Gun metaphors in everyday language

Fascinating piece in the NY Times, ‘In Gun Debate, Even Language Can Be Loaded‘, on the ubiquity of gun metaphors in daily language: “No wonder it is hard to get rid of gun violence when Washington cannot even get rid of gun vocabulary. The vernacular of guns suffuses the political and media conversation in ways that politicians and journalists are often not even conscious of, underscoring the historical power of guns in the American experience. 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.”

Back in January of 2011, after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, I took part in a Takeaway discussion on the influence of metaphor in political rhetoric and imagery.

And, of course, Sartre said: “Words are loaded pistols.”