National Journal’s Hirsh: Time for a moral sanction against gun metaphors similar to the ‘N’ word

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

After the Arizona tragedy earlier this month, there has been a lot of introspection from journalists on what sort of language should be used in political discourse – or at least what type of language they feel is appropriate for our elected leaders.

National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wants to raise the bar on decorum to an entirely new level. On Thursday’s MSNBC airing of “Hardball,” Hirsh told host Chris Matthews certain “gun” terms should be stricken from political discourse and referred to instances where Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Republican Nevada senatorial candidate Sharon Angle used such off-limits language.

“Well we don’t want any more duels and thankfully that was the last one,” Hirsh said. “[B]ut the point I was trying to make is you can draw a line particularly in the use of certain kinds of metaphors. The use of gun metaphors – killing, murdering, taking out, which was another metaphor for a – Michele Bachmann used in one of her statements, Sharon Angle – the Nevada Senate candidate’s now infamous comment about quote, unquote, ‘second amendment remedies’ to deal with the problem Harry Reid, her opponent.”

His proposal? Make such language inappropriate in the same racial slurs are inappropriate.

That’s the kind of language I think we got to have a hard think about now,” Hirsh said. “Do we really want to continue to use that kind of language at these levels? Or, should there be kind of a social sanction, not a legal one, but a moral sanction in the way that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums. Stop using that kind of language, those kinds of metaphors.”


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  • scooby509

    The elephant in the room here is that the left still hasn’t stopped using the n-word.


    They don’t use it commonly, but they still feel perfectly entitled to use it whenever they feel like it.

    All of these proposals relating to civility are just another variation on “shut up” by the left.

  • truebearing

    I just want to say, point blank, this effort to put military metaphors in the gulag is a long shot. It is nothing less than suppression fire from the left, and the trajectory of their salvos is targeting free speech. I say this battle plan is dead on arrival, especially considering the scope of their linguistic assassination plot.

    • Archie Leech

      Hahaha …… Brilliant post! On target.