In the preceding article, we discussed different kinds of gun violence, organized by cause. Most gun violence is suicide; only a very few mass shootings ever occur in classrooms. Ideally, none would; ideally, people also wouldn’t ever want to kill themselves, guns notwithstanding.
In order to do this properly, we’ll need a discourse, so that all sides can find middle ground that they can agree on. And in order to communicate, we’ll each need to use the same words to mean the same things.
For example: It might surprise some people to learn that there is actually no such thing as an “Assault Weapon”. Sure, you’ll find it in the dictionary of your choice, but the definitions are nebulous and disagree. They named the 1994 law after it, but the descriptions involved such superficial specifics as a bayonet lug or pistol grip without enough generalities to retain long-term value. The law expired in 2004; by then, the industry had long since retooled such that they could largely avoid its strictures.