Gunfire verbs…

January 18, 2011

Photos add bizarre twist to Tucson suspect’s frantic last night

USA-SHOOTING/CONGRESSWOMANLoughner is accused of spraying a crowd with a semi-automatic pistol outside a Safeway grocery store last Saturday, killing six people and wounding 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition at a Tucson hospital.

At 9:41 a.m., he took a cab up to the Safeway store, entering with the driver to get change shortly before 10 a.m. Ten minutes later, he pumped bullet after bullet into the crowd at a congressional meeting with Giffords.

I want to point out errors in the article that was run by Reuters, this is not correct. Semiautomatic firearms do not spray bullets, they are fired from the firearm.

Also, “pumped” refers to shotgun type firearms, not semiautomatic firearms like the one used by the lone gunman.

I would hope that Reuters makes corrections to the article to get the facts correct.

M. J.

I’m sorry if you don’t think we made the experience sound pleasant enough for the people who were in the line of fire in Tucson.

The gunman used an extended magazine, pulling the trigger as fast as he could, and with the number of shots he fired it probably felt like a spray to the  victims.

Use of the word “pumped” is certainly not limited to pump-action shotguns.

Indeed, I’m afraid it’s actually a cliché. From an online Glossary of Hardboiled Slang, Pump metal: Shoot bullets.

Or in the words of author Erle Stanley Gardner, “She’s Gabby’s moll.  She knows who pumped the lead into him.” GBU Editor

A woman cries at a makeshift memorial set up for the victims of the January 8 shooting, outside the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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One comment

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Excellent reply, Mr. Basler.

Ridiculous criticism, M.J.

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