20 votes

Armed doesn't mean dangerous: Black gun owners are often portrayed negatively. One photographer set out to change that.

70 comments

  1. [4]
    monarda
    Link
    I’m going to be honest. As someone who has been around guns a good portion of my life, I do find looking at Black people with guns to be scarier than looking at white people with guns. I didn’t...
    • Exemplary

    I’m going to be honest. As someone who has been around guns a good portion of my life, I do find looking at Black people with guns to be scarier than looking at white people with guns. I didn’t really know that until I saw the photographs. Briefly reflecting, I think it is because even when I have been in dangerous situations with white people brandishing guns, I felt like I could somehow convince them that I was one of them, but I don’t feel like I could do that with a Black person. Or maybe it’s that I feel like the enemy, or more accurately perceived like the enemy. I want to be a better person, I think that there is something for me to learn here. I think that if I look more deeply at why I feel this way, I will find bigotry.

    25 votes
    1. [3]
      pallas
      Link Parent
      I suppose we have very different perspectives on this. Looking at the photographs, I certainly didn't think that the people looked intimidating. I do certainly view the subjects negatively, and...

      I suppose we have very different perspectives on this. Looking at the photographs, I certainly didn't think that the people looked intimidating. I do certainly view the subjects negatively, and think they look rather ridiculous, but more out of a dislike of this fetishization of handheld firearms carried as accessory talismans of personal protection.

      Yet I expect that I'd view similar photographs of white Americans much more negatively. In part, I think that in addition to feeling that they were rather ridiculous I would tend to make assumptions about their views and culture. I don't know what the people in these photographs are like. They might be perfectly reasonable and kind people, or they might be horrible. But were they white Americans who had some desire to be photographed similarly brandishing firearms, I feel like I would immediately suspect that I knew all too well their political and cultural views, and that those views probably included hating me.

      In part, I suppose that, at some level, people who carry around weapons seem threatening when you feel they might see you as an enemy, whether that feeling is justified or not.

      7 votes
      1. monarda
        Link Parent
        I guess what I was trying to say is that when I see white folks with guns, unless they are also brandishing hateful paraphernalia, I don’t make a judgement about what type of person they are. When...

        I guess what I was trying to say is that when I see white folks with guns, unless they are also brandishing hateful paraphernalia, I don’t make a judgement about what type of person they are. When I saw those photos, I thought “thug,” and that is not who I want to be. I think the photography project is a good one. I don’t like when I put people into bad categories based on skin color. Racism is a very complicated thing, every time I think I’m not like that, something comes along and shows me that I have a further to go. Last year I think I posted an article here about Black cowboys in Texas when we were still expanding west. Prior to that article I never new such a thing existed, and whenever I saw a Black cowboy portrayed in a movie, I thought they looked ridiculous, out of place. Reading that article and seeing the photos attached, blew me away, and at the same time began to normalize that Black people have had and now have all kinds of jobs and lifestyles that are way more diverse than has been portrayed by media. Why has it taken me so long to see them as cowboys, ballerinas, cellists, kayakers, swimmers, gun enthusiasts, people with dreams and aspirations, people with history beyond just slavery, prison and crack? I’m grateful for media that is making the effort to bring me along to see them as us. I’ve certainly needed the education (and continue to need it), and I don’t think I’m the only one.

        (As an aside, I’m out of town and on mobile, it’s been harder for me to write, and my writing is worse than usual, and mostly unedited - you all that do this on mobile, I don’t know how you do it.)

        9 votes
      2. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        Well, keep in mind the point of this is ostensibly much more about exposure to very notion of Black people with guns, and the snap judgments one might make if you were to encounter them, than...

        But were they white Americans who had some desire to be photographed similarly brandishing firearms, I feel like I would immediately suspect that I knew all too well their political and cultural views, and that those views probably included hating me.

        Well, keep in mind the point of this is ostensibly much more about exposure to very notion of Black people with guns, and the snap judgments one might make if you were to encounter them, than about people wanting to be photographed with their guns.

        4 votes
  2. [12]
    Ephemere
    Link
    Was this effective for anyone else? I'm afraid I personally react negatively to seeing people casually holding firearms in general. I guess all I can see is 'I could kill you effortlessly in...

    Was this effective for anyone else? I'm afraid I personally react negatively to seeing people casually holding firearms in general. I guess all I can see is 'I could kill you effortlessly in moments if I chose to', and not 'I'm responsibly exercising my rights', even if the two of them are essentially identical.

    21 votes
    1. Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      Same for me. I think the big disconnect is that armed does mean dangerous. Guns are designed as an instrument of death. Carrying or owning a gun for personal protection is effective because of the...

      Same for me. I think the big disconnect is that armed does mean dangerous. Guns are designed as an instrument of death. Carrying or owning a gun for personal protection is effective because of the threat of death. If armed truly did not mean dangerous, there would be no point in being armed (excluding sport).

      However I do think we should work to be inclusive. All gun owners should be portrayed as dangerous, not just black ones.

