"Killed by a gun" vs "Killed with a gun"


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W L Johnson
December 2, 2010, 10:03 AM
Thought for the day.
Notice how people say, even here, "killed by a gun" instead of saying "killed with a gun". The first says the gun is the killer, while the second says a gun was used by the killer. Pay attention to which one the press uses, little changes like that can change people's mindset in how they view guns.
Same thing with, "assault rifle", sorry, my rifles have never assaulted anybody, well... maybe not the same, but close

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S. Hill
December 2, 2010, 10:36 AM
Same thing with the EVIL SUVs. "He was run over by a SUV!!!" Yup, that Tahoe just waited until he walked in front... then shifted into "D" and smashed him!

You wouldn't think that there is a certain mindset behind both of these things, would you?

Creature
December 2, 2010, 10:44 AM
It has never been about what is said but how it is said.

Carl N. Brown
December 2, 2010, 11:13 AM
Junior high school Latin class impressed on me the difference between "by" (agent) and "with" (means) . With Latin you have to figure out by context; makes you think about the meaning in English.

A gun never killed anyone as an active agent, even in an accidental discharge (AD) some numbnut has to load a defective gun or be sweeping an unintended target .

Anti-gunners tend to confuse agent and means and claim people are killed by guns not by people with guns. It sometimes seems the same people who say people who own cop-killer bullets should be jailed, but Mumia Abu-Jamal (who was only convicted of killing a cop) deserves amnesty. Bill Mauldin did a cartoon of a mob lynching a gun but letting the armed robber go free (to buy a gun from a bootlegger in an alley).

I remember the late 1950s and early 1960s as an era of "ban this to stop crime"--comic books, Superman and Three Stooges on TV, guns, ductail haircuts--what I call voodoo criminology: controlling criminal behavior by scapegoating a thing and banning a symbol.

Even anti-gun criminologist Marvin Wolfgang "got it" though: in his 1958 study of 588 homicides--going into background of murderer and victim, circumstances of the crime--he concluded that few homicides due to shooting could be avoided merely if the gun were not present: motive and opportunity were so important, that lack of one means would just mean the choice of another.

Means is not an actor, and means is not a motivation. People may be killed with guns, but never by guns (or knives, shod feet, etc.)

On the other hand, the defensive gun uses I know about include one woman (wth a rifle) v four men and one woman (with a pistol) v two men. I don't think successful self-defense would have been possible without a gun in those circumstances.

therewolf
December 2, 2010, 05:35 PM
IMO, the anti gunners aren't confused, they're trying to confuse others.

They adopt expressions which help pre-form a negative impression about guns.

Superlite27
December 2, 2010, 06:14 PM
One of my favorites is the phrase "gun violence".

If a guy uses a gun to kill someone, it was that evil "gun violence".

As if getting beaten to death with a lead pipe is preferable.

Everyone knows baseball bat violence, knife violence, lead pipe violence, and pointy stick violence are bad, but nowhere near as awful as that "gun violence".

I hate it when guns become violent. They're hard to reason with. I'd much rather try to discuss things with a violent tennis racket or violent piece of furniture in an attempt to calm them down.

You have to watch out for that gun violence.

NavyLCDR
December 2, 2010, 06:44 PM
GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE!

Bullets do.

Unless you hit them in the head with your gun and they die from blunt force trauma.

Sunray
December 2, 2010, 06:53 PM
"...people say..." The media mostly. You'd think a university grad would be able to speak the Queen's English and know the difference between animate and inanimate objects. Up here, TV news programs are notorious for reporting on a stabbing while having a picture of a handgun behind the talking head.
"...change people's mindset..." For that very reason.

Smokey Joe
December 3, 2010, 02:22 PM
Guys, it's a matter of mindset and belief, not lack of knowledge nor poor logic at work. Plus, the almighty dollar at work.

Liberals in general (there are exceptions!) accept the idea that guns, not people, are evil. People are the victims of circumstances. This is a belief, not a fact.

News media have a financial stake in pointing out the latest horror, in as ghastly a manner as possible, so as to obtain as many viewers/readers as possible, so as to be able to generate more and more advertising revenue. You've heard the phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads." The only thing better than a bleeding adult, is a bleeding child holding a bleeding puppy.

One of my good friends and longtime buds from high school is now a retiring professor of journalism (We've been out of HS a long time!) and I've explained to him in words of one syllable, on three separate occasions, the differences between an AK-47, an SKS, an assault rifle, and a hunting rifle, and an autoloading weapon vs. automatic. Doesn't make a particle of difference to him--His mind is made up, and the differences are trivial, technical, and unimportant. He's a nice guy otherwise, and I do like him, but on this one subject it's like trying to insert logic into a discussion about one's religious belief.

