My first rifle…
The other week, I wrote about how newsrooms could benefit from having a few Christians hanging around. I was making a case for diversity (even if some observers didn’t see it that way).
Additionally, I would like to make another modest request: Newsrooms should also hire a few journalists who aren’t effete liberal p*ssies.
This is relevant in the wake of yet another gun tragedy. Reportedly, a five year old boy who was left alone with his first rifle, accidentally shot and killed his two-year old sister. As a father, this breaks my heart. But because I understand what has come to be known as “gun culture,” my first instinct isn’t to politicize the tragedy in order to push more gun control.
You see the picture above? That’s me on the left. My dad (at the time, a prison guard in Hagerstown, MD) is on the right (give him a break on the glasses, it was the 70s.) Granted, those were probably just BB guns I got for Christmas (maybe Red Ryder bb guns?). There were real guns to come. But here’s the thing, they were always used responsibly — and there was always supervision.
So I’m all for responsible gun ownership and I’m for gradually introducing appropriately-aged kids to shooting. But I still suspect this sort of picture would make some of my sophisticated urban colleagues gasp.
If “gun culture” means giving guns to children, we need to talk about gun culture. nbcnews.com/video/all-in-/…
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 3, 2013
Gun company markets to kids with the slogan “My First Rifle.” Lots of photos of kids w/ guns bit.ly/ZAwfH8
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) May 2, 2013
It goes without saying that guns are incredibly dangerous. Perhaps a disclaimer is in order. If you have a psychotic son, maybe don’t take him to a firing range, and then leave your own guns around the house. In fact, maybe in that instance, you shouldn’t have guns in the house (crazy idea, I know.) And maybe if you have a five year old, I don’t know, maybe don’t leave them alone with a gun?
I’ll end this post where I started. Our media is slanted, but much of the bias is worldview bias. If you come from a cosmopolitan background and work in New York City, you might not get it. But if you come from Wolfsville, MD (as I do), you might be a redneck. At heart, at least.
Cultural differences matter. Diversity matters. The reason I can decry gun violence and mourn the tragic loss of a child — without finding a picture of a boy with his first gun to be repellent — is that I was country when country wasn’t cool.