      18 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Same-ish... I am a gun enthusiast, but it's not a part of my identity/personality and so I don't really see the point of posing with a firearm (along with a number of the typical "gun culture"...

      I personally react negatively to seeing people casually holding firearms in general.

      Same-ish...

      I am a gun enthusiast, but it's not a part of my identity/personality and so I don't really see the point of posing with a firearm (along with a number of the typical "gun culture" photographs). I see it as a picture that says "I am armed" no different than if they were posing with a knives, baseball bats, or any other weapon.

      That said, the point of the photos is to say "it's okay to be black and armed", which it is, as I can drum up nearly identical photos to each of these with a white person instead and they'd be infinitely more widely accepted. There is some deep seeded subconscious issues among many viewing things like this simply because these people are black.

      12 votes
    3. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      A major thing with these photos was careful posing: the gun is handled in a safe manner, pointed at a safe area. I don't like how a lot of "gun people" posture with their guns, but don't really...

      A major thing with these photos was careful posing: the gun is handled in a safe manner, pointed at a safe area. I don't like how a lot of "gun people" posture with their guns, but don't really react to stuff like this where obvious care is taken to safely handle the gun. A couple photos in the gallery made me wince a bit, like the dude with the chain on his dog and the pistol in his waistband, and the guy with the tactical-looking one, but they reminded me of people who posture with guns, rather than ordinary people who happen to own guns.

      I get uncomfortable when it's a dude strutting with his AR-15 or just casually tucked in his waste (or butt crack, like my former cop uncle).

      8 votes
    4. [7]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      According to a Dave Chapelle joke, the most effective way to force America to enact more strict gun control would be for African Americans to massively register for legal gun ownership. I don't...

      According to a Dave Chapelle joke, the most effective way to force America to enact more strict gun control would be for African Americans to massively register for legal gun ownership.

      I don't know if that is true, but it's certainly funny.

      7 votes
      1. [6]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Given whay happened to Gun legislation in California when the Black Panther Party got more popular, it's not unrealistic to say that.
        15 votes
        1. [5]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah. The Black Panthers where very much a violent organization at times, and they did openly brandish shotguns to scare police officers in order to prevent harassment to the black community. They...

          Yeah. The Black Panthers where very much a violent organization at times, and they did openly brandish shotguns to scare police officers in order to prevent harassment to the black community.

          They went quite a bit further from gun ownership.

          But yeah.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            culturedleftfoot
            Link Parent
            Ehh... one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, and all that, but that's an almost unfair oversimplification of the Panthers. Much like martial artists vs. brawlers, I'd differentiate...

            Ehh... one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, and all that, but that's an almost unfair oversimplification of the Panthers. Much like martial artists vs. brawlers, I'd differentiate between willingness to use violence in self-defense and inherent (even if occasional) inclination to violence.

            6 votes
            1. [3]
              mrbig
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Please read my comment again, and I believe you'll notice that I was careful enough in my phrasing. I did not use the word "terrorism", and I made sure to communicate that they were only violent...

              Please read my comment again, and I believe you'll notice that I was careful enough in my phrasing. I did not use the word "terrorism", and I made sure to communicate that they were only violent "at times".

              I've read articles, listened to a podcast, and watched documentaries about the Black Panthers. As a black man that is something I find very interesting. It was an inspiring movement, but also a flawed one, with opposing characters and conflicting actions. It's important to understand that, in my view.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                culturedleftfoot
                Link Parent
                Trust, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, and I was also careful with my phrasing. I wasn't accusing you of branding them terrorists, I was alluding to the fact that any opinion on a group...

                Trust, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, and I was also careful with my phrasing. I wasn't accusing you of branding them terrorists, I was alluding to the fact that any opinion on a group like the Panthers is a matter of nuance, perspective, and context. We can agree to disagree, it's no problem.

                3 votes
                1. mrbig
                  Link Parent
                  Yes, it is of course a matter of nuance. I mean, any sufficiently large movement will contain lots of nuance. The Black Panthers were awesome and extremely important. They also embraced violence...

                  Yes, it is of course a matter of nuance. I mean, any sufficiently large movement will contain lots of nuance. The Black Panthers were awesome and extremely important. They also embraced violence on numerous occasions. Those are not exclusive statements.

                  1 vote
    5. protium
      Link Parent
      I kind of agree? I think regardless of race it's understandable to associate a firearm with 'danger'. Part of that is the judgements I make of someone photographing themselves with a firearm....

      I kind of agree? I think regardless of race it's understandable to associate a firearm with 'danger'. Part of that is the judgements I make of someone photographing themselves with a firearm. Generally, I assume people who take these kinds of pictures are compensating for some insecurity. Obviously not true for everyone, just something I don't really understand being proud of.

      That being said, there is evidence* that many Americans implicitly associate young black men with violence more than with white men. Maybe humanizing images of black people with firearms might help break this association?

      * Source, though the validity might be iffy since it's a implicit association test.

