier) was characterized as a "gunman." Then, I got to thinking about the word itself. Gun. Not bad. Gun owners by definition have guns, like guns, etc. Man. Also, not bad. Many of us are men, in the gender sense of the word. We're all men in the older sense of Man(kind) or hu(Man.) Put them together, and why was I offended? I wasn't sure, so I looked up the word, to see if it was something more than the sum of its parts. Here's what I found:

From Wiktionary:

[edit] Noun

gunman (plural gunmen)

a criminal armed with a gun, especially a professional killer

From, several definitions:
gun·man Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[guhn-muhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -men. 1. a person armed with or expert in the use of a gun, esp. one ready to use a gun unlawfully.
2. a person who makes guns.

[Origin: 1615–25; gun1 + -man]

1. A man armed with a gun, especially an armed criminal or a professional killer.
2. A man skilled in the use of a gun.

1. a professional killer who uses a gun
2. a person who shoots a gun (as regards their ability)

Aha! I thought, a loaded word, given extra meanings by the way it's customarily used. A particularly nasty little bit of wordsmithing by Al Neuharth. Following close on Biden's heels, he's implying that gun owners = gunmen.


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XD Fan
July 27, 2007, 04:01 PM
Maybe he meant it in the exact sense that the definition conotes.

July 27, 2007, 04:01 PM
I would also like to point out that it is HIGHLY improbably that the tacticool AR-15 the guy had was full automatic. Not that that ever stopped the press from reporting any different though.

July 27, 2007, 04:06 PM
Isn't "gunman" usually used with an adjective?

Like "masked gunman"?

I think that "jolly gunman" should become part of the vernacular, myself.

July 27, 2007, 04:07 PM
Yeah but anything semi-auto will be referred to as "automatic" in the media in hopes that the majority if people will think it means full auto. Like a lot of the people think Klinton's AWB was aimed at title II guns.
They don't refer to police or soldiers as "gunmen", only the bad guys. Is the politically correct version "gunperson"? :rolleyes:

July 27, 2007, 04:13 PM
Is the politically correct version "gunperson"?

I prefer the term "ballistically advantaged." :D

If you're a professional gunman if you do it for the money like a cop, would that mean I'm a volunteer gunman, since I'm a part timer?

July 27, 2007, 04:18 PM
Much like a certain racial slur that starts with the letter "n", you can't take the word "gunman" at it's webster definition. You have to examine the current usage of the word. Anyone who goes on a murderous rampage with a gun is defined as a "gunman" by the mass media and .gov. Thus, being identified as a gunman is being slurred, in my opinion. Gun owner, gun lover, gun enthusiast, gunnie.....sure....gunman? Them's fightin words....where the eff is my lawyer?

July 27, 2007, 04:20 PM
Gunner. :)

July 27, 2007, 04:27 PM
He's either using the term ignorantly or pejoratively. Either way, that's about par for the course with USA Today.

July 27, 2007, 04:55 PM
I suppose I wouldn't mind being caller a "gunner" or even a "gunny" but, given the choice, I'd take "rifleman," thank you.

July 27, 2007, 04:55 PM
I don't mind it. Some people know me as a gunman. Some people know me as a swordsman. Some people know me as the fritcake next door. I've never paid too much attention to other people's labels...


July 27, 2007, 05:04 PM
I think I'd much prefer to be called "Gunslinger" :)

July 27, 2007, 05:05 PM
Rifleman. Gunman has a negative connotation by the common public. But a rifleman is someone who stands for truth and justice much like a Minuteman.

July 27, 2007, 05:08 PM
So, as a Bullseye shooter, would that make me a Pistoleer?

Joe Gunns
July 27, 2007, 05:17 PM
Yup, I'm a pistoleer -but no prince thereof.

Gunman? When you call me that, smile.

July 27, 2007, 05:38 PM
I dont mind being a Rifleman or gunny, but Gunman is a negative term nowadays. Much like the term hacker, it has become a negative thing in the public eye.

July 27, 2007, 05:54 PM
I'd prefer being named a "Shottist"

Shottist: A person wo enjoys firing and caring for weapons

Shootist: A person who makes his living firing guns.

July 27, 2007, 05:54 PM
I really don't mind being called "gunman", "gun nut", or even "kook". I'll educate those who use the words in ignorance and wont waste my time on those aren't interested in education. Those who use the words purposefully are probably beyond help, just like those who use the N-word purposefully. If those people succeed in their goal to outlaw our civil rights, then they will see just what a "Gunman" can do.

July 27, 2007, 06:04 PM
"Gunman"? No, I don't really care for it because of those negative meanings. Gunmen are one of several reasons we carry for self defense... among other criminals whether they use guns or not.

"Gunny", in my experience, is short of Gunnery Sargeant (USMC E-7). The only time I've ever been called "Gunny" is when my 2nd cousin, a real Gunny, pinned his E-7 stripes on my coat collar. I've still got those stripes on my coat collar for several reasons... one is I occassionally get to tell the stories of my friends' and relatives' service to their country.

