I will no longer give trigger warnings to my students.
I will not shoot them emails; I will not fire off messages.
As a writer, I no longer have targets and I will no longer take aim at them. When I send out new stories for publication, I will not shotgun or scattergun my submissions — I will not bombard journals, will not send a barrage of stories to magazines. When I prepare a submission but fear rejection, I will not bite the bullet before sending out my work.
When I argue with people, I refuse to take potshots or cheap shots; I will not bring the big guns.
I might try to respond to arguments or situations as they arise, doing my best to think on my feet, so to speak — but I will never shoot from the hip. Conversely, no matter how prepared I am, I will never be locked and loaded.
I will solve no problems with silver bullets. Not even this one.
As a fiction writer, I will continue to write about guns and the violence they assist in. I write about our world, and as much as I loathe this, guns and gun violence are a major part of our world. This is not a call for censoring violence; this is no charge that violence begets violence, no claim that “the media made them do it.”
But for me, personally, in my daily language, I will seek whenever possible to set aside the metaphors of violence and firearms. Our language is rich, capable of so much — I have so many other ways to speak, to write. And besides, the realities of violence and firearms are far too prevalent as it is.