Comment(s)

Have you noticed the frequency with which journalists employ the term “a hail of bullets”? This is the wrong term, since hail comes down from above, not from the side. The proper term should be “blizzard,” as anyone can attest to who has been out in one. However, I have never seen an author use the term “a blizzard of bullets,” whereas I hear about “a hail of bullets” with every second copy of the newspaper.

● There is a matter of magazine capacity. “If my piece holds 12 rounds, while yours holds only ten, I win.” Here again we are dealing with irrelevance. The highest score I have ever heard of in a pistol fight was five, and that victory was achieved with a 7-round magazine without reloading. Our late companion, Bruce Nelson, was once asked in the course of an interview at a police station if it was not a good idea to carry a P35 because of its high capacity magazine. Bruce’s response was, “Well, sure, if you plan to miss a lot.”

● Attorney William Burkett of the Oklahoma County Bar’s education committee frequently speaks to school children about legal topics. When he addressed a class of fifth graders recently, he asked whether any of the students knew the punishment for stealing in some countries.

“Yes,” one boy said. “They cut off your hands.”

“Could that happen here?” Burkett asked, and the students replied with a chorus of “nos.”

“Why not?” he said to a girl in the front row.

“Because,” she said, “the Constitution gives us the right to keep our arms.”

● Again I must wearily emphasize that Condition Orange is not “hot yellow.” The difference between Yellow and Orange is that in Yellow, the shooter has no specific target in mind; whereas in Orange, he has. This makes a decisive difference in his mental ability to adjust to the fact that he may have to shoot. In Yellow, the shooter says, “I may have to shoot today.” In Orange the shooter says to himself, “I may have to shoot him right now.” No matter how much danger you think you are in, no matter how near the enemy or how great his numbers, unless you have picked out a particular target at which you are prepared to shoot, you are not in Orange, you are in Yellow. Sometimes I despair of getting this point across, since I frequently receive correspondence from students I thought I had educated indicating that they were not listening when I made the point on the platform.

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Have you noticed the frequency with which journalists employ the term “a hail of bullets”?…