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Why I Don’t Use The Term “Mass Shooter” Anymore

This may sound nitpicky, but I've lately convinced myself that I don't really like the term “mass shooter” to describe when someone goes into a building with the intent to kill a lot of people. Let me explain why.

First off, I'm a shooter. I go to the range on a regular basis to go shooting. The term “mass shooter” or “shooting spree” is not good because there is a negative connotation there that cannot be ignored. That negative connotation is attached to the word “shooter” or “shooting.”

I'm a shooter who goes shooting at the gun range on a weekly basis. In fact, I'm scheduled to go tomorrow.

Do these people think of themselves as shooters? Or, do they think of themselves as killers, murderers?

While that's meant to be a rhetorical question because I don't believe any of us who haven't killed innocent people could know, I'm pretty sure these killers don't consider it “target practice.” In other words, they don't go into the building to hone their shooting skills.

Instead, what their motive is, to at least some degree, is murder. Death. Killing. Therefore, their intent is not to shoot, but to kill. So, let's call an apple an apple, an orange an orange, and a grape a grape. Let's call these people what they are …

These people are not mass shooters, they're mass killers. Or, mass murderers.

Anyone who goes to the gun range to shoot can be considered a shooter. What we cannot be considered as, is a killer or murderer.

Second, when a baddie uses something other than a gun, let's say a car, they're not called a mass driver. If it's a knife, rarely is it called mass stabbing (though in full transparency I have heard that term used). Baseball bat killers are not called mass batters. See where I'm going? They're almost always called killers. Or, murderers.

So, why on earth are we allowing the media to sway us to use a term like mass shooter? Or, shooting spree? Let's call these psychos what they are: Killers. Murderers. Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.

Also, if you're in the market for some excellent training designed to help you live if you ever find yourself in this type of situation, check out our Fighting From Cover Course. I'm going through it and it's excellent.

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8 Responses to Why I Don’t Use The Term “Mass Shooter” Anymore

  1. David August 22, 2019 at 1:10 pm #

    The left is quite clever at shaping the conversation by harping on particular language to color public perception. This is used whenever a political agenda is present like gun control (mass shooter, Assult Rifle, high capacity magazine etc) or simply assulting an opponent (racist, capitalism etc ). The problem is the rest of us allow the use of the words to become part of common speech thereby reinforcing the pejorative intentions and the nefarious agenda.

  2. Joe Thomas August 22, 2019 at 9:38 pm #

    I agree 100 percent

    • Douglas L Self August 28, 2019 at 10:55 am #

      Amen. I shoot, but not at any LIVING thing, let alone a human being, unless there’s a very compelling reason why they shouldn’t live anymore. Else my “gun violence” is directed at paper targets, empty beer bottles, soda pops cans, and other deliterium that I use for practice.

  3. Vincent Emma August 26, 2019 at 8:56 pm #

    A lot of good info. Will require more time

  4. GW August 26, 2019 at 9:56 pm #

    Law enforcement will always use “active shooter”, not active killer, murderer, death dealer, or whatever other goofy term you want. The genie is out of the bottle on this one boys, and it’s not a left, right, liberal or conservative thing. It’s called common sense. Try it.

    • Joshua Gillem August 27, 2019 at 6:42 am #

      And to think, all this time I’ve been missing out on common sense. Who knew?

  5. DANorth August 27, 2019 at 4:19 am #

    Yes GW law enforcement does call a situation where a person is is ACTIVELY shooting an active shooter. This is obviously to apprise them of the situation they are responding to and the responses they need to consider. An active shooter is far different from a mass murderer. A y person (including law enforcement) that is actively firing a weapon whether on the range or not is an active shooter. The difference is that when the media uses the term After a mass murder they are emphasizing the method of murder and in effect downplaying the murder of innocent people. The point is the downplay of murder and the emphasis on method is in many cases solely for the purpose of sensationalism and possibly pushing a agenda, Not accurate and impartial reporting of the facts as known. It is just common sense, try it.

  6. john September 4, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

    I’ve understood this for a long time. Ratings and agenda are the keys to how news stories are reported. Oh, and common sense really isn’t very common any more…

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