Words have meaning
A spokesperson for a police department recently reported on the news that a number of live bullets were found on a school playground.
The only way one could have live bullets is if they were flying through the air, and then we’d never be able to see them.
When are we going to learn that words have meaning. And when we use a particular word, it should carry that meaning.
Do we harvest wolves or kill them? Do deer and elk have antlers or horns? Is hunting pheasants a sporting contest or is it simply hunting? Do we hunt with a weapon or a firearm?
Outdoors writing manuals and hunter education materials explain quite clearly that a cartridge, or shotshell, is a round of ammunition consisting of a case, primer, propellant and bullet or lead shot.
What the police found on the school playground, I presume, were live cartridges. That in itself is probably redundant, by most standards, based on the definition of cartridge. They found cartridges. If the cartridges had been fired, the police would have found cases or casings.
To find a bullet, a cartridge or a casing would suggest something very different probably happened.
How can we ever talk about gun control, wildlife management, hunter education or hunting if we continually jumble our terms?
In the end, we stand to lose a discussion, even a vote or a privilege if we aren’t consistent and accurate.
To use the wrong term might infer to someone we don’t know what we’re talking about and our point becomes meaningless.