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So there I was, waiting while my usual cortado was being hand crafted at east Austin’s Cuvee Coffee yesterday, when I spied a fresh stack of Austin Chronicles menacing me from a nearby rack. Imagine my alarm when I realized I was staring down the business end of an AR (or some underpaid, ill-informed graphic artist’s representation thereof).

With Halloween almost upon us, the journalistic savants who produce the Chronicle had helpfully printed a handy-dandy mask on their cover for readers to use to frighten unassuming trick-or-treaters this year. It’s apparently a tradition for the fish-wrap publication.

What spooky visage did they choose for this All Hallows’ Eve?

Following this month’s massacre in Las Vegas, in which 64-year-old Stephen Paddock unloaded a litany of guns on a festival crowd, killing 59 and injuring over 500 others, we could think of no image more representative of horror this Halloween season than the angry eyes of an armed white male peering at you through a gun’s scope. Here’s how you can be that guy.

Isn’t that thoughtful?

The Chronicle even provides helpful instructions on how to cut out the mask. Apparently their readership demographic needs a little remedial assistance where handling sharp objects is concerned.

1) Typically we recommend extracting the mask from the rest of this issue’s cover with a knife or scissors, but I suppose there’s no opportunity like the present to pull out your standard semi-automatic firearm and unload a few rounds along the dotted lines. Make sure to mind the scope. If you want to add your own bump stock, keep a little red space on the edge of the assault rifle and fill it in with a thick black Sharpie.

Thanks for that, but we don’t think readers will confuse anyone at the Chronicle for HL Mencken any time soon.

The times, however, they are a-changin’ and selecting a costume isn’t the simple matter it used to be. So be warned: blithely cutting out this year’s Chronicle mask and wearing it when you hand out candy could present a problem.

Keeping that in mind, could a white woman or an Asian man wear this year’s Chronicle mask without committing an act of cultural appropriation? You might not think so, but the Chronicle’s instruction page doesn’t address the topic, which seems rather insensitive to us. They do, however, close with this warning:

Remember, the gun is already part of the mask’s presentation. You don’t need to leave the house with your own. Please, please, don’t leave the house with your own.

They’ll have to pardon us if we don’t take that advice. But the question remains, given the tenor of the times and all of the potential pitfalls of costume selection this time of year, who will you dress as this Halloween?

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75 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll be portraying the grumpy middle-aged guy who refuses to answer the door and eats all of the chocolate himself.🤠

  2. I won’t be dressing up as a zhe/zshim Austin Chronicle writer or illustrator, because it’s too confusing what clothes to put on, and I don’t want anyone to confuse me with them.

  3. Well, I am white, but from immigrant parents that came from Latin America. So is it ok if I have gun? Or does my whiteness make me a violent racist? How much of my Latin American hertitage and the fact English wasn’t my first language affect this decision? I am a citizen of a Latin American country after all. Also, many Latin American countries have mixed face people, like myself (white, but with small percentages of black and native). Am I appropriating white people culutue by having a gun on my costume? Also, how dare you assume my gender. What if I want to be an angry white woman and not an angry white man?

      • Lol, but the Chinese made gun powder so maybe we are all being racist here unless we are Chinese! Omg so much racism!! Also, why are guns usually black? Is it to suggest that only black people commit murders? That’s racist. Also, are people who ardent white men allowed to be angry? Why can’t white men be angry? Is it wrong to say angry white men are bad but angry Muslim man makes an offensive costume? Aren’t both equally bigoted? 😂

        • All but one of my guns are black, because of the plastic grips, the rest are pretty blue black with beautiful walnut furniture. Pieces of art instead of just a black piece of plastic no character bullet propeller.

        • It was white guys who invented nitrocellulose powders. I don’t know of many folks packing black powder arms.

    • If you think you’re white, you’re a racist. White-ness isn’t a skin color, it’s a mentality. That’s how a conservative African-American or Latino can actually be white, and a racist.

      Hey don’t hate me, that’s what these cognitively dissonant morons really believe.

  4. “I’ll be portraying the grumpy middle-aged guy who refuses to answer the door and eats all of the chocolate himself.”

    Ditto. Except I’ll also be carrying extra ammo in case a gaggle of yuuts (aka. people who are too old to trick-or-treat but do it just to vandalize homes) decides to get froggy.

  5. Wearing a costume is about fantasy. Make believe.

    One would think that people of other cultures would be ‘honored’ to know that people want to dress up like one of your countrymen or whatever…

    I mean the opposite is that nobody on the planet knows or cares about your culture/traditions and so there is no ‘costume version’ of things you hold in high regard.

    We live in the freaking upside down.

  6. “1) Typically we recommend extracting the mask from the rest of this issue’s cover with a knife or scissors, but I suppose there’s no opportunity like the present to pull out your standard semi-automatic firearm and unload a few rounds along the dotted lines.”

    Step up, TTAG, and ‘shoot’ that video.

    In the interest of neatness, should it be many rounds of .22lr?

        • Maybe you should dress as a Grand Kleagle and wear a sign that says Senator Robert Byrd (D). You can educate people all night.

        • Well in certain societies that might be considered ‘stolen valor’. Wouldn’t want to commit a micro-aggression.

