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PoG Safety Problems

I’d like to comment a bit on Jeff’s post here.  I’m with everyone else.  Submitted photos need to display safe gun handling.   Pictures with the guns pointed at a camera are still a no no.  Even though that can be done safely with a tripod and a timer, it still is still off putting, and is a threatning posture, which is not the image we want people walking away with.

I would go a step further and suggest that people submit normal photos.  I’m totally fine with reenactors dressing the part, because that’s part of what they do.  Just about all the photos on “People of the Gun” are just fine.  A few, I think, are a little weird, and we ought to try to avoid weird.

Remember, we want people to walk away with the impression that gun owners are normal; they are your neighbors, your friends, and people you run into every day.  The photos on that site should reflect that.

30 Responses to “PoG Safety Problems”

  1. Rustmeister says:

    You mean wearing pleather isn’t normal? Sheesh.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Not going to single anyone out, but, yeah. Scary guns are fine. We can’t help it if people are scared by guns. That’s what we want them to get over. But you don’t help by looking scary personally.

  3. straightarrow says:

    I wish you hadn’t said that, Sebastian. Every time I look in a mirror I get a start. Sometimes takes two or three minutes for my heartrate to return to abnormal.

  4. Guav says:

    That’s exactly why I submitted the photograph I did, instead of this one here, which is a far better photo—because I didn’t want that photo posted unless my disclaimer was there.

    And yeah—guns scare people, and really, looking at that page, we look like a bunch of stereotypes. After I saw Keith’s picture of him just hanging out with his dog, I considered sending in a different pic, and I think I’m going to.

    I think if the message we’re trying to send is that we’re just regular people who are also gun owners, we’re not sending that message very well.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I didn’t think there was anything wrong with yours.

  6. Jadegold says:

    Actually, Guav’s photo was pretty good–considering guns are fashion accessories for him. It’s that whole urban chic street cred look all the kids want.

    Look, go to a gun show. Those are your people. You really can’t dress up a bunch of zoo animals and pretend they’re average, everyday folks.

  7. Linoge says:

    As long as it is made clear that the picture was taken with a timer (as even mine was), I do not really have any problems with the pictures being taken with the camera downrange. That said, for the purposes of the People of the Gun exercise, it serves no real point. Random people coming to view the page will immediately be put off by the images, and that is exactly what we do not want.

    In the end, a picture with someone holding a firearm is probably sufficient to somehow disturb the majority of the population. But the point is to disturb them as a little as possible so they start to understand that someone properly holding a firearm is not, in any way, odd, nor inherently dangerous, nor inherently a problem. The good thing is that most of the pictures do that… the bad news is that some of the pictures are a little out there.

    But, as with any crowd, you will have your normal types, and you will have your out-there wierdos. That can be said of churches, police departments, governments, schools, businesses… well, any organization with people in it, actually.

  8. Lewellyn says:

    Dearest Rustmeister,

    Wearing pleather may not be normal for you,but far be it from me to judge others at to what is normal for them.If it is to scary for you to look at a woman wearing pleather holding a pistol while observing the four basic safety principles,feel free not to look or run away.

    If I am to be held accountable to others standards of normal,then perhaps I should just turn in my pistol and pleather catsuit to those that base their lives on their fears and emotions,and would take away the freedoms of those they are offended by.

    To those that would judge me by your shortcomings and fear a law abiding citizen and woman with guns that has taken responsibility to defend the defenseless and herself,I say Molon Labe! But I know you haven’t the courage-run away and hide in a gun-free reality-free zone of self-delusion created for yourself-I wont follow you there.

    I don’t ask for your judgment-nor do I fear it,rather I ask for your mercy.May you be well,be blessed,and be a blessing to all in your life.

    Best regards

    Lewellyn

  9. Lewellyn says:

    To those that consider themselves judges of what is normal or to0 scary:

    Wearing pleather may not be normal for you,but far be it from me to judge others at to what is normal for them.If it is to scary for you to look at a woman wearing pleather holding a pistol while observing the four basic safety principles,feel free not to look or run away.

