We live in the country. That means we do not have to worry about the laws against discharging a weapon in the city limits. Since we have a lot more poisonous snakes, rabid coons, and bobcats ravaging the chicken coops than they do in town, that is a good thing. Still, we must be careful.
One reason many people use shotguns out in the country is that the load will scatter and not do much harm after a few feet. If you shoot a rifle, you must constantly be careful of what is behind your target and the pitch of your gun barrel. It must be pointing down so that if you miss your target, the spent bullet will hit the ground harmlessly not too far beyond. If you miss what you are aiming at, the bullet keeps going until it either runs out of energy or hits something else. And yes, even those supposedly harmless shots they fire in the air in all the old Westerns do eventually come down, and can still kill someone. Evidently people who are not gun nuts, and certainly not physicists, write all those scripts because they regularly show their ignorance in these matters.
Words are like that. Too many times we become angry, carelessly “shooting from the lip” or firing a few verbal bullets into the air, unaware of how those words may hurt those who may be within earshot. Even words meant only for ourselves can cause damage to others when spoken aloud—there is always the chance that someone else will hear. If a target needs a well-chosen word, chances are something spoken in haste was not well chosen anyway. I need to keep it to myself until I am certain my aim is correct, the background is clear, and no one else is in danger.
Just like a bullet, a word can come to rest in the heart of an innocent bystander. Be sure you don’t make a tragic mistake.
I tell you on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned, Matt 12:36,37.