      3 votes
  3. [3]
    babypuncher
    Link
    I think armed literally does mean dangerous. The problem I have here is that for some reason armed white people are getting a pass and aren't seen as being dangerous like their black peers. I...

    I think armed literally does mean dangerous. The problem I have here is that for some reason armed white people are getting a pass and aren't seen as being dangerous like their black peers.

    I believe feeling dangerous, like you could kill someone at the drop of a hat, is a big part of the appeal with gun culture, especially among those who carry in public (concealed or open). It's not about safety, it's about the ego boost that comes with thinking you have the biggest stick.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      IMO the principle of might makes right is more fundamental to the national American psyche than anyone cares to admit... way more than that whole Bill of Rights shtick.

      IMO the principle of might makes right is more fundamental to the national American psyche than anyone cares to admit... way more than that whole Bill of Rights shtick.

      4 votes
      1. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        I had this thought the other day. I was trying to think of what I would say is the core of American culture. Like what thought or philosophy would I say has guided the US throughout its history,...

        I had this thought the other day. I was trying to think of what I would say is the core of American culture. Like what thought or philosophy would I say has guided the US throughout its history, and "might makes right" is it.

        4 votes
  4. [18]
    soks_n_sandals
    Link
    I, for one, am glad to see a celebration of Black gun ownership. It's about damn time. And these photographs are lovely portraits, too. They're soft, intimate, and empowered. I particularly like...

    I, for one, am glad to see a celebration of Black gun ownership. It's about damn time. And these photographs are lovely portraits, too. They're soft, intimate, and empowered.

    I particularly like this quote:

    “Total avoidance of guns teaches fear,” says Datrelle Black, of Killeen. “We should inform our children of gun safety.”

    I grew up around guns all my life. Guns aren't scary. Irresponsible gun handling is scary. There is an etiquette of demonstrating a working knowledge of how to safely handle a firearm. If you are unaware of that etiquette, then sure, all guns look scary. I've been in a situation where someone "jokingly" brandished a handgun in their home at me. It was suuuper uncomfortable. He never made a show of removing the magazine, racking the slide, or locking it. That encounter was stressful because of the lack of etiquette. It's akin to being in the passenger seat as a driver decides to drift their mustang around a corner (also happened to me - college kids are stupid) without asking your consent.

    In these photos, the people featured are at their homes, holding firearms responsibly. It normalizes Black citizens owning the power structure inherent to the firearm in a positive way (as opposed to the racist label of "criminal" that has been in lock step in media portrayal of black gun owners). It's far more comforting to see a conscientious exercise of rights than someone openly carrying at Home Depot to make a statement.

    14 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      In any case, it is only possible to be either responsible or irresponsible with guns in the presence of a gun. The absence of guns is exceedingly effective as a measure to prevent the...

      Guns aren't scary. Irresponsible gun handling is scary.

      In any case, it is only possible to be either responsible or irresponsible with guns in the presence of a gun.

      The absence of guns is exceedingly effective as a measure to prevent the irresponsible handling of guns.

      10 votes
    2. [15]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Armed is carrying a weapon. Dangerous is being incapable of using good judgement with that weapon. That distinction seems lost on many. I would feel safer with any of the people pictured over an...

      Armed is carrying a weapon. Dangerous is being incapable of using good judgement with that weapon.

      That distinction seems lost on many. I would feel safer with any of the people pictured over an unmedicated schizophrenic with a spoon.

      5 votes
      1. [14]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        So the difference is something invisible that a 3rd party has no way of assessing. So the logical action is to treat anyone armed as dangerous.

        So the difference is something invisible that a 3rd party has no way of assessing. So the logical action is to treat anyone armed as dangerous.

        10 votes
        1. [13]
          vord
          Link Parent
          No, it's not impossible to assess, it just takes practice. We assess danger all the time. A driver driving in their lane on the highway is exponentially less dangerous than one drifting between...

          No, it's not impossible to assess, it just takes practice. We assess danger all the time. A driver driving in their lane on the highway is exponentially less dangerous than one drifting between lanes.

          Is a cop with a holstered gun dangerous? If not, why is the random civvy doing the same thing?

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            nukeman
            Link Parent
            I get your point, but lately their record hasn’t been great.

            cop

            I get your point, but lately their record hasn’t been great.

            5 votes
            1. [3]
              vord
              Link Parent
              Never has been, but people trust them for some reason but not random people.

              Never has been, but people trust them for some reason but not random people.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                nukeman
                Link Parent
                I’ll admit that the constitutional carry laws aren’t exactly helping us out in the trust department. Even before that, a decent number of states didn’t require practical training for concealed or...

                I’ll admit that the constitutional carry laws aren’t exactly helping us out in the trust department. Even before that, a decent number of states didn’t require practical training for concealed or open carry. That’s not to say that police are better trained (they aren’t, and no, two days a year at the range doesn’t count), but even a bare minimum standard would help.

                2 votes
                1. vord
                  Link Parent
                  I do generally like the idea of eliminating concealed carry, in favor of 100% open carry wherever concealed carry was permitted. If you are going to carry a weapon, not hiding it is safer for...

