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Why Words Matter

Why Words Matter

The good news: Child shooting victims fell 12 percent in the United States in 2018, according to a recent report from the Gun Violence Archives.

The bad news: Gun-ban advocates will continue to twist words and redefine categories in order to manipulate us into believing that many, many more children are shot every year than actually are.

Here’s how it works.

Consider the recent news story about a 25-year-old South Side Chicago woman. A legal concealed-carry license holder, she was waiting at a bus stop when, according to police reports, 19-year-old Laavion Goings Jr. pulled a gun on her and tried to rob her.

As the attempted armed robbery turned into a physical struggle, the woman managed to pull out her handgun and shoot Goings in the neck. He ran away, and later died at a nearby hospital.

As the attempted armed robbery turned into a physical struggle, the woman managed to pull out her handgun and shoot Goings in the neck.

It is a pretty cut-and-dried case of legal self-defense. The incident was even caught by a nearby security camera, leaving little question about what happened.

Goings, by the way, had a long rap sheet, including being charged just last year with aggravated battery of an officer.

Bianca Daniel, a neighbor of the attempted robbery victim, told news station WLS, “It’s tragic that he did die, but the lady had to do what she had to do. She’s on a bus stop, probably going to work, you know, and she has to encounter that early in the morning. I’m kind of proud that, like, that’s what she did because she stuck up for herself.”

One might assume that would be the end of the story. Yet soon, Goings will likely end up being mentioned in a newspaper story about how many shootings there were in Chicago for a particular month (of course, with no mention that it was a self-defense scenario). He’ll also make the list of Chicago “homicides” reported at the end of the year.

And that won’t be all. The next time we hear of Goings, it will likely be in some anti-gun feature story written by so-called “mainstream” media about “teens and children” killed by “gun violence.” After all, Goings was 19 years old, and a gun was involved.

Of course, the headline writer will just boil it down to “kids killed by gun violence,” for space’s sake. And the layout artist will choose a picture from the funeral of a 4-year-old to accompany the story.

So, the next time you hear a news report or read a headline about kids killed by gun violence, remember Goings. And ask yourself if anti-gunners truly want a “real conversation” on guns when they use such deceptive tactics to manipulate the public.

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