Saturday, January 12, 2013

Don't Talk About Guns

"..found having passed away.."

"..lost a close friend.."

"..main thoughts and concerns are with the family.."

"..respect to the situation for the family's sake.."

Translation: Don't talk about guns - it's disrespectful.

The quotes above are public statements by friends of Keith Ratliff, an argent promoter of guns and gun culture, who was found murdered1 this week.

By a single gunshot wound.

But neither of his associates have acknowledged this : their (initial) published statements so far do not include the word "murder" or "gun." Instead, grating constructs like "found having passed away." Think about that phrase for a second and where it places the action... on Ratliff. Ratliff wasn't shot - he passed. His friend lost him2.

My deepest condolences to Keith's friends and family. This is a comment on public language in a time of grief/crisis3. I find no glee or feel any victory at the circumstances (who's irony cannot be understated) of Mr. Ratliff's passing.
 1 - news accounts say police are "treating the death as a homicide"  which is not the same as a final autopsy.
 2 - It's plausible they use this phrasing because they don't know what to call it yet - "murder" or "suicide". Thank you JM for the suggestion.
 3 - I am not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV. I'm just a guy with a blog.
 4 - Why is it OK to discuss gun policy after a school shooting, but this tragedy demands "respect for the family?"