                  I do generally like the idea of eliminating concealed carry, in favor of 100% open carry wherever concealed carry was permitted.

                  If you are going to carry a weapon, not hiding it is safer for everyone.

                  2 votes
          2. [3]
            Seven
            Link Parent
            Yes, especially if you're nonwhite. Recent history has shown again and again that cops with guns are incredibly dangerous to everyone around them.

            Is a cop with a holstered gun dangerous?

            Yes, especially if you're nonwhite. Recent history has shown again and again that cops with guns are incredibly dangerous to everyone around them.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              vord
              Link Parent
              That was kind of my point yes. Cops are no more trustworthy with a gun than the general populace. I'd say even less so, because they rarely face consequences for killing people. I'll support...

              That was kind of my point yes.

              Cops are no more trustworthy with a gun than the general populace. I'd say even less so, because they rarely face consequences for killing people.

              I'll support disarming the wider population when the law enforcement disarms at a comparable rate. If there's no reason for me to have a gun, there's no reason for the cop to.

              4 votes
              1. vektor
                Link Parent
                To give a german perspective here: Our cops are (I think) universally armed. Every time you meet a cop in uniform, you can assume he has a sidearm. You can also assume that bigger guns are in the...

                To give a german perspective here: Our cops are (I think) universally armed. Every time you meet a cop in uniform, you can assume he has a sidearm. You can also assume that bigger guns are in the car. The german population is mostly unarmed (1/6 the guns per capita compared to US) and actively carrying is basically unheard of.

                And that's ok. Because the police use their guns responsibly. (They don't use some of their other powers as responsibly, we do have some problems there, but it's a sunshine and rainbows in comparison) Demanding the police disarm when the population is heavily armed is not going to work well. The whole "any person could pull a gun on me anytime" fear of police officers is not in itself irrational in the US. Meanwhile, in germany you do have armed cops because you occasionally get armed criminals even if the population is generally unarmed. I'm not sure cops universally carrying is strictly necessary in this context, but I don't think it's doing a lot of harm either, so we're chasing a very small effect here either way. The much bigger effect would be police culture, the system of internal affairs investigations, legal constraints, etc. And these are alive and well over here.

                All this to say that I don't think cops carrying guns is a problem. It's the widespread use of those guns that is.

                8 votes
          3. [3]
            petrichor
            Link Parent
            That practice is hard and dangerous to come by. It's exceedingly difficult for any normal person to look at someone with a gun and be able to tell if they're safe to be around, particularly...

            That practice is hard and dangerous to come by. It's exceedingly difficult for any normal person to look at someone with a gun and be able to tell if they're safe to be around, particularly because gun skill / familiarity doesn't necessarily correspond with good judgement in the same way driving skill does.

            With cops, the hope is that having both gun skill and good judgement are prerequisites for the job (some of my friends would disagree, and treat them in practice as one would some random civilian).

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              vord
              Link Parent
              Given the number of people I see touching their phones while driving, I'd say driving skill doesn't either, but that's beside the point. Gun familiarity does generally increase gun safety. People...

              particularly because gun skill / familiarity doesn't necessarily correspond with good judgement in the same way driving skill does.

              Given the number of people I see touching their phones while driving, I'd say driving skill doesn't either, but that's beside the point. Gun familiarity does generally increase gun safety.

              People whom have never held a gun are much more dangerous with a gun than someone who has.

              Some basic safety skills almost all gun owners know:

              • How to check if safety is on
              • How to see if gun is cocked (ready to fire)
              • How to disarm and unload the gun
              • How to safely hold a gun

              The biggest rule of gun ownership is "don't point the gun at anything you don't want to be killed." And that gets violated far less than people touching their cellphones while driving.

              IMO gun handling should be a mandatory part of American schooling. They are everywhere, and thus everyone should know how to safely handle one.

              1 vote
              1. Micycle_the_Bichael
                Link Parent
                We've discussed this topic in the past and while we generally disagree on the path, we have the same (or at least align-able) goals and see the same issues. And I agree with what you've said...

                We've discussed this topic in the past and while we generally disagree on the path, we have the same (or at least align-able) goals and see the same issues. And I agree with what you've said above. I just want to get a semi-joking semi-serious "Knowing the rules and listening to the rules are worlds apart" just because I've seen how my family who hunt and go to gun ranges treat gun rules the second eyes of an authority (like a gun range owner who can kick you out) are off them.

                Which "knowing the rules and following the rules" also perfectly applies to driving as well :)

                2 votes
          4. [2]
            Octofox
            Link Parent
            If I intuitively guess who I think is dangerous holding a gun, I'd be picking either a young male or someone who looks poor/rough. Which leads to the issue the article points out. Certain peoples...

            If I intuitively guess who I think is dangerous holding a gun, I'd be picking either a young male or someone who looks poor/rough. Which leads to the issue the article points out. Certain peoples looks make others fear more. Without knowing the person you have not a lot more than their looks to go on.