      • Back when I used to have employees and did interviews I always wanted to throw in, ‘Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior?’, just to see the look on the prospective employee’s face. But I never had the guts to do it. Probably be better off wearing an SS uniform to a gay bar.

  7. I’m going as a scientist. With a vial of mutated anthrax. For duck hunting. Oh, and of course a doomsday device. The nice one with the little blinky lights and the thing that goes “meep!” every so often.

    On the subject of that rag’s cover … looks like the gun is a .50 Beo. Be very quiet … He’s hunting Chevvys…

    • What kind of country are we coming to that a mad scientist can’t own his own doomsday device? I mean seriously, today it’s the mad scientist, tomorrow it will be the mad grad student.

    • make sure to tell everyone that the sticks of dynamite with a timer on it is a clock not a bomb you might just get a presidential pardon for it

  8. The cover is of a liberal. How do we know that? Because us red neck white guys are never angry when we have a scope in our face. We smile.

  9. I usually go out to Barnes & Noble for some light reading for a couple hours on Hallowe’en night during trick-and-treat time, so there’s no problems for me. I live in a third-storey walk-up flat, so if nobody answers the door, the goblins go away. Since I’m a reenactor, when I used to be told to take my little darlings trick-or-treating (they always wanted to be princesses), I’d don my historically correct 18th c. Highland apparel, edged weapons and flintlock pistol and go with them. For one year (and one year only!) they thought it was cool that daddy dressed up. But after that and as they got older, my statements that I’d do it again with them caused their ardor to curdle and I was invariably left alone to sit in my man-cave watching what I wanted on TV while their mommy did the job. I didn’t even have to hand out candy (I turned the porch light off after they went out and didn’t answer the door). I’m divorced now, but if I was invited to a Hallowe’en party today, and because I’m lazy, I’d probably pillage my reenactor closet again and go fully armed as Rob Roy with an 18th c.-style long-nose Venetian mask I have. I’m sure I’d be a hit with the ladies. In my experience (and almost without exception), they want to know about the man who wears a kilt (and what’s under it).

  10. Interesting question… that all depends on my goals.
    If I wanna be the scariest mother*cker on the block and make Satan look like one of them My Little Pony critters, I’ll go as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ love child.
    If I wanna blend in with my kids, I’ll go as a zombie
    If I don’t wanna dress up I’ll go as good ole undercover ATFAgentBob.
    Finally, if I wanna really do something Ironic I’ll go as Stan Smith from American Dad.
    All will be characters will be carrying concealed as I cannot afford to purchase even a few hours of Secret Service protection for Hilbern Clinders (Hillary and Bernie’s love spawn).

  11. I love the red AND green scopes he has mounted at 12 and 3 o’clock respectively. Never seen that done before. Must’ve been highly operator, or our artist is highly dumbass.

    I’m sticking with the latter.

    As for Halloween, RAMBO will be costumed on my body, complete with rubber training knife, childs M16 noise maker gun, black wig and red bandana, and a ridiculous and useless LBV I bought a decade ago. I may toss empty mags in just for authenticity.

    • I answer the doors full kit with real gear. Let’s see how many people notice that none of the stuff I’m wearing is a “costume”.

      • “I answer the doors full kit with real gear.”

        I always imagined you having the the front walk mined with German ‘S’ “Bouncing Betties” and the planters concealing M18A1 Claymores behind the stucco…

        • I don’t hate my neighbor’s dog quite that much… besides, land mines are expensive. Now caltrops… there’s a good plan.

      • I was wondering the past few days about the legal ramifications of using an real weapons as part of a Halloween costume when answering the door like an AR hanging on your front side + a handgun in holster. I mean it’s in your own house on your own property so I would think it’s legally okay. That said, I don’t think I’ll try it.

  12. I have a dinosaur onesie that I can add batwings to and be a Dragon with my granddaughter.
    Second childhoods are fabulous.

  13. I’ll be handing out candy to kids. And throwing bible tracts in. I guess THAT’S subversive to an atheist leftard😆

  14. Go as something really dangerous, a liberal Hollyweird producer, the costume consists of a bathrobe, flip-flops, and a bottle of massage oil.

  15. Can you imagine the reaction this would garner if they put an en vogue minority on the cover?

    “The most scary thing to see in Chicago…” with a graphic of an urban youth. You wouldn’t be able to stick your head out the door without everyone screaming something at you.

    Its cool to bash white people though.

  16. I am going out as an Old West sheriff. I will have a white cowboy hat, red bandanna (scarf), button-up shirt, blue jeans, boots and spurs, large sheriff badge, handcuffs, and 1860 Colt single-action army replica revolvers on both hips.

    I am also thinking of strapping our family’s Daisy Red Ryder lever-action BB rifle on my back.

  17. This whole “derpy derp, white hyper masculinity” line of “reasoning” is such nonsense. It’s not rocket science. We have a country with a lot of white males. If anything happens, mass shootings, pie eating contests, whistling the theme to Family Matters, whatever, there’s a decent chance a white male is doing it. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s some deeper meaning.

  18. keyboard commando, chest rig with mag pouches filled with mountain dew and Doritos, an old keyboard, ar mag, and a pos simmons red dot all glued to a 10/22 stock.

  19. Halloween is a liability, not going out.

    People throw out sausages with razor blades for the dogs and give kids drug laced candy.

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