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Patrick Fenimore: Let’s not let misleading terms take us astray

Much will be written about the recent tragedies in Colorado, Oregon and now Connecticut. Most news articles will use the term "gun violence" and demand more firearms control.

These articles will miss the problem entirely.

"Gun violence" as a definition does not exist. It is a misleading term invented by the media and directs our attention away from the real problem and any possible solution.

Ever hear of "baseball bat violence," "hammer violence" or "car violence"?

"Assault weapon" is also misleading. It is a nonsensical term discussed exclusively by politicians and the media. It is a term not used by Olympic or competitive shooters, the military or hunters.

Without a doubt, firearms are dangerous. So are cars, power tools and fire.

In 2007, it was reported that more people were killed in auto accidents resulting from cellphone use than by firearms. It was referred to as "death by cellphone."  

If every firearm in America could be made to disappear instantly, like magic - even those owned by the bad guys - terrible acts of violence would continue to occur. A person with the desire to destroy can stop at the local hardware store or gas station and purchase items more dangerous than any firearm.

The news discusses "gun violence" and uses terms like "assault rifle" and "large capacity magazine" in an effort to either scare or influence the public.

No reporter ever mentions "fire violence" when talking about arson. No one calls for a national debate about gasoline.

We can do more to stop future incidents in schools by locking doors and denying access.

Teachers should have their classroom doors shut and locked. Doors need locks that can be quickly and easily secured by both teachers and substitute staff during an emergency.

When someone knocks on a classroom door, can you look through the window into the hallway or are the windows covered, denying a clear field of view?

Before the media lists any more misleading terms, they should suggest real safety measures in schools.

Fenimore, who lives in St. Albans, is a retired educator.

 


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