            There is also the context of their actions. Having a gun out in public on its own says something about the persons mental state. If I saw someone with a kitchen knife holstered to their pocket I'd be very concerned because there is no reason they should be doing that unlike a knife in the kitchen or a cop with a gun.

            2 votes
            1. vord
              Link Parent
              Thing is, that snap judgement applies with or without the gun. If you fear the tall black man, then him having a gun isn't really going to change his circumstance. Well, other than at least having...

              Thing is, that snap judgement applies with or without the gun. If you fear the tall black man, then him having a gun isn't really going to change his circumstance.

              Well, other than at least having a chance of lethal parity against those who would shoot him.

              1 vote
    3. nukeman
      Link Parent
      I definitely liked the normality of this photo set.

      I definitely liked the normality of this photo set.

      4 votes
  5. Octofox
    Link
    Armed literally does mean dangerous. Anyone with a gun should be treated with the most extreme level of caution and avoided whenever possible.

    Armed literally does mean dangerous. Anyone with a gun should be treated with the most extreme level of caution and avoided whenever possible.

    9 votes
  6. [8]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Pictures also on the photographer's website if WaPo is paywalled for you: http://www.christianklee.com/

    Pictures also on the photographer's website if WaPo is paywalled for you: http://www.christianklee.com/

    7 votes
    1. [7]
      AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      In case anyone else is curious, because I was, the firearms they have, best guess in order of appearance are... Her: Walther PK380, .380, $400 - Him: CMMG Banshee 300, 9mm, uses Glock magazines,...

      In case anyone else is curious, because I was, the firearms they have, best guess in order of appearance are...

      1. Her: Walther PK380, .380, $400 - Him: CMMG Banshee 300, 9mm, uses Glock magazines, "pistol" built on the AR15 rifle platform probably will be illegal soon, $1500
      2. Sig P320, unknown caliber, looks to be in the full size range, $500
      3. Dickinson Arms AK212T-HS Semi Auto Shotgun, 12 gauge, $400
      4. Glock model they're-all-the-same, unknown caliber, $500
      5. Mossberg 590 Shockwave pump action shotgun, 12 gauge, hope she has practiced with it because they're a pain in the wrist to shoot, $650
      6. Bersa, probably in 380, solid and affordable gun, $275 - Him: Smith and Wesson SD9/40, 9mm or .40, $400 (thanks for the ID @spit-evil-olive-tips)
      7. Sig P250 compact, 9mm or 40 or .357Sig, $400 (thanks for the ID @cfabbro)
      8. Browning BAR rifle, probably .243 or .308, but honestly could be a range of calibers, $900
      9. Desert Eagle, unknown caliber, man has style and taste, $1700
      10. Back: 1911 of some sort, probably in .45, $500 - Front: Looks like Smith and Wesson M&P with a red dot, unknown caliber, $600
      11. AR15 of some sort, most likely in 5.56, $1000

      [edited to solve #6 and #7 thanks to other nerds like me]

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        nukeman
        Link Parent
        Given the wildness of the past 1.5 years, tack 20% onto those prices! Mostly /s Thanks for giving the breakdown.

        Given the wildness of the past 1.5 years, tack 20% onto those prices!

        Mostly /s

        Thanks for giving the breakdown.

        4 votes
        1. AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          You ain't wrong! I just pulled numbers by typing in the model and "Bud's" as I know Google caches their prices in the little preview in the search results. It's practically useless to actually go...

          You ain't wrong! I just pulled numbers by typing in the model and "Bud's" as I know Google caches their prices in the little preview in the search results. It's practically useless to actually go looking for them on the site as they'll all be sold out.

          2 votes
      2. [4]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        Nerd sniping like this ought to be illegal :P I think #6 is a S&W SD9. #7 has me stumped as well.

        Nerd sniping like this ought to be illegal :P

        I think #6 is a S&W SD9.

        #7 has me stumped as well.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          #7 = Sig P250 Compact Medium? The indentations and cutouts on the slide match, it also has the same rail design with 3 teeth, and magwell cutout in the lower grip as well. Though it seems like a...

          #7 = Sig P250 Compact Medium? The indentations and cutouts on the slide match, it also has the same rail design with 3 teeth, and magwell cutout in the lower grip as well. Though it seems like a slightly different trigger guard the than the #7 photo, which appears to have no serrations... although it could just be that the photo is too blurry to see them.

          cc: @AugustusFerdinand

          p.s. Decided to dig into this for fun, even though I am not hugely knowledgeable about guns (other than what I have absorbed from casually watching Forgotten Weapons and InRangeTV). :)

          4 votes
        2. AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          There it is #6! I knew I recognized the slide, but couldn't put my finger on it. I had a S&W SD40 at one time (gift from my ex-father-in-law).

          There it is #6! I knew I recognized the slide, but couldn't put my finger on it. I had a S&W SD40 at one time (gift from my ex-father-in-law).

          3 votes
  7. [3]
    DrStone
    Link
    I couldn't get to the article, so just going off the series of photos on the photographer's site, I don't think they were particularly successful. Only two portraits showed the gun in an "expected...

