Loaded Guns Do NOT “Go off”

‘LOADED HANDGUN’ FINALLY GOES OFF – New York Post

I care little about the content of this article. It is the headline I object to.

It carries on a tradition of “victim language” in the press.

“The gun went off”
“The gun just fired”

A gun is an object, not a subject, of the verb “to fire.”

Someone fires the gun.

“He pulled the trigger.”
“He fired the gun.”

The closest you could get is to use passive voice:
“The gun was fired.”

But guns do not fire themselves. Ever. Someone, or some thing, has to initiate the process.
Yes, that initiation may be unintentional, but it must be there nevertheless.

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