"Gun people"? That simply denotes an interest group and that's fine with me. Some know me as part of the "gun people" and "horse people" interest groups. Most folks don't know me as a kook though.

July 27, 2007, 07:06 PM
ballistically advantaged

Heh, I may have to head over to CafePress and make myself a T-shirt, that's a winner.

July 27, 2007, 07:36 PM
No. I am the Sergeant of a three-man Rapid Tactical Force at one of America’s largest indoor retail shopping areas.

Our Creed:

I stand ready to deploy and destroy shoplifters of Britney Spears CDs.

I will never leave a fallen jellybean behind.

I will never desert my fellow Mall Security Specialists.

I will defend the Mall arcade with all firepower at my disposal.

I will protect the GAP from those who would do it harm.

I will stop Chechen terrorists wheverever they may appear.

I will duct-tape a spare trauma plate to my body.

I am a Mall Ninja.

July 27, 2007, 08:12 PM
do you have those special boots that let you climb up walls?
you can't be a mall ninja without those.

July 27, 2007, 08:24 PM
Call me anything but "late for dinner" . . . have grown quite fond of "Gunny," however . . .

Adopted the "Sticks & Stones . . . " philosophy many years ago.

Robert Hairless
July 27, 2007, 08:28 PM
"Gunman" is pejorative. Words can shift meanings when they're combined, so "a gunman" means something much different from "a man who owns a gun." If the bride trips and falls while walking down the aisle she does not become "a fallen woman." Al Neuharth, USA TODAY founder, writes his opinions for a newspaper that is sold to a mass readership. Using his approach to the English language Neuharth is, then, "a notorious media sellout and propagandist, a panderer to the masses."

That idiot who gained a few minutes of Youtube fame has caused great damage to gun owners. The right to keep and bear arms depends as much on popular opinion and attitudes as it does on the Constitution and laws. Laws are made by people and are changed by people.

July 27, 2007, 09:28 PM
It was my CB handle before it was my login to a computer

July 27, 2007, 10:15 PM
i dont see how any of us could really be the "gunman" moniker here.

The true meaning from reading every private eye story i can read is the following:

Gunman: noun, a person who uses a handgun to commit crimes and intimidate witnesses and to cause general mayhem.

in the old westerns:

gunman: the armed criminals who rode horses while raiding and pillaging the west during and after the civil war. Typefied by jesse james and wanabe james'.
Gun slinger: just the man who rented his gun out for the highest bidder, could be typified by eastwoods charecte in high plains drifter or in 3 mules for sister sarah.

At best a member of uncle sams military MAY qualify, but most of us here dont unless they let felons in jail who used firearms to commit their felonies use the internet.

July 27, 2007, 10:30 PM
Gun slinger: just the man who rented his gun out for the highest bidder, could be typified by eastwoods charecte in high plains drifter or in 3 mules for sister sarah.

In "High Plains Drifter", Eastwood played the former town marshall who was nearly killed... he came back for justice or revenge, or both. IMO, he wasn't so much a gunman/gunslinger as one who knew how to use guns and knew how to fight.

"Gunslinger" implies someone who draws way to fast, puts the first round in the dirt, fans the remaining four or five rounds, and hits nothing. That kind don't last long.

It was "Two Mules for Sister Sarah" and he played a combination of gunrunner and mercenary. And guns weren't his only weapon... I recall he favored a stick of dynamite.

Rifleman. Gunman has a negative connotation by the common public. But a rifleman is someone who stands for truth and justice much like a Minuteman.

Exactly, but this IMO wouldn't cast any negative light on law abiding handgunners.

July 27, 2007, 10:31 PM
I like rifleman better. I wouldn't claim gunman status no.

30 cal slob
July 27, 2007, 10:33 PM
if "gunman" is pejorative ...

is "gunwoman" more gender-inclusive?


July 28, 2007, 12:27 AM
I wouldn't take kindly to "gunman", it has too many connections to criminal behavior. Plus it's being used to define a person, and since I'm not a professional gun handler it's not the best or the most accurate way to define me. A more accurate way would be "Armed American Business Owner and Taxpayer". But the media would never describe one of us in that fashion, it sounds to respectable and patriotic. I expect what I'd get would be "gun nut".

July 28, 2007, 12:47 AM
Nope, not a gunman. I don't think it's a moniker any of us should adopt either. Extremely negative connotation.

Robert Hairless
July 28, 2007, 09:14 AM
if "gunman" is pejorative ...

is "gunwoman" more gender-inclusive?

Rosie O'Donnell might think so but she displays her pejoratives in public. I've also heard that she dangles her participles, which is such an unappealing image that I try not to dwell on it.

July 28, 2007, 09:15 AM
Would the reporter be comfortable if I exercised my 1st ammendment right to kick his a**?

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