FPS Russia has won TTAG’s Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award more times than I’ve had hot dinners. The last time we gave the faux Russian the gong, he was shooting a polymer pistol at close range without eyes and ears. And then we kinda, well, lost interest. (Dan the man accused Kyle of sleepwalking through his schtick.) But then we wandered across this “Irresponsible Gun Owner” T-shirt offer. While it’s nice that little ole’ TTAG has pinged the YouTube sensation’s radar (23 million hits on the AA-12 video), it’s un-friggin’-believable that Kyle would fail to understand the damage this ironic T can do to gun owners in general and any idiot stupid enough to wear it. Let me spell it out . . .
Generally, gun rights advocates don’t want fence-straddlers to think that gun control advocates are talking sense when they tell firearms-averse or ignorant Americans that owning a gun is fundamentally irresponsible. You know: you’re more likely to have an “accident” with a gun than use it to defend your life. (Hunting never gets a look in in that discussion).
The thing to keep in mind: millions of Americans—including millions of members of the so-called “silent majority”—don’t have a sense of humor about guns. They view guns as a deadly serious business, and not in a good way. If they see someone walking down the street wearing this shirt they’re going to think that the gun owner IS irresponsible. Because it’s irresponsible to make a joke about firearms responsibility.
Now I know we do that. But no matter how lighthearted our IGOTDs seem, every one has a serious point: don’t be irresponsible with guns. Our message is clear: people who are irresponsible with firearms are either schmucks or, well, irresponsible. We, as responsible gun owners, acknowledge their presence. And then reject them.
On a personal level, what are you meshuggah? Anyone who wears a T shirt calling themselves an irresponsible gun owner is just begging to be treated like an irresponsible gun owner. By friends, family, associates, strangers and, lest we forget, the police. Imagine someone wearing that T-shirt for their mug shot. Now imagine a jury looking at same.
See? That’s funny. Only it stops being funny when it starts being you. But really, it should be FPS Russia wearing this garb. But it isn’t. I’m thinking that’s because A) it would be true and B) Kyle’s smarter than he looks. Nah. Couldn’t be that, could it?