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Thread: How old do you have to be to be a "gunman"?

  1. #1
    I think we were all shocked by the news out of New Mexico that an eleven year old (other reports say a 12 year old) student walked into a middle school and shot two other students with a shotgun.

    It's tragic and we all have to shake our heads and wonder how these kinds of shootings can happen? How do these kids get access to guns? What motivates them? And why these events can't be prevented?

    But I was surprised to listen to various news reports -- including radio news reports on CBS -- where the reporter referred to the student as a "gunman."

    Is a 12 year old a gunman? Should we say a gunkid? Should we call a high school student shooter a gunteen?

    I think we call kids who fire guns gunman because we don't have a more appropriate term yet. Kids shooting other kids with guns is not mainstream in our lives and culture so that an appropriate word exists yet.

    It's like a parent who loses a child -- there is no word for that.

    If a child loses his parents he is an orphan. If a wife loses her husband she is a widow. If a husband loses his wife he is a widower. But there is no word for parents whose child dies because the thought is so foreign to us. It is foreign to us because parents are supposed to die before their children die.

    And the thought of children killing other children is also foreign to us -- which is why we have to use the word gunman or shooter because we have no word or title to account for a child shooting and killing another child.
    Not a member, effective January 28, 2019

  2. #2
    Why not use the word "shooter"? A one-size-fits-all word for any age or sex.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Count Room View Post
    Why not use the word "shooter"? A one-size-fits-all word for any age or sex.
    Indeed it is. And isn't that a shame, too.
    Not a member, effective January 28, 2019

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