    I couldn't get to the article, so just going off the series of photos on the photographer's site, I don't think they were particularly successful. Only two portraits showed the gun in an "expected gun" target setting, implying responsible and practiced gun owner.

    The rest are mostly the same expressions, poses, and locations that are often associate with "tough-guy" or "trashy" gun owners of all races, white included. Neutral stares into the camera without warmth, residential settings without a reason other than to show, a few "don't touch my family" vibes, a politically charged shirt, a few staged wooden poses that just feel awkward (what's with the handgun to the side at arms length?), and even some stereotypes like "shirtless muscular tough guy with a big scoped rifle" and "gun in the waistband with dog on a chain". I definitely appreciate the gun safety though; no fingers on triggers, no guns pointed in a particularly unsafe directly (except the waistband one)

    There's so much else that could be done to push the "positive" aspect. Portrait subjects can still project confidence while also showing life and friendly warmth. More natural and comfortable poses, maybe some candid shots. More settings where guns are used as a tool, like target shooting, hunting and camping, farming, etc. Maybe some people in uniform.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Comment removed by site admin
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        soks_n_sandals
        Link Parent
        Hardly the most dangerous pet a person can get. Dog temperament is due to their training and environment, not inherent to the breed itself. It's harmful to perpetuate stereotypes about pit bulls...

        Hardly the most dangerous pet a person can get. Dog temperament is due to their training and environment, not inherent to the breed itself. It's harmful to perpetuate stereotypes about pit bulls that simply aren't true. They're great, kind dogs that have been stigmatized due to their use in dog fighting. Pit bulls are some of the nicest, most loyal dogs you can find.

        And, at any rate, I think it's fucked up (and racist) to stereotype a person in a photograph as having a "domestic abuser vibe" just because of the type of dog they have. Black men in America are constantly assailed for being "threatening," much like the pit bull in the picture, and while your statement isn't explicit, the prejudice is clear. And to further assert that you'd get harmed or killed because you saw a black person in public with a dog or a gun? God forbid.

        6 votes
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That is kinda true. It's a combination of training and genetics. Training and environment are undoubtedly important, but some breeds historically do have a higher level of aggression. That's...

          Dog temperament is due to their training and environment, not inherent to the breed itself.

          That is kinda true. It's a combination of training and genetics. Training and environment are undoubtedly important, but some breeds historically do have a higher level of aggression. That's increasingly rare in the modern world since even breeds traditionally associated with guard and aggression are having these characteristics eliminated by selective breeding due to lower demands. Most people just want companions instead of protection, and the market meets that demand. That's how you get a Dobberman as naturaly gentle as a Golden Retriever.

          That said, pit bulls are fighting dogs (they literally fought bulls), they were not bred for protection/aggression. Outside of the fighting rink, it makes sense for them to be extremely docile. And they really are, in my experience.

          Depending on the country, there are still breeds in which a lack of aggression will be considered a defect, like the Brazilian Mastiff and the Rottweiller, for example.

          In Brazil, using dogs for protection is still very common, especially in poorer neighborhoods. I certainly did.

          2 votes
  8. [20]
    pumasocks
    Link
    It’s interesting to me to see a wide variety of opinions here. I would love to know the country of residency for those in favor vs those against the photos. My assumption is people from outside...

    It’s interesting to me to see a wide variety of opinions here. I would love to know the country of residency for those in favor vs those against the photos.

    My assumption is people from outside the US can’t understand America’s insistence on personal protection via firearms. Not everyone in the US holds these beliefs, but enough do to prevent any legislative changes.

    The Bill of Rights is an acknowledgement of the irrevocable rights given to mankind by God. The pervasive culture within the US subscribes to this notion: we have a right to defend ourselves with deadly force using a firearm.

    I am in favor of seeing these photos, no matter what color the person is. The photos represent to me that these individuals are ready to protect themselves and their family from any threat. I see that as both prudent and admirable.

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      To me (European) they all look like crazy Americans.

      To me (European) they all look like crazy Americans.

      12 votes
      1. [7]
        pumasocks
        Link Parent
        Sorry if this comes across as a disingenuous, but I am truly curious what your thoughts are on protecting yourself or your family. If you’ve ever seen the channel 4 show Friday Night Dinner, when...

        Sorry if this comes across as a disingenuous, but I am truly curious what your thoughts are on protecting yourself or your family.

        If you’ve ever seen the channel 4 show Friday Night Dinner, when the dad grabs the baseball bat to defend his family, that is the image I picture for Europeans.

        My thought is that maybe you make it out alive with that heavy stick, but I am thankful that I have something much more effective to protect my family.

        3 votes
        1. Staross
          Link Parent
          I have no thought on the subject because it's simply not a worry. That's the crazy part, that you guys accept to live a state of fear and paranoia so intense that it compels you to get guns.

          what your thoughts are on protecting yourself or your family.

