Sandy Hook School Shooting

After Newtown, Can We Never Use Gun Metaphors Again?


After Magritte, this is NOT a child

I happened to be watching CNBC's Closing Bell this afternoon which featured a segment in which various analysts were trying to explain the upbeat equities markets. One of the analysts was Michael Pento, of Pento Portfolio Strategies, who decried again the "Keynesian counterfeiters with their Kamikaze monetary and fiscal policies have taken over the developed world."

In any case, the discussion turned to how Congress and President Obama's administration could screw up the economy over the upcoming debt ceiling crisis, etc. To describe the situation, everyone on the panel was using the conventional metaphor of Congress and the Feds "shooting themselves in the foot." Toward the end, the irrepressible Mr. Pento, said something along the lines of (I've failed to find the video so far, I will try to link to it later):

Not only are Congress and the Feds shooting themselves in the foot, but by racking up trillions of dollars in debt, they're shooting our children in the head.

Insensitive lout that I am, I thought it was actually a pretty good metaphor for the point Pento was making. However, one of the CNBC presenters (not Maria Bartiromo, but another guy who's not the usual co-host) was evidently offended. When the camera switched back to him, he rather frostily asked Pento if he'd like to change the way he characterized public policy? Pento looked confused. Once the segment was over, the presenter made it clear that he thought that gun metaphors, especially those involving children, to describe disastrous fiscal policies were inappropriate.

No actual children were harmed by the metaphor, but Federal fiscal policy definitely will.