    If I am to be held accountable to others standards of normal,then perhaps I should just turn in my pistol and pleather catsuit to those that base their lives on their fears and emotions,and would take away the freedoms of those they are offended by.

    To those that would judge me by your shortcomings and fear a law abiding citizen and woman with guns that has taken responsibility to defend the defenseless and herself,I say Molon Labe!

    But I know you haven’t the courage-run away and hide in a gun-free reality-free zone of self-delusion created for yourself,I wont follow you there.Feel free to live your life as a politically correct zombie in irrational fear of people,pistols and pleather.This is not how I choose to live my life.

    I don’t ask for your judgment-nor do I fear it,rather I ask for your mercy.May you be well,be blessed,and be a blessing to all in your life.

    Humbly submitted,

    Lewellyn

  10. Sebastian says:

    Lewellyn:

    No one is judging you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing pleather or having a gun. I support anyone’s right to do both. Seperately or together.

    What I am saying is that we do have to be concerned about our public image as gun owners, and need to be concerned about how we’re perceived. It’s the people who are little skiddish we have to worry about. These are the people for whom a gun is already scary enough; that’s what we want them to start getting over.

    As I said, I have no problem with pleather, but if people get the impression that we’re anything other than ordinary, in the eyes of your typical suburban housewife we will lose this fight. Most people are entirely unfamiliar with guns or self-defense, and that’s the root of the problem we face. I’m interested in keeping the public face of this issue as non-threatening as possible, and we might have the possibility of getting some of those people to not fear us so much.

  11. Guav says:

    Wow, it really takes a conscious effort to not feed the troll, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

    Sebastian: No, there’s nothing wrong with the photo I submitted, I just think it’s a little odd the way my head is cropped off. It looks like I’m trying to conceal my identity, and I’m not. I do like the pic I used, just not as much as the other one.

    Lewellyn, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your photo, did anyone specifically criticize it?

  12. Jadegold says:

    You’ve already lost the ‘fight,’ Sebastian.

    Face it, most folks pictured treat firearms as an accessory or part of a costume. That’s who you are. Asking these folks to try and conform to the ‘norms’ you feel will advance your cause is pretty fruitless.

    It’s kind of amusing that you claim you aren’t judging Lewellyn at the very same time you’re telling him/her that his/her appearance is out of the ordinary and likely to evoke unwanted emotions from the majority.

    Really, you ought to be encouraging folks to be who they are.

  13. Linoge says:

    Honestly, Lewellyn, personally, I had absolutely nothing against your pleatherness. Personally, I am not a tremendous fan of the material, tending more towards natural cowhide for a few of my jackets, but I have nothing against other people desiring to wear the synthetics (cheaper, for the most part, is it not?). In looking back at my previous comment, though, I can understand how it might have been misconstrued.

    In referencing “wierdos” and “out there”, I was referring primarily to the handling of the firearms in the pictures (which, after all, is what I think Sebastian’s root post was all about). I have little doubt that all of the pictures on People of the Gun were taken safely, but when your average, not-gun-savvy viewer comes to the webpage, glances through, and sees firearms pointed at the camera, I am willing to wager that the first thought going through their mind is not one beneficial to our cause. I suppose if you are willing to destroy your camera (in accordance with the Four Rules), it is little matter to you, but the People of the Gun webpage is not necessarily just about you. Personally, I firmly believe “whitey” needs to be scared every once in a while, but those same people also need to be shown that firearm owners really are just everyday people, coming from all walks of life – businessmen, farmers, store clerks, truck drivers, grandfathers, children, parents, coworkers, etc.; and wear all forms of clothing, for that matter (though, personally, I would prefer if people stuck to actually wearing clothing… call me old-fashioned).

  14. Guav says:

    Do you guys hear that? I keep noticing this odd gurgling sound, like a tiny creature scuffling around on the floor. Very strange.

  15. Jadegold says:

    Guav: Perhaps it’s your pet chihuahua. After all, you must accessorize!

  16. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    I still interested in this whole JadeGold and Rack Jite thing. It seems like you’d be best friends with all that you have in common.

