That's right! From Major Garrett's front-page National Journal story: "Seeing Red: John Boehner's troops are spoiling for a fight, but the speaker wants to aim before he shoots." And another heading on the cover: "Coming salvos against the Fed." Meanwhile in the table of contents are the following headlines: "The lesser evil," "Two-front war," and "Hostile takeover." (I exclude "The War of Law" just because it's a story about an actual war.)
The issue, which was likely assembled before the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday, also features an item that describes the tax cut deal as "[t]he last big fight of the last Congress was the tax-cut deal." And then describes spending and debt as "the first real shootout of this one..." (p. 6).
The idea that these words would somehow set off an unbalanced mind is ludicrous, so much so that it obviously never occurred to the editors of National Journal. And that's fine, even editors use some space to tut-tut over John Boehner's use of the word "kill" on Twitter (p. 3):
"John (Killer) Boehner: Over the course of his last 200 tweets, the speaker has included the word 'killing' 27 times."
Well, Boehner was referring to job-killing legislation. Context matters.
That's why National Journal has no problem saying that freshmen congressmen are "bomb-throwing" (p. 34) or that Republicans are "waging war" on the Environmental Protection Agency (p. 42).
It shouldn't. There's nothing wrong with it. But there's everything wrong with a half-cocked debate about the appropriate use of martial metaphors. Let's skip this outrage and instead stick to praying for the victims and their families.