I see that, yet again, some faux-macho psycho who has been spraying bullets around is being referred to exclusively in the news as 'the gunman'.
What's this about? What makes a man a gunman? Carrying a gun? Firing one? Killing someone with one? In the case of yesterday's tragic events in Melbourne, what's wrong with the good old-fashioned word "murderer"?
I'm not sure quite what my objections are to the word 'gunman', but I do know that they are visceral. Perhaps I despise the undertones of admiration, the 'lone and misunderstood hero' connotations of a word like 'gunman'. Remember Chuck Norris in Rifleman on the teeve, the lone hero striding the lawless landscape like some colossal law unto himself? (No, most of you probably don't, you're too young. Never mind.)*
You never see the word 'gunwoman', though, do you.
And there's a reason for that.
*UPDATE: Connors. Chuck Connors.
Obviously I don't remember him either.