Culture Wars - Tearing Apart in the US?
Sporting a cover image of a blue-eyed family with guns clipped to their belts, a new American children's picture book is setting itself out as the solution for all those parents who "carry a gun and sometimes struggle with how to best explain the reasons" to their children.
"My Parents Open Carry", by Brian jeffs and Nathan Nephew, co-founders of the pro-gun Michigan Open Carry, has been released by small US publisher White Feather Press. The picture book follows a "typical Saturday running errands and having fun together" for 13-year-old Brenna Strong and her parents, say the authors. "What's not so
Jeffs and Nephew say they were moved to write the book because they
"looked for pro-gun children's books and couldn't find any". “My Parents
Open Carry” is, say the authors, "written in the hope of providing a basic
overview of the right to keep and bear arms as well as the growing practice
of the open carry of a handgun", because "we fear our children are being
raised with a biased view of our constitution and especially in regards to the 2nd Amendment".
"Our goal was to provide a wholesome family book that reflects the views of
the majority of the American people, i.e. that self-defence is a basic natural
right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defence,"
The independent news website Raw Storyreported that Nephew told Armed American Radio, the official radio programme of The United States Concealed Carry Association, that "most kids aren't scared of a gun …
that's another good point this book tries to make."
The title has drawn a host of positive reviews, according to the authors'
website (where they add that "for a limited time only, White Feather Press is giving away a free copy of the fun book “Raising Boys Feminists Will
Hate!” by Doug Giles, with every purchase of “My Parents Open Carry” in book
form. That's a $15.99 value!").
Alan Korwin of gunlaws.com is quoted saying "boy does this fill a vacuum",
James Towle, host of the American Trigger Sports Network, calls it "outstanding" and "long overdue", and John Roshek, founder of the Citizens League for Self-Defence, adds: "Loved it, I ordered a copy for our
library". Another supporter, one "Hood", isquoted on the book's website calling it "a wholesome children's book on the joys of having parents carrying guns openly".
It has drawn less positive write-ups elsewhere. "Modelled on the gay
parenting books of the 1980s (right down to the moustache) this is a vital
instruction book for everyone who wants to teach their children tolerance.
Tolerance of moustaches that don't match the wig, and tolerance of people
who need to over-compensate for 'something' by brandishing a gun in public.
Don't worry, we get both messages, loud and clear," wrote one reviewer on Amazon.
"This started out as a 5 Star rating, but quickly went downhill as the evening
progressed," wrote another. "After saying our prayers to Jesus and Charlton Heston, I sat on the edge of my kids' bed to read them this book, when I
shifted my position and accidentally set off my 9mil that was strapped to my hip, shooting myself in the thigh."
It was described by Raw Story as portraying a "day in the life of a 'typical'
gun nut family", and "a primer for the children of gun nuts who'll be lucky to
see their 10th birthday". "As a prologue to the kids … I'd like point out that –
no matter what mommy and daddy say – over 10,000 kids are shot each year
in the United States and having a gun in the home makes you less, not
more safe," wrote TBogg at Raw Story.
Children's book publisher Elizabeth Laws, meanwhile, took to Twitter to say
that it was the first time in 25 years that "a children's book leaves me
speechless". "Would love to deconstruct everything wrong with this. #1, Open Carry isn't a verb," she wrote. "Bad enough that the parents pack
heat, but who made a teen wear a granny blouse? Or tease her hair?
6 Michigan Open Carry - Founded in 2009, this organisation tries to promote the lawful
citizens’ openly carrying a gun in public.
2 2nd Amendment - part of the US constitution that protects the right of an
individual US citizen to
own and bear arms
22 Raw Story - a progressive online news publication founded in 2004 in the
US, trying to bring
attention to news stories that are ignored
elsewhere in the media
23f The United States Concealed Carry Association - an organisation that offers insurance for
financial or legal aid that might be necessary for US citizens who have used a gun (in self-defence)
31 gunlaws.com - pro-gun website that tries to give an overview of the different
state gun laws
in the US
39 moustache - here: In the 1970s and 1980s it was a common stereotype that homosexual men
have a moustache.
47 Charlton Heston - former US film star and late president of the pro-gun National
Association in the US
48 9mil - a 9-milimeter handgun
58 9mil - number one
59f pack heat - (informal) carry a gun on you
60 tease (hair) - German: toupieren
Aus: Alison Flood, "My Parents Open Carry"
(The Guardian, Monday, 4th August, 2014)