On Friday night, male model Tyson Beckford Tweeted the above image. “It’s not the first time the 45-year-old Rochester, N.Y. native has shown off his gun enthusiasm,” nydailynews.com reports. ” The former ‘Make Me a Super Model’ host made headlines last year when rapper Chris Brown called him out for spending time with his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. Beckford responded to Brown’s Twitter threats by posting a video of himself shooting at a gun range.” You can view a sample of Mr. Beckford’s Instagram love for firearms after the jump, as I ask . . .
Is it OK to signal your willingness to protect yourself by “flaunting” your guns in public? Or does a responsible gun owner necessarily walk softly and carry a big gun stick? That’s a tough one.
If you’re being directly threatened, I reckon you’re fully justified in “notifying” the world that you’re prepared to defend you and yours by force of arms. In that case, sun’s-out-guns-out messaging warns off someone who’s indicated a desire to ruin your whole day. Deterrence beats defense.
That said . . .
What’s wrong with a general threat of armed self-defense, like the Tweet at the top of this post or one of those lawn signs that says “We don’t call 911” (complete with a picture of a handgun)? If deterrence beats defence, why not proactively proclaim that you’re the gentleman — identified by mothers — as the person with whom her children should not engage in a violent confrontation?
I guess irresponsible firearms messaging is like the Supreme Court Justice Potter’s definition of pornography: you know it when you see it. (OK, you can stop seeing it now.) The gangsta boast in the Tweet above is over the line, IMHO. The AR vs. AK Instagrammage and similar posts? Chocks away!
Is Tyson Beckford an irresponsible gun owner for that tweet? Again, I say yes. As a celebrity gun owner, Mr. Beckford has a special responsibility to represent The People of the Gun as calm, level-headed people — lest the antis find grist for their “all gun owners (yes even black ones) are Clint Eastwood wannabes or proto-psycho-killers” mill.