  17. Sebastian says:

    What I’m saying is that I don’t personally have any problems with Lewellyn’s picture, but I’m pretty tolerant of other people’s choices. Most people, though, aren’t all that tolerant of things that make them uncomfortable. The majority is indifferent on the gun issue, for the most part. Those people I’d like to get on board with caring about gun rights, even if just a little. There’s also the folks who are fearful of guns, that I’d also like to reach.

    To me, the best way to do that is to portray gun owners are being mainstream, which they are, whether someone like jade wants to admit it or not. 80 million Americans own guns. That’s not a small number. The problem among activists is they don’t pay enough attention to how they would come across to an ordinary suburban housewife, urban business profession, or other such politically active elites who drive the politics in this country.

    The more we remain mainstream, the more we will win. The more we become a kooky subculture, the more we risk losing. The vast majority of the People of the Gun pictures look like ordinary folk, no matter was Jade says. It’s only a few of them I feel are heading in the direction of “kooky subculture”. Although my politics is very tolerant of “kooky subculture”, even one that is armed, most people aren’t.

  18. Jadegold says:

    To me, the best way to do that is to portray gun owners are being mainstream, which they are, whether someone like jade wants to admit it or not. 80 million Americans own guns.

    There are gunowners and there are gunloons. As I’ve noted before, I grew up around guns in a rural area and firearms were used for hunting or discouraging the odd varmint from taking up residence under a porch or in a storm cellar. No one seriously believed you needed a .50 cal or an automatic weapon.

    The gunloon believes he/she has a ‘God-given right’ to own such weapons in order to (talk about) overthrow the Govt. Of course, this is just nonsense as most gunloons couldn’t find the werewithal to serve in the military. The rebellion schtick is just that; it is an excuse to mask the true purpose of playing dress-up.

    Sorry, but painfully few folks at the Pimples of the Gun look ordinary or mainstream. And that’s ok–that’s who you are. Trying to look another way that you’re not would resemble pictures of pets whose masters have dressed them up to look like people. Initially, it’s comical–then it appears sad as the pet stares back balefully and in mortification.

    BTW, I showed the site to a few jarheads; they had a pretty good time.

  19. Sebastian says:

    Pimples of the Gun

    I have to admit I chuckled at that.

  20. Guav says:

    Painfully few of the people at POTG look like anything other than completely ordinary, mainstream people. They just happen to be holding firearms. Only Strings, Ronald, Jed, Tim and Lewellyn look a bit different (and Lewellyn, since my friends look like this, I’m not clearly not passing judgement on you at all, just sayin’).

    Jade, let’s see what you look like.

  21. Jadegold says:

    Guav: Didn’t your Clay Aiken fanzine arrive?

    I still get a kick out of Guav using the prophylactic “I’m not passing judgment” while telling his fellow costume party buddies they look weird.

  22. Lewellyn says:

    Clearly what this blond needs is a definition of “normal” suitable to every person in every situation and every person in this specific situation,without being judgemental of course.Anyone have this definition handy?

    Blessings

    Lewellyn

  23. Guav says:

    Lewellyn, the majority of America does not walk around in kilts, vinyl catsuits, dressed up like a Cossack or with tattoos from their knuckles to their throats. That does not mean there is anything wrong with any of those things, but it does put those things slightly out of what is generally considered “mainstream,” no? It’s an objective observation, not a moral condemnation.

    If someone tells me that my friends and I are not “ordinary, mainstream” folk, I don’t get defensive or offended because it’s simply the truth. We’re not. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  24. Lewellyn says:

    Guav,thank you for your definition of what “ordinary” and ” normal” are not.Do you have a working objective non-judgmental non-moral condemnation definition of what “ordinary” and “normal” in fact are? And an objective non-judgmental non-moral condemnation definition for “mainstream” while you are going there? Perhaps with some examples of whom might be included in these groups?

    Blessings

    Lewellyn

  25. Sebastian says:

    There aren’t any objective definitions, Lewellyn. It requires a making a judgment call. I don’t think anyone here, including Guav, feels it’s right to judge you, or really anyone, and hold you to some definition of normal.

    But many of the people we are trying to reach are judgmental, and they are especially judgmental when they see people with guns. If they weren’t, we probably wouldn’t have to argue much with them to convince them people with guns aren’t a menace to society.

