The point is clear: self-defense is your own responsibility. Therefore, guns. Independence (i.e. non-reliance) from communal protection could well be the defining philosophical difference in the “debate” over Second Amendment rights. Do you believe that citizens—as a group and individually—-have a right to deploy lethal force in their own defense? Or do you believe that the majority of people are incapable of wielding the power of life and death over each other in a responsible way? Or do you believe that the correct course if found somewhere in between: some can handle guns, some can’t. And if that’s the case, where do you draw the line? Who decides who can and who can’t have a gun or guns, and how? Questions that this site will be exploring into perpetuity—and beyond! Meanwhile, some observations on the image itself.
The model—for this is clearly no documentary photo—has a lazy eye. In fact, both eyes seem to have that “deer caught in the headlights” look to them. Her face is frozen and you can’t really say she has any particular expression. Defiance? Not so much. Her head’s turned slightly away.
I reckon she looks . . . scared. Perhaps even paralyzed with fear. Which would be OK—except for the fact that she’s looking at you. And that makes YOU the aggressor.
Her posture suggests nothing of the sort. She’s standing at what I’d call relaxed attention: leaning back slightly with her left leg forward of the right and her hips tilted ever-so-slightly backwards. Her trigger finger is, thankfully, off the go button. But it’s hanging down a bit lazily. Again, suggesting that she’s been there a while.
Despite the text and the expressionless expression, we’re at condition white. Something a bit more . . . urgent could have added, uh, urgency to the image. A central focal point would also have done nicely. Without it the image has a restless quality—that’s not backed-up by the rest of message.
The camo pants don’t work for me. (In terms of the image, silly.) If the image was trying to make the point to “non-believers,” it should have avoided any hint of militarism or militia-ism. The woman should have dressed in something more casual.
I like the pistol on the right hip. This mother’s REALLY ready for the shit to hit the fan.
But IS she a mother? The text (“my family”) implies the archetypal self-defender has children. But she lacks any overt or covert indication that she has loved ones to protect. A glaring omission: there’s no wedding ring. Think how much more powerful this image would have been with a child—HER child—by her side.
As it stands,the photo’s all too close to a Lara Croft-like pronouncement of twenty-something female empowerment. Bigger breasts and we’d be there (not me, you). That would be nice, but it’s slightly besides the point. Guys. Hello?
One last thing: “They have armor and automatic weapons.” Armor? I’m not sure that’s germane (either Greer or relevant). Less is more. I would have gone with “They have guns.” Both to maximize the impact and avoid any implication that civilians need fully automatic weapons. Why open that can of worms?
Come to think of it (stand back), what is the point of this poster? What should the observer actually do? You could say the message here is “Where are MY damn soldiers and police officers?” To which opponents would reply: you have all the police officers you need, really.
To avoid that implication, there needs to be a call to action here, even if it’s a teeny tiny tagline somewhere. Defend your rights. Done.
[thanks to William C. Montgomery for the image]