          I have no thought on the subject because it's simply not a worry. That's the crazy part, that you guys accept to live a state of fear and paranoia so intense that it compels you to get guns.

          13 votes
        2. autumn
          Link Parent
          I’m an American (born and raised in rural Indiana, now living in North Carolina), and I still think having a gun in my house is a bigger risk than not having one. I’ve felt this way since I was a...

          I’m an American (born and raised in rural Indiana, now living in North Carolina), and I still think having a gun in my house is a bigger risk than not having one. I’ve felt this way since I was a child.

          9 votes
        3. [3]
          PetitPrince
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That's the thing : we feel safe enough that we don't give any (last time I had a though about home invasion was probably when watching Home Alone). Violent crime is comparatively rare (this map...

          your thoughts are on protecting yourself or your family.

          That's the thing : we feel safe enough that we don't give any (last time I had a though about home invasion was probably when watching Home Alone).

          Violent crime is comparatively rare (this map using sources from the UN seems to agree with me), so nothing pushes us to escalate.

          maybe you make it out alive

          This is a rather drastic opinion from my point of view. Why would an encounter with a criminal would automatically result in death and/or serious injuries ?

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            DanBC
            Link Parent
            I've actually experienced a "home invasion" - someone broke in through the roof. I heard them rustling about in the loft space. I called up through the loft hatch to tell him that I had nothing...

            I've actually experienced a "home invasion" - someone broke in through the roof. I heard them rustling about in the loft space.

            I called up through the loft hatch to tell him that I had nothing worth stealing, and that if he wanted to drop down and leave by the front door that'd probably be safer than going out by the way he got in (via scaffolding on the side of the building). I offered to make him a cup of tea.

            He declined the tea, and didn't want to take the safer route out, so he left via the scaffolding. When he got to the bottom he was confronted by police. He threatened them with a broken bottle. They disarmed him, and arrested him.

            There's no part of this that would have been improved with access to guns.

            14 votes
            1. pumasocks
              Link Parent
              I doubt this was your intent, but I couldn’t help but laugh at this story. This story would be incredibly funny on a British sitcom. I love how you were so polite in offering the guy tea. It’s...

              I doubt this was your intent, but I couldn’t help but laugh at this story. This story would be incredibly funny on a British sitcom.

              I love how you were so polite in offering the guy tea. It’s truly a different culture on the other side of the pond.

              5 votes
        4. DanBC
          Link Parent
          Guns do not protect my family. Guns would significantly increase the risk of harm to my family.

          Guns do not protect my family. Guns would significantly increase the risk of harm to my family.

          6 votes
    2. [9]
      PetitPrince
      Link Parent
      Outsider view (Switzerland), perhaps slightly exaggerated : "soooo some black people wants to do the same thing as white rednecks. Good for them I guess? But what's with that gun fetishism? Don't...

      Outsider view (Switzerland), perhaps slightly exaggerated : "soooo some black people wants to do the same thing as white rednecks. Good for them I guess? But what's with that gun fetishism? Don't they have faith in their systems and institutions? But then considering the recent history, this would seems justified. However this still feels wrong."

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        pumasocks
        Link Parent
        Do you happen to know how long it takes for the police to respond if you called them? I would suspect in larger cities the response time would be fairly quick, but in many places in the US the...

        Do you happen to know how long it takes for the police to respond if you called them? I would suspect in larger cities the response time would be fairly quick, but in many places in the US the response time is not fast.

        This is one of the arguments I have heard from those that have guns in their house. They worry the police would not arrive fast enough to stop someone from hurting their family.

        I understand that. If someone breaks into my house, I don’t want to defend my family with a broom while I wait for the police to arrive. Maybe if I lived alone, but I have kids.

        I would appreciate the help of the police to save my family, but ultimately I believe it’s my responsibility to protect them. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will if my kids are in danger from an intruder.

        Firearms are seen as an equalizer of man. In other words, I don’t have to be big and strong to defend my family. I just need a gun.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          Sand
          Link Parent
          What kind of person would break into your house with the intention of hurting your family? Burglars usually just want to steal stuff, don't they? I get that there are some people who break into...

          What kind of person would break into your house with the intention of hurting your family? Burglars usually just want to steal stuff, don't they? I get that there are some people who break into houses just to murder or rape random strangers, but is it really that common?

          9 votes
          1. pumasocks
            Link Parent
            I would agree with that. It would be much more likely that the intruder had a financial motivation. Maybe it’s a sense of control? I wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of the intruder and hope that...

            I would agree with that. It would be much more likely that the intruder had a financial motivation.

            Maybe it’s a sense of control? I wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of the intruder and hope that they are only after my stuff.

            6 votes
        2. [4]
          HoolaBoola
          Link Parent
          That's an argument I can see touching people deep in their hearts, but thinking logically, a firearm isn't that likely to protect you in your house: the likelihood of people breaking into your...