    Guns are my issue. I have no problems with pleather wearers, and will stand up for their right to do so without being judged. But for the sake of a media strategy, I’d prefer to keep gun rights and pleather wearing rights as two different issues. That’s all I’m saying. Either separately might be easy enough for someone a little uptight to swallow. Both together might be too much. If everyone out there were easy going and non-judgmental, none of this stuff would even be an issue, but it is.

  26. Sebastian says:

    I didn’t mean for this to really turn into a pleather issue. It’s not really about any one person’s picture. What I mostly meant to get across is that we have to be concerned, as gun owners, how we’re perceived by others. It’s only by changing mind we’re going to win this over the long term, and there’s easy things we can do as a community to make that easier. By the opposite side of the coin, there’s also plenty of things we can do to shoot ourselves needlessly in the foot.

  27. Guav says:

    Normal: Average and/or standard.
    Ordinary: Commonplace and/or unexceptional.
    Mainstream: Prinicpal tendency and/or prevailing trend.

  28. Lewellyn says:

    Thank you Sebastian,you’ve made the point.I am judged all the time,but never feel condemned for it.I don’t let my feelings stand before principles,nor could I possibly be offended by anything said here-this is the express point and purpose of humility-not to easily be offended.

    If this is to be reduced to a media dog and pony show so that moderators can “feel” good about pictures posted on PotG and by the “message”,by judgmental standards as you’ve so clearly stated,then as Jadegold so eloquently pointed out,the battle is lost before its begun and hasn’t a snowflakes chance in hell(pun intended for the benefit of the gentle moderator).There is nothing,like say principle there,and the concept is hollow as a journalists fact book.

    So-whats it to be? Is this about impressing the media,or is this to be an accurate,honest and truthful representation of People of the Gun?

    You know-accepting each individual without judgment,criticism,comparison,whether we look funny,wear funny clothes or have funny guns or funny pets,do stupid things,or if we are “normal”,”mainstream”,”ordinary”, or not? Are we big enough mentally,emotionally,in maturity and spiritually to accept this and display this to the world? I certainly hope the answer to this is yes.

    I am not here to impress the media or people terrified of guns-if I am then I am certainly in the wrong place.Media types seem to be self appointed hypocritical judges.Perpetually terrified and offended types will find some new object,i.e. pointy objects,to be terrified and offended by when their fears no longer serve them.I refuse to stoop to catering to their judgmental fears and fear mongering .I will however,defend with my life their right to be judgmental,hypocritical,and fearful-healthy or irrational fears.

    I am here for a principle,one that I have sworn before God to uphold and defend with my life-that being the Bill OF Rights and the US Constitution.I do humbly hope I am in the right place,

    What makes one think non-gun people or people that are terrified of guns would look at PotG to begin with?These individuals either have no interest or are compelled by fear to not go there.

    Furthermore,are people as in fact “terrified” of guns as some claim?If so,then why do so many people spend money to see movies that are chock full of guns,gun violence,blatant gun capacity misrepresentation and violations of the four safety principles?I’m baffled.

    One either accepts all of us as we are-without forcing us to fit into pre-conceived judgmental ideas of “normal”,”ordinary”,”mainstream”,or one has no principled leg to stand on in this or any other venue.One either stands for principles,or one falls for anything.Anything less than this principle of acceptance is not worth fighting for or about.

    I seem to remember reading as a little girl something about removing the plank from my eye before attempting to remove the speck from another’s eye.Thank you all for helping me remove the plank from my eye,a splinter at a time.

    Humbly submitted,

    Blessings

    Lewellyn

  29. Lewellyn says:

    Bravo Guav! Well done indeed! My apologies for my first post being a double post-flogs my erring fingers.

    Blessings

    Lewellyn

  30. sam says:

    Jadegold’s assertion that guns are just a fashion accessory is cracking me up. Yes Jade, those people getting permits to carry concealed handguns are doing it because it makes them look cool. Cool to all those people who see them with their concealed handgun that isn’t visible.

    If he’s going to ascribe motives for gun ownership, it least he didn’t use the tired old penis thing. I have to give him props for that.

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