I had the great pleasure of sitting next to photographer Oleg Volk at the NSSF dinner at the SHOT Show. Oleg is, how do I put this gently, uncompromising. And more than slightly graphic in his moods for moderns. I mean, plans for liberals. I would not want to be a gun grabber in Oleg’s sights. Suffice it to say, we share a love of firearms freedom and a desire to leave no punch un-pulled. But I do like to pull apart his propaganda, even though I totally get the Russian immigrant’s aesthetic connection to Soviet-era posters. This image has it going on—as long as you don’t think tactically . . .
I like the implied nakedness and vulnerability. A woman in a bathroom is, all likelihood, alone. Disarmed. Other than a child (another of Oleg’s favorite themes), you can’t get any more of a potential victim than that. OK, a woman alone in parking garage at night with her footsteps echoing in the darkness. But you know what I mean.
Oleg’s exhortation to his viewers to take responsibility for their self-defense, in the same way they take responsibility for brushing their teeth, is characteristically incendiary. Oleg is teasing gun control advocates, associating the mundane with, for them, the murderous. It says “I would no more hesitate to kill an attacker than brush my teeth.” Like I said, hard-core.
There are two main problems here. First, the hand is pressed down on the counter. It’s not ready to grab the weapons of hygiene or ballistics. Secondly, the gun’s in a holster. That’s going to require a two-handed extraction. Oh, and the gun and the toothbrush are too close together.
Otherwise, I like the reminder of do-or-die self-defense—cause you’re going to die anyway and it might as well be later than sooner. I’d love to see Oleg do a poster that hones in on that sentiment even more. “To suspect your own mortality is to know the beginning of terror, to learn irrefutably that you are mortal is to know the end of terror.” Attribution? As we say in little Rhody, how you Dune?