An open letter to those who criticize my Idiot With Guns series as being fodder for the anti-gun crowd:
While I would like for all gun owners to be responsible, I realize that some, indeed, many are not. Whether a girl steals her mother's loaded revolver for some gothic graveyard photography, a new Glock owner decides to point his gun at the camera, or a college student places an airsoft pistol to his head for a photo, I have tired of seeing these pictures spattered about the internet. You will note that on each of these entries in my blog, I state the same thing, that these posts are to educate. Then I state the four rules.
If you think these posts in my blog are meant for humor, you are wrong. These photos are not humorous. They are dangerous. They are dangerous to the people depicted and to the kid who sees them and wants to take some gun photos of his own.
These posts are not meant to educate those in the photographs. Chances are, I'll likely never reach them. These posts are meant to educate the kid who has been wondering about that handgun in Dad's closet. These posts are meant to educate that parent who places the loaded gun on the closet shelf. These posts are meant to educate the college student who buys a Glock and gets no instruction. These posts are meant to educate the gun owners who think there is not a problem with irresponsible gun use. These posts are meant to educate the viewer, not the people who are depicted.
You may think the photos are inappropriate. I agree. They are extremely inappropriate. Grossly inappropriate. They are like the horse's head at the dinner table. Responsible gun owners had better start recognizing that there are idiots among our ranks, and either try to educate them or eradicate them. Just because a kid is young and stupid enough to steal a parent's revolver for some graveyard photography does not mean they cannot be educated to be responsible with firearms. The first thing to do though, is call them on their actions. Unequivocally. That I have done.
You may want to deny that such ignorance exists. I refuse to do so. You can say my archive of idiots harms gun owners. Fine. I say denial of the problem will lead to the loss of our rights to keep and bear arms. Irresponsible gun use is a widespread social problem, and the solution begins with the recognition of the problem.
What I see in each of these photos is a person with an interest in firearms, but with no idea how to use them appropriately. Each of these people, given the proper instruction, education and attitude, could become a responsible gun owner. The only way to keep our right to bear arms is to educate our young people. The first step to educating them is to recognize their mistakes, call them on it, and refuse to let it slip through the cracks because we are embarrassed by it.