My point is, get used to it. They will never change their BELIEFS, and you can't use reason in the discussion. Plus, saying it that way is more profitable. A completely unbeatable combination.

longdayjake
December 3, 2010, 04:48 PM
You shouldn't say a man was killed with a gun. Because there would be confusion as to who it was carrying the gun. Is it the man that was killed or was a gun used to do the killing? If you say a man was killed with a gun then you could think of it either way. You would need to say that a person with a gun killed a man. Or even better you could say that a person used a gun to kill another man.

LibShooter
December 3, 2010, 05:28 PM
I've explained to him in words of one syllable, on three separate occasions, the differences between an AK-47, an SKS, an assault rifle, and a hunting rifle, and an autoloading weapon vs. automatic. Doesn't make a particle of difference to him...

It doesn't make a difference to most people and it never will. Trying to make people make those distinctions is like trying to teach a pig to dance... it wastes your time and annoys them.

IMHO words mean what people think they mean. The definition of "assault rifle" has evolved to mean any gun that looks kinda warlike. That's the way it is and we're better off just accepting it.

I've given up my decades-long crusade against the verb "film" used to refer to recording with a video camera.

You'd think a university grad would be able to speak the Queen's English and know the difference between animate and inanimate objects.

Down here we don't speak the Queen's English anymore. "Killed by a gun" now means "somebody shot him." It's not a media psy-ops campaign. It's just the evolution of a living language. Verily I say unto you.

hammerklavier
December 3, 2010, 05:31 PM
Killed by a tree vs Killed with a tree (by gravity)
Hit by a bus vs Hit with a bus (by a bus driver).

It's not so much bias as just the way we talk.

hardworker
December 3, 2010, 05:47 PM
I know the media likes to portray gun owners as racist drunk rednecks, but in this case I think we're splitting hairs. I don't think the use of "by" instead of "with" is subliminal messaging. I think it's just a product of the grammar we're taught to use. If a man cut a tree down and it landed on me, the papers would read "killed by a falling tree".

InkEd
December 3, 2010, 06:21 PM
:rolleyes: Really? :rolleyes:

You need to read better written newspapers and watch better anchored television news. Is it really confusing to anyone? I don't recall too many headlines saying a person was killed "by a gun" without some structural support in the sentence. (i.e. stating who used the gun or it's source of origin.)
I think your local newscasters need to go back to 7th grade grammar class.

We know "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."

We also know "Words are not positive/negative. People make them positve/negative."

Dont believe it? Okay, here's an example.
Take the sentence, "Go to heck." ;) (for THR censors)

If an idiot cuts you off in traffic and you tell him to "Go to heck!" It is said in malice and has a negative context. However, if you say the same phrase jokingly to a buddy who is goofing around with you about something, it has no negative context. A similar exercise can be done with "the F word." The word itself, is simply that, a word. It can be good or bad. It all depends on how you use it. Same thing with firearms (or any other inanimate object), it's all about how it is used by a person. Ironic.

In all seriousness, if a person does not have the language comprehension to understand what is meant in a simple newscast; perhaps it is best they have bigger problems (than dare I say it?) than gun control? I for one would be worried they fully understand and grasp the section in the owner's manual about safety.

InkEd
December 3, 2010, 06:25 PM
I am glad the majority understand the language
and are not confused by this matter.

flank
December 4, 2010, 02:05 AM
S. Hill
Same thing with the EVIL SUVs. "He was run over by a SUV!!!" Yup, that Tahoe just waited until he walked in front... then shifted into "D" and smashed him!

You wouldn't think that there is a certain mindset behind both of these things, would you?

get that SUV into custody! :)

Double Naught Spy
December 4, 2010, 07:46 AM
Thought for the day.
Notice how people say, even here, "killed by a gun" instead of saying "killed with a gun". The first says the gun is the killer, while the second says a gun was used by the killer. Pay attention to which one the press uses, little changes like that can change people's mindset in how they view guns.

Okay, you said to pay attention. Quite frequently the terminology used by the press parrots exactly what they have been told by the cops. The cops are the "expert" source for the information. So while the information may turn out to be wrong, the press will have often done a very good job in reporting the information given to them.

Same thing with, "assault rifle", sorry, my rifles have never assaulted anybody, well... maybe not the same, but close

Once again, this is often not the presses fault. As for your rifle never assaulting anyone, it doesn't have to assault anyone to be an assault rifle. "Assault rifle" is an actual type of rifle.

A gun never killed anyone as an active agent, even in an accidental discharge (AD) some numbnut has to load a defective gun or be sweeping an unintended target .

By this sort of classification, there is no such thing as an accidental discharge.

Carl N. Brown
December 4, 2010, 11:16 AM
Sunray of London Ont.: ""Up here, TV news programs are notorious for reporting on a stabbing while having a picture of a handgun behind the talking head.""

Down here, we had a guy who stabbed a woman to death and later beat a man and woman to death with a baseball bat. Guess what was showing behind the talking TV head when those crimes were reported? A pistol. Crime = gun; gun = crime; no gun = no crime; ring bell, salivate. The Pavlovian Conditioning is the same down here. Our masters speak with the same forked tongue.

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