          That's an argument I can see touching people deep in their hearts, but thinking logically, a firearm isn't that likely to protect you in your house:

          1. the likelihood of people breaking into your house in order to kill you is low. Burglary is more likely, but in that case, the safest option would just be to avoid the criminal and stay safe, even if that caused valuables to be stolen. plus the threat of firearms would cause the burglar to be more heavily armoured and aggressive, as well.

          2. if someone did enter your home with the intent to kill you, unless you were aware of these intentions, I'd wager you wouldn't even have the time to reach the gun (unless you truly keep it on you at all times, then maybe)

          I don't mean to imply that there aren't any rational arguments for having guns - there might be. Just that this one maybe isn't that logical.

          EDIT:

          Also, while I hate firearms from the bottom of my heart, I can see them being important for a lot of people especially in the United States. I admire the Black Panthers, and much of what they did wouldn't be possible without their guns.

          Even if nothing else, they're a response to growing militarization of the far right - while no guns at all would be the best situation, all guns on one side is way worse than everyone having guns

          8 votes
          1. [3]
            pumasocks
            Link Parent
            Can you clarify a couple of things for me? For #1 how would you stay safe from a burglar? Are you assuming that if you were to barricade yourself somewhere in your house then the burglar would...

            Can you clarify a couple of things for me? For #1 how would you stay safe from a burglar? Are you assuming that if you were to barricade yourself somewhere in your house then the burglar would just take your stuff and leave?

            I can understand this perspective, it makes sense. Your statement on the burglar being more heavily armored though, can you explain that? If a burglar doesn’t know if there is a gun in the house, how would that change the armor of the burglar?

            For #2, I disagree. I’m in a 2 story house and I have easy access to my safe. I would estimate I my dogs would give me the 15 seconds needed to be ready to defend my family.

            I could be totally wrong though and I hope I never have to prove or disprove this theory.

            3 votes
            1. PetitPrince
              Link Parent
              My parent's house was burglarised about two years ago. The burglar waited for them to be outside to perform the act. Which, for their perspective, made sense: less people = less trouble. They want...

              My parent's house was burglarised about two years ago.
              The burglar waited for them to be outside to perform the act. Which, for their perspective, made sense: less people = less trouble. They want stuff and money, not violence and trouble.

              5 votes
            2. HoolaBoola
              Link Parent
              For #1, my thought was that if the burglar expects the victim to be armed (ie. because it is normal to own guns), then they too would be armed with a firearm. Sure, having firearms might even...

              For #1, my thought was that if the burglar expects the victim to be armed (ie. because it is normal to own guns), then they too would be armed with a firearm. Sure, having firearms might even discourage some burglars from breaking in, but often the people who end up doing that sort of stuff aren't the most rational of people (drug addicts or otherwise not in a good place).

              For #2, that's assuming you would realize the dogs are barking because of a burglar. 99% of the time they would be barking because of something else, eg. a postman. If someone truly intended to enter your house with the intention to kill you, and you had no prior knowledge of the intentions, chances are you'd be oblivious to the attacker.

              Don't get me wrong, I'm not making an argument against guns here. Only giving my thoughts on why a particular argument for guns wouldn't hold up in real life.

              4 votes
        3. Thra11
          Link Parent
          The problem with this logic is that while guns do provide a slight equalising effect, their main effect is to escalate the violence. In countries with proper gun control, the intruder isn't armed...

          Firearms are seen as an equalizer of man. In other words, I don’t have to be big and strong to defend my family. I just need a gun.

          The problem with this logic is that while guns do provide a slight equalising effect, their main effect is to escalate the violence.

          In countries with proper gun control, the intruder isn't armed either, so even if you're at a disadvantage trying to fight them, the chances of you or your family members getting killed are much, much lower. And when the police do show up, they're not jumpy and ready to shoot anything that moves in case it shoots back.

          6 votes
    3. [2]
      an_angry_tiger
      Link Parent
      Canadian from a major city, I went in to the article expecting it to be a nice series playing with expectations and perspectives on race, instead its a bunch of people very cavalierly holding guns...

      Canadian from a major city, I went in to the article expecting it to be a nice series playing with expectations and perspectives on race, instead its a bunch of people very cavalierly holding guns which seems uh, a bit terrifying. Posing in their backyard with a shotgun draped over their shoulder, an old guy holding a rifle like he's about to shoot the cameraman, a guy in his backyard with a rifle in one hand pointing to the sky, a bunch of pistols being held with the finger next to (but not on) the trigger.

      I mean, just seeing anyone outside with a gun on their person would already be a big shock here, any of those poses would freak me out.

      5 votes
      1. pumasocks
        Link Parent
        I appreciate your perspective, thanks for sharing! I can imagine how foreign and scary that would be for you in person.

        I appreciate your perspective, thanks for sharing! I can imagine how foreign and scary that would be for you in person.

        2 votes
  9. Nivlak
    Link
    Relevant YouTube time: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BKGZnB41_e4 This video is one incident on its own but I think it speaks to a larger mindset overall.

    Relevant YouTube time: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BKGZnB41_e4

    This video is one incident on its own but I think it speaks to a larger mindset overall.

    4 votes