Saturday, December 29, 2007

Guns: Photo Ops

As Tam noted, it's become commonplace for presidential hopefuls to go out (with a media entourage, of course) on hunting or skeet-shooting expeditions, all dressed up in camouflage. The camo, however, isn't for the animals; it's usually for voters. If a candidate has a long history of being against gun rights (like John Kerry), these photo ops send an unintended message to the gunowner crowd - "You guys are so stupid I think this one televised trip will make you think I support your positions."

I've been turning over in my head what gun photo op would really make me believe a candidate has turned a new leaf, though. At first I wanted somebody like Rudy or Huckabee to show up at a shooting range with a tricked out AR-15, but then I realized that such an appearance wouldn't prove anything. After all, remember this famous picture of anti-gun Senator Chuck Schumer:
The point is, a lot of people who are against gun rights also own or shoot "scary-looking" guns, since they subscribe to an Orwellian "some for me and none for you" policy.

I think, then, that the deepest sign a candidate now supports gun rights would be for him to take some of the less fortunate on a shooting trip and later, to donate them some firearms. "Arm the poor" might sound silly at first, but just because someone can't afford a fancy car or a fancy house doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to defend themselves from violent crime. And hey, it would be great for the Christmas season.

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