all to honest folks trying to protect themselves?rnIf small, inexpensive guns can bernas easily used to defend against crime asrnthey can be used to commit crime, howrncan you justify bans on the only guns thernpoor can afford—the poor who enjoy lessrnpolice protection than the rest of us do?rnWliat about those “cop killer bullets”rnthat NBC first warned the public aboutrnback in 1982? You know, those Tefloncoatedrnslugs that can zip right throughrnbody armor. Have you ever seen a casualtyrnlist of cops laid low by bullets of thisrnsort? Two cops, neither of whom werernwearing body armor, were allegedlyrnkilled with armor-piercing bullets inrn1976, and two years earlier another coprnwas crippled by a bullet that did penetraternhis armor. That’s all I can find forrnthe period before these bullets werernbanned in 1984. While the Clinton administrationrnis pushing for a wider banrnon bullets that can pierce armor, the Bureaurnof Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearmsrnhas recently released a report indicatingrnthat between 1985 and 1994, no bulletrnfired from a handgun penetrated bodyrnarmor to kill a police officer.rnDid NBC save civilization as we knowrnit by warning us about these things sornthat they could be banned before theyrnstarted further thinning the thin bluernline? Hardly! Teflon-coated slugs hadrnbeen around since 1966 or so, they wererndeveloped for the police, and they werernnot sold to the public. It’s also worth notingrnthat practically any slug fired from arncenter-fire rifle of the kind commonlyrnused by hunters will defeat police bodyrnarmor. The right combination of shape,rnspeed, and hardness of the projectile isrnwhat does the job.rnOr take those terrorist-choice “plasticrnpistols” which Jack Anderson brought tornthe public’s attention back in 1986.rnThey actually contain about a pound ofrnsteel and have become the favorites ofrnmany cops across the United States.rnHow were the terrorist demons exorcisedrnfrom these guns, and why hasn’t the pressrninformed the public accordingly?rnIn his 1988 report on “assault weapons,”rngun-prohibitionist Josh Sugarmannrnwrote:rnThe weapons’ menacing looks,rncoupled with the public’s confusionrnover fully automatic machinernguns versus semi-automatic assaultrnweapons—anything that looks likerna machine gun is assumed to be arnmachine gun—can only increasernthe chance of public support forrnrestrictions on these weapons. Inrnaddifion, few people can envisionrna practical use for these guns.rnNote that Sugarmann accurately predictedrnpublic support for restrictions onrn”semi-automatic assault weapons” (anrnoxyinoron; if it’s semi-automatic it’s notrnan “assault” anything) not because thernpublic was informed, but because itrnwasn’t informed or likely to become so.rnBack in May 1994, I finally becamernaggravated enough with NBC’s juxtapositionsrnof machine-gun demonstrationsrnand discussions of semi-automatics torncall in a complaint. The woman I spokernto confidenfly told me that they were nornlonger doing the juxtapositions. Herrnconfidence faded when I told her that Irnhad just seen one. On August 15, 1994,rnafter viewing another juxtaposition, Irncalled in another complaint. The gentlemanrnI spoke to said nothing in replyrnuntil I opined that it apparently did norngood to call in complaints. He respondedrnthat anyone could make a mistake.rnWhen I replied that NBC had been makingrnthat same mistake for five years, hernhung up. I called back immediately tornget his name, and he told me that herndidn’t have to take that kind of abuse andrnhung up again.rnThe next day, I called NBC again andrnended up talking to David McCormick,rnthe man in charge of broadcast standards.rnMcCormick was quite pleasantrnand explained to me that efforts hadrnbeen made to put a halt to the juxtapositions,rnbut that NBC’s people, affiliates included,rnwere so numerous and far-flungrnthat monitoring them was difficult.rnOn August 25, 1994, I related myrncomplaints about the juxtapositions andrnmy conversations with NBC staffers tornAndrew Lack, president of NBC’s NewsrnDivision, via letter, with copies to thernchairman of the Federal CommunicationsrnCommission and the general managerrnof NBC’s local affiliate. I have neverrnreceived an acknowledgment of thatrnletter. NBC did stop showing its misleadingrnjuxtapositions shortly before therncrime bill with its ban on “semi-automaticrnassault weapons” was passed. However,rnNBC has yet to inform its viewers thatrnfor five years it led them to believe thatrnthe guns to be banned were already regulatedrnmachine guns rather than common,rnif exotic-looking, semi-automatics.rnNo wonder a recent Pew ResearchrnCenter survey found that 67 percent ofrnthe public believes that “[i]n dealingrnwith political & social issues news organizationsrn.. . [t]end to favor one side.”rnWilliam R. Tonso, a professor of sociologyrnat the University ofEvansville, is therneditor of The Gun Culture and ItsrnLANGUAGErnThe Reality ofrnWritten Wordsrnby John LukacsrnIn the beginning was the Word. (Notrnthe picture. Or the number.) We arernnow at the cusp of a movement into arnnew age when, for large masses of people,rnverbal images and verbal imaginationrnseem gradually to be replaced byrnpictorial images and pictorial imagination.rnI shall attempt to describe one, perhapsrnseldom observed, aspect of verbalrnimagination. (“Aspect” is a word I do notrnlike, but, in this case, it may be proper.)rnNot only the sound but the visual impressionrnof a word has a powerful, andrndurable, impact on our minds, indeedrnon our imagination. That impression, ofrncourse, is the consequence of literacy.rnAnd we must consider literacy not only arnchapter in the long evolving history ofrnhuman communications but also an incrementrnof human consciousness. Still,rnI must begin with the sounds of words.rnThat there is a difference between thernspoken and the written word, and that inrnthe historical evolution of mankind thernfirst preceded the second, is obvious.rn(Consider only the origins of the wordrnlanguage, related in almost every languagernto the tongue. The manufacture—rnthat is, the writing—of words came later.)rnMany of our earliest and basic wordsrnare onomatopoeic, sound-connected.rnThis condition is more than an ancientrnsurvival or an aesthetic element. It givesrnan added meaning to words, a substantialrndimension that numbers or scientific categoriesrncannot offer.rnThere are still “progressives” whornthink that it is within the province ofrnmankind to produce a universal and scientificrnworld in which human commu-rnJANUARY 1999/43rnrnrn