Saturday, January 21, 2006

Paul Simer has verified that our Idiots with Guns #15 was faked. While some may still want to argue the fake point, I believe that the preponderance of the evidence Paul has presented pretty much blows any argument out of the water.

Were these guys really idiots, or were they only faking being idiots? Is faking idiocy stupid in and of itself? It could be argued that any Idiots with Guns photo posted could show a weapon with a firing pin removed, with dummy rounds in the chamber, or be taken with cameras on timers. It begs the question though, are people faking idiocy with guns any less idiots than those who are simply ignorant? Is premeditated illusionary idiocy not idiocy? Does the revelation of illusionary idiocy lessen the effect of what was seen? Unlike the stories of the bare footed hoodwink and the ice worms of the Arctic, a video such as this has the potential to do great harm if imitated.

That is the true idiocy of all of these images. It does not matter if they are faked, use dummy rounds, have firing pins removed from the guns, or are taken on a timed shutter. This distinction is what makes Oleg Volk's images different. Images have the ability to influence perceptions, thought processes, and therefore behavior. Oleg's images have redeeming value. They promote firearm safety and address second ammendment issues as well as issues of freedom. The Idiots with Guns images have no redeeming value. They are taken without regard of how they might influence.

Gun safety is not instinctive behavior known from the womb. It must be learned and cultivated to flourish. It can be learned from a grandfather, a NRA certified instructor, a drill sergeant or many other sources. Unfortunately, poor gun safety can also be learned from friends who swipe guns from Mommy's dresser, from Hollywood, and from images circulating on the internet. Whether you choose to be a positive force for gun safety or a negative force determines whether you are an idiot, not whether you had the camera on a timer. That is why these two men remain Idiots with Guns, and Oleg Volk fails to fit the criteria.


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