So I Referenced an Axe-Murderer
Over at Staring At Empty Pages, there is a post about Ken Ham's twisted (but commonplace among Christians) view that morality only comes from God. A good post, btw, but not really what I want to talk about. I want to mention a particular line in the article: "Here we have the core of the fallacy: the argument that the only thing keeping us from becoming a society of wanton ax-murderers is the literal belief that Bible...."
What's with referring to any hypothetic generic homicidal person as an axe-murderer? I do it too, and I think most people do as well. I have an old friend from highschool who's drivers license photo looks like a police bulletin for a wanted criminal, and we referred to it as making him look like an axe-murderer (Plus the fact that he likes axes and often looks like a murderer, but meh?). When I got in a heated discussion about religious stuff with my wife's pastor, I exclaimed that in his view, me (an athiest) is a worse person than an axe-murderer who is Christian (and he agreed, and didn't seem the least confused by my reference to axe-murdering). Axe-murdering as a concept even spawned a title for a crappy Mike Myers movie.
But why axe-murdering? Most murders, as far as I know, aren't commited with axes. Some are, but I think guns, knives, and even cars would be more popular than axes. From the US Department of Justice, it seems that most murders are committed using guns, with a decreasing number committed using stabbing or slashing weapons (axes are here, and it's too bad that the figures don't differentiate between the various cutting/stabbing weapons), blunt objects, or other stuff. Maybe there is a certain extra brutality trying to be conveyed with the connotation of murdering someone with an axe rather than a gun. And knife-murderer doesn't have the same ring to it.